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Wolves bite again

A first half goal from David Jones proved enough to secure victory for Wolves at Molineux on Wednesday night.

A first half goal from David Jones proved enough to secure victory for Wolves at Molineux on Wednesday night.

In what could not be described as an inspiring contest on a snowy evening, the fixture did mark the debut of Eidur Gudjohnsen and the second coming of Younes Kaboul, who made his first start since returning from Portsmouth. But the night was not marked with any goals from the team in white shirts, a team which included five changes to the one that began against Aston Villa on Saturday.

Sebastien Bassong, Jermaine Jenas and Niko Kranjcar were added to the mix along with Kaboul and Gudjohnsen.

David Bentley warmed the palms of Marcus Hahnemann in the first minute with a cross shot that the American keeper helped over the bar. Gareth Bale was then not too far off target with a free-kick to the right of the area.

Heurelho Gomes did well to apply a punch to an inswinging Matt Jarvis corner and a massed defence prevented the follow-up shot further troubling the keeper.

The speed of Jermaine Jenas took him deep into Wolves territory after a hopeful prod skywards by Defoe. The midfielder nodded the ball around Hahnemann but his route back to the path of the ball was blocked off.

Niko Kranjcar could have opened the scoring on 20 minutes following clever interchange between Defoe and Eidur Gudjohnsen, but Hahnemann foiled the midfielder with his legs before Kevin Doyle sprung our defences at the other end and burst clear. It took a Michael Dawson lunge to repel the initial danger from a Doyle drive and a slide from Jenas to divert for a corner.

There was no getting away from the danger seven minutes later when nobody picked up the late arriver David Jones, who was in place to steer a precise effort past Gomes first time from a Jarvis cross from the left.

Molineux came to life and the crowd were screaming for a penalty when Doyle came under a challenge from Michael Dawson, with referee Mr Clattenburg waving appeals away. Jarvis then tested Gomes to his near post.

Adiene Guedioura strode through with relative ease before Gomes came off his line to claim as Wolves, galvanised by their goal, cranked up the pressure going into half-time.

Harry made a half-time change in the shape of Wilson Palacios, who was introduced in place of Jenas. Kranjcar zipped a shot into the near post via a deflection in the opening moments following a neat flick from Gudjohnsen as the team attempted to settle into more of a stride than they managed to establish in the first half.

Bale showed great enterprise down the left to conduct a chance for Tom Huddlestone, but the midfielder just lost control at the vital moment.

There was much knocking at the door, but Hahnemann was not nearly being worked enough or close to being so.

Peter Crouch took over from Gudjohnsen just after the hour, but little was happening in terms of goalmouth action or midfield creativity. Cue the arrival of Luka Modric on the scene - Kranjcar withdrawn.

There was plenty of forward-going intent, but Wolves were stubborn and there was not a lot of guile being displayed in attempts to break them down, with Modric and Bale being the exceptions on occasions.

Bentley had the ball in the net with five minutes left but he had already been flagged for offside and Huddlestone drilled our last shooting chance wide in the final minute - much to the delight of the majority of a crowd of 27,992.