December 8, 2012
King's misfortune hands Wolves victory
Marlon King's own goal handed Wolves the derby spoils as they saw off neighbours 1-0 Birmingham at Molineux.
King has bagged 13 goals for City this season, but he found the net at the wrong end in the first half to hand Wanderers their first home win in seven attempts stretching back to late September.
The striker sliced past Jack Butland when attempting to clear Bakary Sako's drilled free-kick at the front post, with Nathan Redmond also guilty of turning his back on the ball as part of a one-man wall.
Wolves put in a much-improved performance after the break and enjoyed several chances to extend their advantage, but profligate finishing and some superb saves from Butland ensured the result hung in the balance until the final whistle.
It was only the second time Wolves have won back-to-back games this season after last weekend's 4-1 triumph at Bristol City, a result which ended a nine-match winless streak.
Birmingham went into the clash also underperforming this term and struggling at the wrong end of the npower Championship table, although it was they who started the better, Paul Caddis seeing his curling effort from 20 yards well parried away by Carl Ikeme.
Bjorn Sigurdarson found the side-netting for the hosts after good work down the left by Sako before Ikeme had to be alert once again to tip over after Roger Johnson and Jonathan Spector tussled to get on the end of Redmond's set-piece.
Blues were certainly posing the greater attacking threat and looking the more lively, but Wolves were steadily coming into the game more as the first half wore on.
Sylvan Ebanks-Blake saw his appeals for a penalty waved away before Kevin Doyle put the ball into the net only to be denied by the assistant's flag.
But Wolves did get the breakthrough just minutes later.
Ebanks-Blake went down easily under a soft challenge from Steven Caldwell right on the byline outside the penalty area. Sako whipped in the resulting free-kick and King could only divert the ball into his own net at the near post when trying to clear.
It was a goal Wolves arguably did not deserve on the overall balance of play in the first half, but that will not have mattered much to under-pressure manager Stale Solbakken.
Wolves have been heavily criticised of late for lethargic second-half performances, but that was certainly not the case tonight.
Sigurdarson found himself clean through almost immediately after the restart only to fire straight at Butland, although the assistant's flag was raised.
Doyle's driving run ended with a shot narrowly wayward of Butland's left-hand post before Sako finished another mazy venture forward with an effort off target as Wanderers dominated.
Stephen Ward brought a solid save out of Butland at his near post, with Curtis Davies deflecting Doyle's shot on to the top of the crossbar from the resulting corner.
Butland then produced a superb instinctive save to keep out Sigurdarson's header from Sako's corner, keeping Blues in the game.
But they could not force a late leveller and Wolves were left celebrating only their third derby success over their local rivals in 15 attempts.
|Wolverhampton Wanderers||Birmingham City|
|Marlon King (og 34')|
|Wolverhampton Wanderers||Birmingham City|
|13 Carl Ikeme||1 Jack Butland|
|14 Roger Johnson||4 Steven Caldwell|
|32 Kevin Foley||30 Paul Robinson|
|16 Christophe Berra||6 Curtis Davies|
|11 Stephen Ward||23 Jonathan Spector|
|8 Karl Henry||28 Paul Caddis|
|10 Bakary Sako||8 Hayden Mullins|
|28 Tongo Hamed Doumbia||15 Wade Elliott|
|29 Kevin Doyle||22 Nathan Redmond|
|9 Sylvan Ebanks-Blake||9 Marlon King|
|15 Bjorn Sigurdarson||29 Robert Hall|
|31 Dorus De Vries||Colin Doyle 13|
|5 Richard Stearman||Mitch Hancox 27|
|25 Danny Batth||Will Packwood 24|
|20 Jermaine Pennant||Papa Bouba Diop 32|
|26 David Davis||Chris Burke 7|
|27 Anthony Forde||Ravel Morrison 12|
|18 Frank Nouble||Peter Lovenkrands 11|
|David Davis for Tongo Hamed Doumbia (74)||Ravel Morrison for Jonathan Spector (46)|
|Jermaine Pennant for Sylvan Ebanks-Blake (84)||Peter Lovenkrands for Nathan Redmond (72)|
|Chris Burke for Robert Hall (80)|
|Roger Johnson (43)||Paul Robinson (44)|
|Hayden Mullins (86)|
|· Squads: Wolverhampton Wanderers | Birmingham City|