Derby County 0 Wolverhampton 2: Kightly strikes to give Wolves sight of play-offs

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The Independent Football

The Wolves manager Mick McCarthy rated his side's 2-0 win over Derby at Pride Park yesterday as "the best performance of the season".

The Wolves midfielder Seyi-George Olofinjana and winger Michael Kightly scored the visitors' second-half goals, though woodwork twice saved the visitors as the Rams' David Jones hit the crossbar before half-time ahead of Steve Howard rattling the foot of the post in the second half.

Victory took ninth-placed Wolves to within a point of the play-off places, while favourable results elsewhere meant Derby hung on to third. McCarthy said: "Derby were better than us and they beat us at our place earlier in the season, but now we have repaid the compliment. It was the best performance of the season, coupled with the right result but I feel we could have picked up more points by now and we should be in a better position."

Olofinjana scored his second goal of the season in the 67th minute while Kightly, who joined from Conference side Grays with the view to a permanent transfer in January, hit his second goal in four appearances during stoppage time. "We have agreed a deal with Grays," McCarthy said. "And we are confident we have signed a good player. But he has not been plucked from obscurity because he had a professional upbringing with Southend before he was released and joined Grays. He scored plenty of goals for Grays last year and he is a bright boy."

But McCarthy was cold on reports he could move for the Dagenham striker Craig Mackail-Smith and George Boyd of Stevenage. He said: "We have been looking at those players because we had good reports about them. But we are not suddenly going to fill our team with non-league players. It has worked well with one player but I am not clever enough to fill the team with them."

The Derby defender Paul Boertien is at the centre of an injury scare after being substituted midway through the first half. Boertien, who returned to regular first-team football in August after 28 months out with knee problems and whose contract is due to expire at the end of the season, has suffered what manager Billy Davies described as "a serious knee injury". "It is the same knee and it is a bad one - we just have our fingers crossed it is not as bad as the others," Davies said. "It is too early to say how serious it could be, but it does not look good."

Derby (4-4-2): Bywater; Edworthy, Leacock, Moore, Boertien (M Johnson, 29); Oakley (Peschisolido, 85), Jones, S Johnson (Lupoli, 73), Barnes; Howard, Stead. Substitutes not used: Bisgaard, Malcolm.

Wolverhampton (4-4-2): Murray; Little, Collins, Breen, McNamara; Kightly, Henry, Potter, Olofinjana; McIndoe, Clarke (C Davies, 77). Substitutes not used: Hennessey, Clapham, Edwards, Ricketts.

Referee: T Kettle (Berkshire).

Attendance: 31,920.

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