Wolves out of bottom three
West Brom made to pay for defensive mistakes
By Graeme Bailey - Follow me on Twitter @graemebailey. Last Updated: 09/05/11 9:28pm
Wolves claimed bragging rights in the Black Country as they beat West Brom 3-1, but more importantly claimed the three points which moves them out of the bottom three.
The victory came off the back of two first-half goals which both arrived from Stephen Hunt corners.
The first saw Steven Fletcher slam home from close range after Adlene Guedioura chested the ball down.
Then not long after Fletcher returned the compliment as he headed the ball back across goal for Guedioura to volley home.
Wolves made it 3-0 just moments into the second period when Fletcher latched onto a defensive error from Abdoulaye Meite and finished with great aplomb.
Peter Odemwingie converted a penalty just before the hour, and West Brom did have chances to get further back into the game - but Wolves managed to hang on and claim a precious victory.
The three points takes Mick McCarthy's men out of the drop zone, one point above Blackpool.
Albion looked to be suffering a hangover after securing their own top-flight future for another season and were pulled apart defensively.
Wolves started on the offensive and Scott Carson was forced to turn aside a free-kick from Jamie O'Hara.
But from the corner Fletcher put Wolves ahead with his 10th goal of the season - and his third in the last four games.
Hunt's centre was flicked on by Guedioura inside the six-yard box and Fletcher applied the finishing touch.
Guedioura came close to doubling the lead when his free-kick curled just over the bar.
It came as no surprise when Wolves doubled their lead after 27 minutes with a goal similar in build-up to the opener.
Hunt's corner was headed back across goal by Fletcher and the unmarked Guedioura volleyed past the exposed Carson from close range.
The visitors were conceding a stream of free-kicks and George Elokobi headed over the bar from an O'Hara ball across the box.
A low cross from Stephen Ward just eluded the run of Hunt as West Brom were again carved open at the back.
Fletcher was causing constant problems in the air and he headed just wide from an O'Hara corner.
Peter Odemwingie could have pulled one back in first half injury-time but drilled his shot wide of the far post after skipping past two players.
But Wolves extended their lead two minutes into the second period after a mistake by Meite.
The Baggies defender looked to have covered a through ball from Kevin Foley.
But he allowed the ball to slip under his foot and left Fletcher with a clear run at goal and he kept his cool before clipping the ball past Carson into the corner of the net.
Hennessey dealt with a shot from Jerome Thomas at the second attempt while a deflected attempt from Guedioura flew past the post.
But after 54 minutes Odemwingie gave the Baggies a ray of hope from the penalty spot.
Guedioura was adjudged to have brought down Thomas - he was yellow carded for the offence - and Odemwingie planted the spot-kick into the corner of the net.
It was his 15th goal of the campaign and means he has been on target in five successive Premier League games.
Albion still looked suspect in dealing with set-pieces and Shorey cleared a goal-bound flick by Henry from a Hunt corner.
Albion were looking more threatening and Hennessey produced a fine save to keep out a volley from Morrison away to his right.
Then Thomas hammered his shot against the crossbar after seizing onto a pass from Tchoyi.
The visitors were in the ascendancy and Tchoyi headed over when well placed from Mulumbu's cross.
Albion substitute Marc-Antoine Fortune turned past the challenge of Jody Craddock but was slightly off balance when he lofted his shot wide.Ward could have made it 4-1 but pulled his shot wide with only Carson to beat and the Albion keeper then denied Sylvan Ebanks-Blake.
|Wolverhampton Wanderers||Team Statistics||West Bromwich Albion|
|2||1st Half Goals||0|
|7||Shots on Target||4|
|4||Shots off Target||8|
Barclays Premier League
|4||West Ham United||11||18|
|13||West Bromwich Albion||11||13|
|19||Queens Park Rangers||11||8|