Five days after scoring a hat- trick on his Wolves debut, Dean Sturridge trudged from the same field with head bowed after his side had failed to earn the win which would have put them back on top of the First Division.
This time, for the man who has come to Molineux on a month's loan from Leicester, there were no goals and scarcely any chances as his new side's arch rivals lifted themselves to fourth place with their fifth 1-0 win in six games yesterday.
As Sturridge disappeared from view, it was the turn of another on-loan man, Daniel Dichio, to earn the acclaim. Although the Sunderland forward, who signed up for a second stay at Albion on Friday with a view to joining permanently for £1.25m did not score, he did enough to convince the jubilant Albion fans that he was a welcome addition to the side.
It was Dichio's headed touch on Adam Chambers' 58th- minute cross which enabled the ball to carry to Jordão, Albion's Portuguese midfielder, who lofted the ball over Michael Oakes for the only goal of a fiercely contested local derby.
Five minutes later Dichio almost made it 2-0, but his header from an Igor Balis cross hit the underside of the bar.
For their part, Wolves – despite every incentive you could imagine – were scarcely able to make a serious attempt on goal. Their closest effort, when Colin Cameron got a touch to Mark Kennedy's 73rd-minute corner, was cleared off the line by Chambers, who figured strongly in an outstanding Albion midfield.
Dave Jones, the Wolves manager, acknowledged that Albion deserved all three points, but insisted that the home supporters should not allow themselves to become too downcast. "We've lost 1-0 to our arch rivals, but we shouldn't let that cloud of judgement,'' Jones said. "We didn't think they could keep closing us down for 90 minutes but they did. Let them have their day, though. Our day will come and we will have many more days.''
There was no questioning the commitment of either side in a match watched by 27,515 spectators which ended with six bookings. Red cards rather than yellow appeared imminent after a two-footed lunge by Jordão on Alex Rae after 25 minutes led to a centre circle maul involving all but five players. Thankfully, the match simmered rather than boiled thereafter.
For all Jones' defiance, his counterpart, Gary Megson, had more obvious reason yesterday to be confident about the rest of the season. "Every one of my players was fantastic,'' Megson said. "When we last came here we lost 3-1 and we were just awful. What we did today was near enough the complete opposite of that.''
Goal: Jordão (58) 0-1.
Wolverhampton Wanderers (4-4-2): Oakes; Connelly, Lescott, Butler, Naylor; Newton, Rae, Cameron, Kennedy; Sturridge, Blake (Roussel, 60). Substitutes not used: Robinson, Pollet, Camara, Murray (gk).
West Bromwich Albion (3-5-2): Hoult; Sigurdsson, Moore, Gilchrist; Balis, A Chambers, McInnes, Jordão, Clement; Dobie, Dichio. Substitutes not used: Adamson (gk), Fox, Lyttle, Cummings, Butler.
Referee: G Cain (Bootle).
Bookings: Wolves: Blake, Butler, Newton, Lescott, Rae. West Bromwich: Jordão.
Man of the match: Dichio.
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