Trending now:   Manchester United  •  Arsenal  •  Liverpool  •  Chelsea  •  Tottenham Hotspur  •  Manchester City  •  Borussia Dortmund  •  Barcelona  •  Juventus  •  Real Madrid

Wolverhampton Wanderers

Teams /  England  / Wolverhampton Wanderers 
Wolverhampton Wanderers have 262 fans
 
 
 
 
 
Sylvan Ebanks-Blake strikes late to give Wolves win over Sunderland
Russell Kempson at Molineux - 5 years ago

It is always difficult to tell what sort of mood Mick McCarthy is in, such is his all-year-round gruff manner, but the beleaguered Wolverhampton Wanderers manager at least wore the hint of smile – just – after his side had ended a run of four successive defeats.

McCarthy had had to endure a fraught week, with injuries continuing to ravage his squad and the "Numpties" – his words – again calling for his head on radio call-ins and internet forums. And at 2-1 down Wolves were heading for the bottom of the table. How the Numpties would have had a field day.

But Wolves turned up the heat in the refridgerator that was Molineux, exactly when it was needed, with late goals from Stephen Hunt, his first for the club, and Sylvan Ebanks-Blake securing only their third league win of the season. Hunt and Ebanks-Blake proved to be inspired substitutions.

"Great manager, eh?" McCarthy joked. "If the substitutions hadn't worked, I'd have been the Numpty. It was a real conflict of emotions, though. They were up and down like a fiddler's elbow. The fans here, those out there, not the Numpties, were absolutely brilliant for us. At 2-1 down, they could have had a right old go."

On the first-half evidence, Wolves were barely worth a win. But at least they avoided conceding a goal in the opening three minutes for a fourth consecutive match. They were thankful, too, when a fierce Kieran Richardson free-kick struck a post, and extremely grateful when Kevin Foley put them ahead after a Matt Jarvis shot had been parried by Craig Gordon.

At last, Sunderland awoke. "That kicked us into life," Steve Bruce, their manager, observed. Darren Bent rattled in his seventh league goal of the season and Danny Welbeck nodded in a Phil Bardsley cross. Their impressive unbeaten run, including the stunning 3-0 victory away to Chelsea, was about to be extended to five matches.

Not so. The Sunderland defence imploded, unable to cope without Michael Turner and Titus Bramble, their injured centre-backs. "If we defend like that, then it's going to be a tough winter for us again," Bruce said. "Individual mistakes cost us the game. We were nowhere near the standard we require."

Hunt scampered on in his own inimitable crabby style to tuck in the leveller from close range, after Gordon had parried George Elokobi's header, and then Ebanks-Blake applied the gloss finish to another swift Wolves counterattack.

McCarthy: grumpy waster or tactical genius? Perhaps the phone-in freaks and internet geeks will have been humbly eating their words last night.

THE FANS' PLAYER RATINGS AND VERDICT TIM SPIERS, Observer reader With 10 minutes to go we were staring at another defeat, but the character, team spirit and determination McCarthy has instilled into the team pulled us through. We've been playing well recently, but have been unlucky and I really hope this win will be the springboard to propel us up the league. Our next four games are all winnable, so it's essential that we replicate all the qualities that were shown in this game over the coming weeks. It was a fantastic finish from Ebanks-Blake, and a smart move to bring Hunt on from the bench. Mancienne played well acting as cover for Henry.

The fan's player ratings Hennessey 7; Zubar 9, Stearman 5, Elokobi 8, Ward 7; Mancienne 7 (Ebanks-Blake 80 7); Foley 7, Milijas 8, Jones 6 (Hunt 63 7), Jarvis 8; Doyle 7

PETE SIXSMITH, SalutSunderland.com With 15 minutes to go we were 2-1 up and looked very comfortable. Two good goals from Bent and Wellbeck meant Wolves were all over the place, and I could only see us winning the game. But we went to sleep and gave them the space to score two late goals and take the points. The first half was dyer but it improved after the introduction of Gyan who gave us a lot more fizz up front, and once we scored it didn't look they were get themselves back in the game. However we imploded once Mensah had left the pitch We must play better than this to stay in the top eight.

The fan's player ratings Gordon 7; Onuoha 7, Mensah 7 (Elmohamady 82 n/a), Ferdinand 8, Bardsley 8; Zenden 6 (Gyan 56 6), Henderson 6 (Malbranque 56 6), Cattermole 7, Richardson 4; Bent 6, Welbeck 7

To take part in the Fans' Verdict, email sport@observer.co.uk

This is not a news report and may contain views expressed by the author which are not supported by GNM.

Share your thoughts

Latest News, Blogs & Podcasts

Newspapers
 
Blogs
 
Podcasts
 
Wolves midfielder Kevin McDonald has completed a £1.25m to Fulham on a three-year deal.
Wolves are the latest European club to be taken over by the Chinese. It’s unlikely they will be the last as the nation targets world domination.
After a monumental 24 hours at Wolves, Matt Maher assesses the future of the club under the new Chinese owners.
We take a look at who Wolves' new owners Fosun are and how they compare to fellow football mega-bucks owners.
Wolves today began a new era under Chinese owners after one of the most dramatic days in the club’s history.
Outgoing chief executive Jez Moxey is set to move to Championship rivals Norwich after overseeing Wolves' transition to the new owners, according to reports.
Follow all the latest breaking news today from our sports reporters and our clubs.
"I remember the days when Wolves were the greatest club in the land and, although times have changed, we are going to do our best to take Wolves back to where they were."
Kenny Jackett remains in limbo at Wolves with his future at the club yet to be clarified after a £30 million takeover deal was completed yesterday.
Steve Morgan's time at Wolves is now officially over - here we look back at his nine years at the club in pictures.
• Group has links with super-agent Jorge Mendes• Future of manager Kenny Jackett in doubtWolves have been taken over for £45m by a Chinese group, Fosun International, the club has announced.The C ...
Wolves have cause to celebrate after their takeover was completed. Chinese group Fosun International has completed their £45 million takeover of Wolverhampton Wanderers, the club have announc ...
As Wolves confirmed its sale today, former Chairman STEVE MORGAN penned this letter to fans.
The Wolves takeover deal has been done, according to a law firm advising on the takeover.
Wolves chief executive Jez Moxey's 16 years of service are to come to an end after the club's takeover today - but if might not be for up to three months.
Julen Lopetegui has been confirmed as the new manager of Spain - ending speculation he is about to replace head coach Kenny Jackett at Wolves.
Wolves' sale to Chinese billionaires is complete coming up to the 30th anniversary that the club's first foreign takeover nearly caused its demise.
Wolves boss Kenny Jackett has NOT yet been sacked - but is likely to be axed within 48 hours.
With a Wolves takeover just hours from confirmation, we took to the streets of Wolverhampton to get reaction from fans.
   
Kick4Life - changing lives through football