Ndah and Miller put bite into Wolves' campaign

Wolverhampton Wanderers 4 Leicester City 1

Jon Culley
Sunday 26 January 2003 01:00
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Restricted to only light training after a week of rest and treatment, striker George Ndah made his presence count where it mattered as Wolves took time off from the First Division race to reveal a sharp appetite for Cup glory in a comprehensive thumping of their promotion rivals.

A hero three weeks ago when his winning goal saw off Newcastle in the third round, Ndah scored twice and set up one of co-striker Kenny Miller's two goals as Wolves booked their place in the last 16 for the first time in five years. Leicester may be second in the Nationwide League to their opponents' eighth, but there was a wide gulf in the standards to which they performed yesterday.

"George had been struggling with a tight hamstring, but he showed a bit of the mental toughness he needs in being determined to play,'' the Wolves manager, David Jones, said. "He has had a lot of injuries, and having been out with long-term problems in the past he worries about every niggle. I am delighted for him today, he is starting to show the form that persuaded the previous manager here to buy him.''

Leicester's manager, Micky Adams, admitted his team "were not at the races'' in a second half dominated by the home side, but they ought to have made more of their chances before the break. In the end, it needed a contentious penalty to keep them in it – after Ndah had drawn first blood with a terrific individual effort before restoring his side's lead moments before half-time.

Embarking on a long, weaving run from the left flank as Leicester defenders stood off him, the tall centre-forward opened the afternoon's drama in eye-catching style, finishing his run with a left side-foot shot from the centre of the penalty area.

Leicester repeatedly threatened to claim an equaliser – two chances falling to Paul Dickov and Alan Rogers swerving a free-kick a whisker wide – before Joleon Lescott's foul on Dickov sparked a furore and led referee Mike Dean to point to the spot. The home crowd were convinced the diminutive forward had made the most of minimal contact but, with the defender's arms around him, he was certainly impeded. The little Scot followed through to score the goal.

However, Ndah scored again in the first half of stoppage time. Six minutes earlier he should have restored Wolves' lead, shooting into the side-netting, but that error was forgotten when he rose to head home Denis Irwin's free-kick.

Wolves were in front because they had produced the better finishing, a difference confirmed when Miller clinically put away their third goal five minutes into the second half. Ndah was the creator this time, determinedly winning the ball on the right and supplying a perfect defence-breaching pass into the path of Miller, who skipped wide of Ian Walker and slotted the ball home from a narrow angle.

Feeling his hamstring again, the former Crystal Palace striker then retired to a grateful Molineux ovation. By then Wolves looked the hungrier team and sensed they had at least one foot in the fifth round as the visitors had run out of ideas.

Miller added a fourth 19 minutes from the end, following in after his own attempt had been parried by Walker.

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