Wolverhampton Wanderers 2 Bristol City 1 match report: Wolves bite back after first-half horror show

 

molineux

Whether, as their manager Dean Saunders suggested afterwards, this match proves to be a turning point in Wolves' season remains to be seen. They are, after all, still in the relegation zone with just eight games remaining.

They will however take huge heart from the manner in which they turned around a game in which for over an hour pretty much everything that could go wrong, did go wrong. Having conceded a truly ridiculous own goal and lost two players to injury it would have been easy for heads to drop, but Wolves kept working, and strikes of high quality from Sylvan Ebanks-Blake and Kevin Doyle secured a first home win since December.

"Everything was going wrong, we looked lacking in confidence, we weren't sharp and we conceded a calamity goal, the sort you can't believe has happened," said Saunders.

"When we went in at half-time I had a go at everyone. But I've been in this situation as a player and a manager, and you have to keep your belief. You have to have the strength of character to show for the ball, go in for another chance when you've missed three, take the full-back on, and in the second half my players showed that strength of character."

The first half was a horror show for Wolves. Looking both nervous and disjointed from the start, they had created nothing of note when they went behind in extraordinary circumstances.

Carl Ikeme played a goal-kick short towards David Davis, but the under-hit pass left the young midfielder with no alternative other than to return the ball to his goalkeeper. Ikeme, unable to pick the ball up, allowed it to trickle under his foot and into the goal.

The ground was still in shock when first Bakary Sako and then Dave Edwards limped off, and Saunders' decision to replace Ikeme with Dorus De Vries at half-time meant he had used all three substitutes with 45 minutes left to play.

"It wasn't an easy ball for Carl to deal with but he has to get something behind it. He had also hurt his hand on the field, and that made my mind up [to replace him]," said Saunders.

Initially there was no obvious improvement in the second half, and the crowd began to voice their disaffection, most obviously with chants aimed at club owner Steve Morgan, but the Wolves players kept working and in Stephen Hunt, who came on for Sako, they found the catalyst they needed.

It was his cross which enabled Ebanks-Blake to control, turn and volley powerfully past City goalkeeper Tom Heaton. Two minutes later, it was another Hunt cross which saw Doyle time his jump perfectly to beat Heaton with a header.

City manager Sean O'Driscoll was philosophical. "I was pleased with the performance but disappointed with the result," he said.

"We said at half-time they were just going to throw balls into the box, which is what they did, and we kept trying to do the right thing. We looked like a team that knew what we were doing."

What they lacked, however, was the touch of quality which players like Hunt and Doyle, with their considerable Premier League experience, gave Wolves.

It did not escape Saunders' attention that the crowd had been on Hunt's back from the moment he came on. "I thought Hunt did everything well," he said. "He gave us energy and spark, and I'll have to find out why the fans were having a go because normally they like players like that.

"We have the belief that we can score, no matter what the circumstances. They were great finishes from Ebanks-Blake and Doyle. You can't play for a big club unless you can play in adversity, because most of the time that is the case. That's why you get big wages."

Wolves (4-4-2): Ikeme (De Vries, h-t); Doherty, Johnson, Gorkss, Robinson; Edwards (Sigurdarson, 38), Davis O'Hara, Sako (Hunt, 32); Doyle, Ebanks-Blake.

Bristol City (4-5-1): Heaton; Moloney, Fontaine, Nyatanga, Cunningham; Anderson (Adamoah, 15), Skuse, Kelly (Kilkenny, 85), Elliott, Pearson (Baldock, 81); Davies.

Referee Geoff Eltringham.

Suggested Topics
News
people
News
people
News
peopleStella McCartney apologises over controversial Instagram picture
Life and Style
Laid bare: the Good2Go app ensures people have a chance to make their intentions clear about having sex
techCould Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Richard Burr remains the baker to beat on the Great British Bake Off
tvRichard remains the baker to beat as Chetna begins to flake
News
i100
Sport
footballArsenal 4 Galatasaray 1: Wenger celebrates 18th anniversary in style
Arts and Entertainment
Amazon has added a cautionary warning to Tom and Jerry cartoons on its streaming service
tv
News
people
News
The village was originally named Llansanffraid-ym-Mechain after the Celtic female Saint Brigit, but the name was changed 150 years ago to Llansantffraid – a decision which suggests the incorrect gender of the saint
newsA Welsh town has changed its name - and a prize if you can notice how
Arts and Entertainment
Kristen Scott Thomas in Electra at the Old Vic
theatreReview: Kristin Scott Thomas is magnificent in a five-star performance of ‘Electra’
News
Destructive discourse: Jewish boys look at anti-Semitic graffiti sprayed on to the walls of the synagogue in March 2006, near Tel Aviv
peopleAt the start of Yom Kippur and with anti-Semitism flourishing, one Jew can no longer ignore his identity
Life and Style
Couples who boast about their relationship have been condemned as the most annoying Facebook users
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Hayley Williams performs with Paramore in New York
musicParamore singer says 'Steal Your Girl' is itself stolen from a New Found Glory hit
News
i100
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Italian couples fake UK divorce scam on an ‘industrial scale’

Welcome to Maidenhead, the divorce capital of... Italy

A look at the the legal tourists who exploited our liberal dissolution rules
Time to stop running: At the start of Yom Kippur and with anti-Semitism flourishing, one Jew can no longer ignore his identity

Time to stop running

At the start of Yom Kippur and with anti-Semitism flourishing, one Jew can no longer ignore his identity
Tom and Jerry cartoons now carry a 'racial prejudice' warning on Amazon

Tom and Jerry cartoons now carry a 'racial prejudice' warning on Amazon

The vintage series has often been criticised for racial stereotyping
An app for the amorous: Could Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?

An app for the amorous

Could Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?
Llansanffraid is now Llansantffraid. Welsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?

Llansanffraid is now Llansantffraid

Welsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?
Charlotte Riley: At the peak of her powers

Charlotte Riley: At the peak of her powers

After a few early missteps with Chekhov, her acting career has taken her to Hollywood. Next up is a role in the BBC’s gangster drama ‘Peaky Blinders’
She's having a laugh: Britain's female comedians have never had it so good

She's having a laugh

Britain's female comedians have never had it so good, says stand-up Natalie Haynes
Sistine Chapel to ‘sing’ with new LED lights designed to bring Michelangelo’s masterpiece out of the shadows

Let there be light

Sistine Chapel to ‘sing’ with new LEDs designed to bring Michelangelo’s masterpiece out of the shadows
Great British Bake Off, semi-final, review: Richard remains the baker to beat

Tensions rise in Bake Off's pastry week

Richard remains the baker to beat as Chetna begins to flake
Paris Fashion Week, spring/summer 2015: Time travel fashion at Louis Vuitton in Paris

A look to the future

It's time travel fashion at Louis Vuitton in Paris
The 10 best bedspreads

The 10 best bedspreads

Before you up the tog count on your duvet, add an extra layer and a room-changing piece to your bed this autumn
Arsenal vs Galatasaray: Five things we learnt from the Emirates

Arsenal vs Galatasaray

Five things we learnt from the Gunners' Champions League victory at the Emirates
Stuart Lancaster’s long-term deal makes sense – a rarity for a decision taken by the RFU

Lancaster’s long-term deal makes sense – a rarity for a decision taken by the RFU

This deal gives England a head-start to prepare for 2019 World Cup, says Chris Hewett
Ebola outbreak: The children orphaned by the virus – then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection

The children orphaned by Ebola...

... then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection
Pride: Are censors pandering to homophobia?

Are censors pandering to homophobia?

US film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence