Wolverhampton Wanderers 2 Scunthorpe United 1: Collins keeps Wolves in the chase

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The Independent Online

Wolves, who had slipped as low as 12th in the Championship in a season of protracted inconsistency, moved to within a point of the play-off places by coming from behind to beat struggling Scunthorpe United last night.

Trailing to Andy Butler's fifth-minute header, Wolves equalised through Michael Gray 12 minutes into the second half before Neill Collins scored with a glancing header seven minutes from the end to secure only a second win for Mick McCarthy's team in eight league matches at home.

McCarthy agreed it may be a mixed blessing that five of Wolves' last nine fixtures are at Molineux. "The players don't have a problem playing at home but sometimes it suits us better when it is the other side doing the pressing," he said.

Yet a frustrating first half last night left them with much to do against opponents fearful of an instant return to League One. Stunned by centre-half Butler's goal, scored from Grant McCann's right-wing corner, they were fortunate not to go further behind. Only a superb tackle by full-back George Elokobi denied top scorer Martin Paterson.

Wolves could not convert any of several first-half chances and might have conceded a second goal before half-time, had the linesman the benefit of replays when he denied McCann a goal for offside.

Instead, Wolves drew level 12 minutes after the break. The substitute Matt Jarvis's free-kick from the left was cleared from the penalty area but only as far as Gray, whose volley was lifted over the head of goalkeeper Joe Murphy with the aid of a deflection off defender Andy Crosby.

Scunthorpe were under the cosh for most of what remained but the visitors looked to have the conviction to claim a point before Collins rose to convert Jarvis's cross.

Wolverhampton Wanderers (4-4-2): Hennessey; Foley, Collins, Ward, Elokobi; Potter (Jarvis, 32), Olofinjana, Henry, Gray (Eastwood, 68); Ebanks-Blake (Kyle, 88), Keogh. Substitutes not used: Gibson, Stack (gk).

Scunthorpe United (4-4-2): Murphy; Cork, Crosby, Butler, Baraclough; Sparrow, Goodwin, McCann, Morris (Weston, 78); Horsfield, Paterson (May, 76). Substitutes not used: Lillis (gk), Hobbs, Hayes.

Referee: M Haywood (W Yorkshire).

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