Wolves continue impressive start to season
Wolves 2 Fulham 0
Sunday 21 August 2011
Wolves' impressive start to the season continued as goals from Kevin Doyle and Matt Jarvis earned them victory over Fulham at Molineux.
Doyle, who had already missed a good opportunity, opened the scoring in the 42nd minute when he collected Jarvis' pass and smashed a shot past Mark Schwarzer.
Jarvis doubled the hosts' advantage moments later, pouncing after Roger Johnson's header had come back off the woodwork.
The result means Wolves, who triumphed 2-1 at Blackburn last weekend, have recorded back-to-back league wins at the start of a campaign for the first time since the 1998-99 season.
Manager Mick McCarthy stuck with the same starting line-up from the game at Ewood Park, with Steven Fletcher and Doyle leading the attack.
Fulham boss Martin Jol made four adjustments from Thursday night's 3-0 Europa League win against Dnipro, recalling Andrew Johnson, Dickson Etuhu, Philippe Senderos and John Arne Riise to the team in place of Bobby Zamora - who was not included in the squad - Steve Sidwell, Matthew Briggs and Stephen Kelly.
In the opening seconds Pajtim Kasami, on his league debut for the Cottagers, made a burst into Wolves' box and unleashed a shot which deflected wide.
At the other end Karl Henry fired in an effort which Senderos managed to block.
Damien Duff sent a cross into the area which Andrew Johnson dived to meet but could not make proper contact with.
The two players then combined again as Johnson cut the ball back for Duff, whose shot lacked power and was comfortably collected by Wayne Hennessey.
Wolves won a free-kick in a useful position which Stephen Hunt delivered into the danger zone, but Roger Johnson had to slide to keep the ball in and Schwarzer claimed it.
A slip by Richard Stearman then allowed Etuhu to be teed up for a shot which Hennessey got down to save.
Wanderers went the closest yet just before the half-hour mark when Doyle got the better of Brede Hangeland as they chased a ball over the top.
The Republic of Ireland striker got around Schwarzer to carve out a shooting angle, but blazed his attempt over the bar.
Schwarzer then leapt across his goal to push away a drive from Jamie O'Hara, but with three minutes of normal time remaining in the opening period, Wolves' pressure paid off as they snatched the lead.
Receiving the ball from Jarvis, Doyle skipped away from two defenders, turned and lashed it beyond Schwarzer into the net.
Jarvis then sent a curling shot narrowly off target before making it 2-0 in first-half stoppage time, tucking away the rebound after Roger Johnson had headed Hunt's cross against the post.
Jol made two substitutions at the interval, throwing on Moussa Dembele and Sidwell for Kasami and Etuhu, and shortly after the restart, Duff hit a shot into the ground which bounced wide.
Wolves were soon on the front foot again, though, with Jarvis slicing the wrong side of the post after Hunt's cross had fallen to him.
Schwarzer then palmed a fierce strike from Hunt over the bar before Fletcher saw a shot deflect wide and O'Hara volleyed too high.
The hosts' momentum showed no sign of letting up and Fletcher flashed another effort inches wide in the 65th minute.
Hunt, who had appeared fortunate to escape with only a yellow card after a wild challenge on Riise, then produced a shot which Schwarzer tipped away.
Fulham looked set to pull a goal back in the 79th minute as Hennessey parried an Andrew Johnson shot to the feet of Clint Dempsey, but Stephen Ward was on hand to avert the danger with a great last-ditch tackle.
Riise then blasted a free-kick wide and the visitors - playing their ninth game of the season due to their exploits in Europe - had little else to offer as Wolves secured three more points.
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