Oldham Athletic 0 Wolves 2: Potter's magic puts Wolves on the road to Black Country derby

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The Independent Online

Wolves set up a fourth-round Black Country collision with West Bromwich Albion last night, goals by Darren Potter and Craig Davies in the second half earning a hard-fought FA Cup replay victory over League One promotion contenders Oldham.

If the margin flattered the Championship side, there was no doubting the quality of the goal that ended Oldham's ascendancy after 55 minutes. Potter, whose loan from Liverpool is about to become a £200,000 transfer, struck an unstoppable shot. A glancing header by Davies, who is on long-term loan from Verona, made the Molineux derby safe 20 minutes later.

Mick McCarthy, in managerial opposition to his former Republic of Ireland team-mate John Sheridan, admitted Wolves were "really fortunate" to be level at half-time. He also conceded that Potter might have given away a penalty immediately before his goal, saying: "I thought we got away with it."

McCarthy hailed Potter's first goal for Wolves as "a fabulous strike", adding: "He didn't half nail it - a memorable one to break his duck."Pressed about the Albion date, he joked: "Who've we got? Apparently while I was off with flu, we drew West Brom."

Both managers agreed Wolves proved a different proposition in the second half. Sheridan said: "For an hour I thought we were the better side. But I'll hold my hands up and say they showed their class after they scored".

Oldham started as confidently as expected of a team that beat Nottingham Forest 5-0 in their previous home game and had the chances to be two up by the break. Stefan Stam, a Dutch centre-back, had a 23rd-minute drive blocked by Neil Collins.

In first-half stoppage time, Oldham's Chris Porter should have taken his haul for the season to 19 goals. Paul Warne's cross found the tall, elegant striker for once escaping Gary Breen but failing to get in a header with the goal at his mercy.

Wolves again lived dangerously as Will Haining's shot was deflected behind after the interval. From the corner, Oldham claimed a penalty as Potter challenged Richie Wellens, but the referee dismissed their appeals.

Wolves surged upfield and won a corner. When the ball was cleared to Potter, the midfielder thrashed a right-footed, 25-yard drive into the left corner of the net. Davies, converting Rohan Ricketts' cross, put the game beyond Oldham.

Oldham Athletic (4-4-2): Pogliacomi; Eardley, Haining, Stam (P Edwards, 74) Charlton; Liddell, Wellens, McDonald, Taylor; Warne (Hall, 74), Porter. Substitutes not used: Smith (gk), Rocastle, Wood.

Wolverhampton Wanderers (4-5-1): Murray; Little, Collins, Breen, Clapham (R Edwards, h-t); Ricketts, Olofinjana, Potter, Henry, McIndoe (M Davies, 62); C Davies (Johnson, 98). Substitutes not used: Oakes (gk), Rosa.

Referee: K Wright (Cambridgeshire).

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