Wolves by a whisker

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The Independent Online
Luton Town 2 Wolverhampton Wanderers 3

If Mark McGhee thinks he has endured a tricky time since opting out of Leicester City, he should wait until he takes over Wolverhampton Wanderers.

A gung-ho performance from the Midlands club who offer Premiership transfer fees and salaries to entice those who may steer them to the promised land was ultimately sufficient to steer them three further points away from basement club Luton Town. But only just.

McGhee presumably had the time yesterdayto watch on television. Any palpitations about their vulnerability will presumably be offset by knowledge of how he can surely improve them.

First-half goals from centre half Dean Richards, Steve Bull and Don Goodman might have encouraged neutrals to expect a comfortable ride against the division's lowest scorers. But twice Luton pegged Wolves back and they should have earned a point.

Wolves, with one point in their four games since Graham Taylor left, had an ideal start when Richards, an England Under-21 cap, steered in a left-foot shot from 20 yards in the eighth minute. Goodman headed a second and his 13th of the season 11 minutes later.

Wolves, however, are nothing if not unpredictable and allowed Scott Oakes to meet Tony Thorpe's cross and thump home his first goal of the season. It was still a contest after Bull capitalised Darren Ferguson's quick thinking to head in his free-kick three minutes before the break.

Thorpe weaved his way past the visitors' central defence and goalkeeper before Dwight Marshall tapped into the open net.

Paul McLaren and Marshall muffed several second half chances but Wolves were eventually grateful to move out of the relegation zone in time for their new manager to take his seat.

Luton Town (4-3-3): K Davis; Patterson, S Davis, Johnson, Harvey; McLaren (Taylor, 57), Waddock, Hughes (Genchev, 76); Thorpe, Marshall, Oakes. Substitute not used: Alexander.

Wolverhampton Wanderers (5-3-2): Stowell; Rankine, Richards, Law, Venus, Thompson; Emblen, Atkins, Ferguson; Goodman, Bull. Substitutes not used: Birch, De Wolf, Daley.

Referee: K Lynch (Knaresborough).

Booking: Luton: McLaren.

Man of the match: Richards.

Attendance: 6,997.

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