Wolves shown the error of their ways

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The Independent Online
Wolverhampton Wanderers 0 Crystal Palace 2

Dave Bassett, the Crystal Palace manager, might envy the resources Mark McGhee has available to buy back some of the lustre the club has shared in the last decade, but the Molineux manager must regret that his charges have not responded as Bassett's have since his arrival at Selhurst Park in February. Palace are now a whisker away from returning to the big time.

The Londoners' 2-0 win only exposed the deficiencies that riddle the current Wolves and must be repaired if they are to challenge meaningfully for promotion next season. The local word has it that McGhee has a short list of four names he will move for when the season's final whistle is blown. He might well have to add more names to his little list and Molineux could also be preparing for one of football's biggest-ever car boot sales by then.

Steve Bull, is suffering from the lack of support on which he thrives - put it in front of him and he'll hit the net, but nobody is doing that. Their top goalscorer, Don Goodman, started on the substitutes' bench but joined the fray early after the battering Mark Williams took from a Palace defence that showed no inclination to take prisoners. And little difference it made.

Palace survived one or two early nervous spasms and penalty appeals before David Hopkin, imperiously took the ball from a dithering Simon Osborn on the edge of the Wolves penalty area and scored the opener. With their packed midfield able to rely on the much improved Bruce Dyer to hold possession and move into dangerous positions with his pace, the Londoners were also one thought and move ahead of their opponents.

Dyer's quick reflexes brought their second goal, swirling behind the unhappy Dean Richards to loop a header into the net. The Wolves man must have pondered how his day might have turned out had his first-half header not rebounded from Nigel Martyn's post.

Goals: Dyer (55) 0-1; Hopkin (31) 0-2.

Wolverhampton Wanderers (4-4-2): Stowell; Thompson, Froggatt (De Wolf, 40), Venus, Emblen; Richards, Corica, Rankine (Foley, 78), Bull; Williams (Goodman, 25), Osborn.

Crystal Palace (3-5-2): Martyn; Edworthy, Vincent, Roberts; Andersen, Hopkin, Rodger, Pitcher, Freedman (Veart, 76); Dyer, Tuttle. Substitutes not used: Ndah, Davies.

Referee: J W Lloyd (Wrexham).

Booked: Crystal Palace: Hopkin, Rodger.

Man of the match: Dyer.

Attendance: 24,350.