Wolves stay top of table
Palace denied at Molineux
Last Updated: 16/09/08 10:53pm
Wolves secured a 2-1 win over Crystal Palace at Molineux to ensure they remain top of the Championship.
Sylvan Ebanks-Blake had put Wolves ahead inside the first minute as he turned and fired home.
Palace levelled through Paul Ifill before the the break, but Andy Keogh was on hand to head home the winner just before the hour mark.
Wolves made a dream start by going in front in the first minute when Keogh - moved out to the left wing in place of the injured Matt Jarvis - crossed to David Jones, who laid the ball into the path of Ebanks-Blake and the former Plymouth man gave Julian Speroni no chance.
Speroni just prevented a Michael Kightly cross from going straight in as the home side looked to double their lead, but Wayne Hennessey had to be alert at the other end to keep out Ifill's first-time shot from a well-worked free-kick.
Palace's 17-year-old Kieran Djilali saw his long-range effort go over the top on his first league start before Wolves had a penalty shout turned down when Sam Vokes' shirt appeared to be pulled by Matt Lawrence, but referee Scott Mathieson waved away the appeals.
And Palace drew level after 32 minutes when Djilali dispossessed Neill Collins on the right flank and crossed for Ifill, who controlled the ball before executing a smart finish.
Kightly's shot was blocked by Jose Fonte as Wolves looked to get back in front before the break, before Lawrence got in the way of a long-range effort from the England Under-21 international just after the restart.
The second half lacked much of the impetus of the first, and although a Lawrence foul on Ebanks-Blake briefly stirred the crowd and earned the former Millwall man a yellow card, there was little in the way of goalmouth incident until Wolves scored the goal which put them back in front after 57 minutes.
A well-worked free-kick saw Vokes flick on to Kightly, who crossed for Ebanks-Blake, and although Speroni kept out his effort, he was unable to prevent Keogh from heading home the rebound.
Djilali and Sean Scannell almost linked up to level matters, but Scannell's volley was deflected wide by Richard Stearman when it looked destined for the bottom corner.
Kightly's effort was then saved by Speroni before he went even closer after a fine run but his finish was just off target.
Wolves appeared happy to settle for a 2-1 win and Palace threw on Leandre Griffit and Simon Thomas in a bid to draw level, but it was the impressive Kightly who was closest to the game's fourth goal as the visitors became vulnerable on the break.
And Ebanks-Blake and Keogh also had late chances to extend the lead, and although Nick Carle blazed a shot over, Mick McCarthy's men held on for the win to maintain their best start to a season for 16 years.
Sky Bet Championship
Tue 16th Sep
Bristol C1 - 2Birmingham
Doncaster0 - 1Charlton
Swansea1 - 1Derby
Watford1 - 2Plymouth
Sheff Utd1 - 1Coventry
Burnley2 - 0Blackpool
Preston2 - 1N Forest
Barnsley0 - 1Cardiff
Wolves2 - 1C Palace
Reading6 - 0Sheff Wed
Sky Bet Championship
|4||Queens Park Rangers||42||73|
|7||Brighton and Hove Albion||42||64|