Wolves 1 Luton Town 0: McCarthy reacquainted with the winning knack by Johnson

Click to follow
The Independent Football

Victories for Mick McCarthy have not come along often of late. So it was no wonder that he was surprised to learn that this slender win over Luton Town, and the defeat of Burnley last week was his first set of back-to-back managerial victories since May 2005.

He may have attempted to shrug off this personal achievement, perhaps out of pride more than anything else, but the Wolverhampton Wanderers manager knows that he will need to see more of these if he is to lead another side into the Premiership.

"I don't really give a bollocks," he said with a big smile, one that was rarely displayed when he was manager of Sunderland in the top flight last season.

This win, over a cautious Luton Town side, helped Wolves to continue their steady start to the season. A fact, McCarthy no doubt hopes, that will not be lost on Wolves supporters.

"I just think that the players have responded well since we have got here. I just think that it is nice to have 10 points from five games," he said after Jemal Johnson had scored Wolves' winner at the start of the second half. "We have got a real big season in front of us," he added, "and if we keep going the way that we have been going then we will get people back in here supporting us."

The first half was an unattractive stalemate and the Wolves supporters had to wait until seven minutes before the interval for a serious scoring effort from their team, Carl Cort's header sailing wide of the visitors' goal.

Luton have struggled to emulate last season's achievements and with key players such as Kevin Nicholls, the inspirational captain, and top scorer Steve Howard departed, they looked poor for much of the game.

Wolves broke through two minutes after half-time. Cort headed the ball into the path of Johnson and the 22-year-old striker, a recent acquisition from Blackburn Rovers, outpaced the Finnish defender Markus Heikkinen before firing a low shot inside Marlon Beresford's near post. It was Johnson's second winning goal in as many League games.

Deep into injury time Carlos Edwards unleashed a powerful right-footed shot that could have levelled the scores. In truth, however, Luton did little to deserve a share of the points.

Goal: Johnson 1-0 (47).

Wolverhampton Wanderers (4-4-2) Murray (Ikeme, 87); Clapham, Craddock, Breen, Edwards; Jones, Henry, Olofinjana, Potter (Ricketts, 65); Cort, Johnson (Clarke, 90). Substitutes not used: Davies, Little.

Luton Town (4-4-2) Beresford; Foley, Heikkinen, Barnett, Davis; Langley, Robinson, Emanuel (Morgan, 67), Edwards; Vine, Feeney (Parkin, 67). Substitutes not used: Brill (gk), Bell, Keane.

Referee: P Robinson (East Yorkshire).

Man of the match: Johnson.

Attendance: 19,378.