Wolves march on at top
Ebanks-Blake does it again for leaders
Last Updated: 07/03/09 5:53pm
Ebanks-Blake: Early winner
Sylvan Ebanks-Blake scored his 23rd goal of the season as Wolves maintained their lead at the top of the table with a 1-0 win at Sheffield Wednesday.
England Under 21 international Ebanks-Blake struck after just five minutes at Hillsborough as he headed home Michael Kightly's cross.
Jermaine Johnson wasted the Owls' best chance of the game as Wolves stood firm to record a 1-0 away success for the second time this week.
Having beaten Crystal Palace in midweek to end a poor run, Wolves appear to be back in form as they bid to keep Birmingham at bay.
They needed only five minutes to find the net as Ebanks-Blake got in front of Richard Hinds to meet Kightly's left-footed cross and head in at the far post.
Wednesday were struggling to create anything in the early stages, but Wolves defender Jody Craddock - restored to the captaincy in the absence of Karl Henry - did well to stop the run of Leon Clarke as he raced in on goal.
Wolves would have been two up in the 15th minute were it not for Lee Grant, who made a good close-range block at the near post as Kightly met Ebanks-Blake's cross.
The visitors continued to look dangerous and George Friend headed just wide as he ran in to meet Dave Edwards' cross from the right. Edwards, who passed a fitness test on a thigh injury to play, lashed just wide with a shot from the edge of the area just before the half-hour mark.
At the other end, Johnson was responsible for a woeful miss as Wednesday went on the counter-attack. Breaking from a Wolves corner, Johnson ran from the halfway line but after beating two defenders, he fired a poor effort way over the bar with only Wayne Hennessey to beat.
Wolves again went close eight minutes before the break as Ebanks-Blake raced on to a long ball before seeing his shot deflected on to the roof of the net by a relieved Hinds.
Chances were few and far between in the second half, and more than 20 minutes had passed before Wednesday boss Brian Laws decided he had seen enough and sent on Akpo Sodje - making his long-awaited return from injury - to try and change the game.
The first meaningful chance of the half for either team came in the 77th minute when Marcus Tudgay ran on to Grant's long ball and pulled back a cross for Johnson, who kept his shot low but did not have the power to beat Hennessey.
When Kightly hobbled off with six minutes to go, Mick McCarthy sent on Richard Stearman as Wolves looked to shut up shop for the afternoon.
They almost killed the game for good moments later as Grant could only head clear on the edge of his area and Tommy Spurr had to block Andy Keogh's follow-up shot, but the visitors had already done enough.
Sky Bet Championship
Sat 7th Mar
Derby2 - 1Bristol C
N Forest1 - 1Swansea
Blackpool2 - 0Norwich
Birmingham1 - 0Southampton
Plymouth2 - 2Reading
Charlton2 - 3Watford
Sheff Wed0 - 1Wolves
QPR0 - 0Sheff Utd
C Palace2 - 1Preston
Cardiff3 - 0Doncaster
Sky Bet Championship
|4||Queens Park Rangers||42||73|
|7||Brighton and Hove Albion||42||64|