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Molineux Stadium (ATT 24,400) 21st August 2012 - Kick off 19:45 Ref: P Gibbs

Wolves Wolverhampton Wanderers vs Barnsley Barnsley

Wolves 3

S Ward (8)
S Ebanks-Blake (61)
D Edwards (70)

ft

Barnsley 1

T Cywka (79)

First Wolves win for Solbakken

Last Updated: 21/08/12 10:40pm

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Ward: Celebrates Wolves' opener

Ward: Celebrates Wolves' opener

Much-improved Wolves finally got their Championship campaign up and running with a deserved 3-1 home victory over Barnsley on Tuesday.

The Black Country club have endured a difficult summer following relegation from the top flight and speculation still continues to surround the futures of several players, most notably wantaway striker Steven Fletcher and winger Matt Jarvis.

But after an unconvincing cup victory over Aldershot on penalties and defeat to Leeds at the weekend, there was finally some welcome cheer at Molineux as boss Stale Solbakken celebrated his first league win at the helm and Wolves' first on home soil in 2012.

It was only Wanderers' second league victory of any kind since early December, highlighting why Solbakken was so desperately keen to shake off the losing mentality that dogged the club over the latter part of last season.

Stephen Ward broke the deadlock with only eight minutes on the clock before Sylvan Ebanks-Blake added a second just after the hour mark and Dave Edwards headed a third.

Tomasz Cywka pulled one back for the Tykes but it was Wolves' night as they recorded a seventh successive home win over their South Yorkshire visitors.

Solbakken made two changes from Saturday's 1-0 defeat at Leeds.

Transfer-listed defender Christophe Berra returned - minus the majority of the boos which accompanied his Capital One Cup performance against the Shots - while midfielder Slawomir Peszko was also handed his first start.

Barnsley also made two alterations from the XI who saw off Middlesbrough 1-0 at the weekend, Bobby Hassell and Kelvin Etuhu coming in for injured pair John Stones and Matty Done.

But the visitors found themselves behind early on.

Tykes goalkeeper David Gonzalez saved from Roger Johnson's eighth-minute header but the Colombian was beaten just 30 seconds later as Ward was sent clear by Ebanks-Blake and finished coolly.

Craig Davies and Ebanks-Blake exchanged efforts off target at either end amid a lively opening quarter.

And it was the home side who started to strengthen their grip on proceedings as the first half wore on, putting together plenty of neat approach play although Ward and skipper Karl Henry failed to trouble Gonzalez.

Johnson blocked well from Cywka as Barnsley enjoyed a spell of pressure while Kevin Doyle brought another save from Gonzalez.

Jacob Mellis then drilled narrowly wide of Carl Ikeme's goal as Wolves took a deserved lead into the interval, with Solbakken's only disappointment probably that his side were not more than one goal to the good.

Marlon Harewood whistled an effort wide at the start of the second half but it was Wolves who did double their advantage in the 61st minute.

Ebanks-Blake, in plenty of space, received the ball in the middle of the penalty area and beat Gonzalez with a well-taken finish into the bottom corner.

And it was soon 3-0 as Jarvis' cross was met by the head of the onrushing Edwards and he buried the ball home.

Cywka pulled one back for Barnsley with 12 minutes remaining, converting Etuhu's cross from the right, but the game was already wrapped up.

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Sky Bet Championship

Sky Bet Championship
Pos Team P Pts
1 Bournemouth 39 73
2 Watford 39 72
3 Middlesbrough 39 72
4 Norwich City 39 70
5 Derby County 39 67
6 Ipswich Town 39 67
7 Brentford 39 66
8 Wolverhampton Wanderers 39 65
9 Nottingham Forest 39 57
10 Blackburn Rovers 39 54
11 Charlton Athletic 39 54
12 Sheffield Wednesday 39 53
13 Leeds United 39 52
14 Cardiff City 39 51
15 Birmingham City 38 47
16 Brighton and Hove Albion 39 45
17 Bolton Wanderers 39 45
18 Huddersfield Town 39 44
19 Reading 38 44
20 Fulham 39 43
21 Rotherham United 39 40
22 Wigan Athletic 39 35
23 Millwall 39 33
24 Blackpool 39 23