West Bromwich 3 Wolves 0: Derby joy is perfect start for Mowbray

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The Independent Online

As introductions go, this was all Tony Mowbray and West Bromwich Albion could have asked for - and much more.

With their biggest home win of the season, their most emphatic victory over Wolverhampton Wanderers for 25 years and some glimpses of the manager's football ideals, Sunday lunches at the Hawthorns have rarely been happier.

Albion were outstanding in the first half and then strong enough to pick off opponents who would have made a game of it had their finishing carried the same conviction. West Brom remain outside the top two but maybe not for much longer.

"Tony's a fortunate young man to inherit such a good squad in third place," said the Wolves manager Mick McCarthy. "They are the best team we have played - and that includes Cardiff."

Mowbray talks of tweaking rather than sledge-hammering, as many a new manager has to. The Baggies had managed four wins and 16 goals in five games since Bryan Robson's departure, and the first half of the 150th Black Country derby ensured the grandest of entrances for Mowbray.

The first incision came in the 11th minute when a fine move ended with Jason Koumas rolling a pass for the excellent Jonathan Greening to control and arrow beautifully past Matt Murray from 20 yards.

The lead soon doubled, Martin Albrechtsen crossing well from the right for Diomansy Kamara to head his sixth goal in four league appearances. Murray was not overworked but there could easily have been more.

Wolves attacked with purpose in the second half, though, and the fumbling of Pascal Zuberbuhler - one obvious downside for Mowbray - offered them hope where their record of three goals in seven away games definitely does not.

Jay Bothroyd, who with Darren Potter had demanded a fine double save in the first half, was one of several players to squander opportunities during spells of substantial pressure.

On the break, Kamara won a questionable late penalty conceded by the newly introduced Mark Little, leaving his rival substitute John Hartson to blast home with obvious relish.

"The rest of the Championship will look at our results and know we are a decent side," Mowbray said. "We just have to keep rolling and working at the fine details."

Goals: 1-0 Greening (11); 2-0 Kamara (27); 3-0 Hartson (85, pen)

West Bromwich Albion (4-4-2): Zuberbuhler; Albrechtsen, Davies, Perry, Robinson; Gera (Watson, 86), Greening, Quashie, Koumas (Chaplow, 74); Ellington (Hartson, 67), Kamara. Substitutes not used: Steele (gk), McShane.

Wolverhampton Wanderers (4-4-2): Murray; Edwards (Little, 83), Breen, Craddock, Clapham; Potter (Davies, 72), Henry, Olofinjana, Ricketts; Bothroyd, Johnson (Clarke, 63). Substitutes not used: Ikeme (gk), Wheater.

Bookings: West Bromwich Albion: Greening, Gera, Albrechtsen. Wolverhampton: Craddock, Henry, Little.

Referee: H Webb (S Yorkshire)

Attendance: 26,606.

Man of the match: Greening.

* Burnley have turned down a request from managerless Sheffield Wednesday to approach their current coach Steve Cotterill.

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