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Match Report


Posted Sun 22 May 11 at 17:56 PM

Report: Wolves 2 Rovers 3

Rovers' first half goal blitz was enough to see them secure their Premier League safety on a dramatic final day.

Goals from Jason Roberts, Brett Emerton and Junior Hoilett put Steve Kean's side in command at Molineux as the home side were blown away by a rampant Rovers.

With relegation looking a distinct possibility the home side hit back in the second half, Jamie O'Hara reducing arrears before Stephen Hunt's curler was enough to secure their status also.

For the first time in a long time, manager Steve Kean was able to name an unchanged starting eleven after Junior Hoilett, Chris Samba and Jermaine Jones all recovered from knocks picked up in the 1-1 draw with Manchester United.

That familiarity paid dividends as Rovers started like a house on fire, Steven Nzonzi, Jermaine Jones and Junior Hoilett all going close inside the first ten minutes.

It was the home side who were showing the nerves from the situation, Paul Robinson having little to do in the opening period.

The only surprise was that it took until 23 minutes for Rovers to take the lead. Brett Emerton making use of the space afforded to him to spread play wide to Junior Hoilett, he teed up Michel Salgado for the shot and Jason Roberts showed awareness to divert the ball home for his second in three outings.

Rovers continued to force the pace, Samba again winning a high ball into the box but Gael Givet couldn't get a clean connection.

Seven minutes before the break Rovers doubled their advantage with a strike of high quality. Paul Robinson's long ball forward was cleared by Jody Craddock only as far as Brett Emerton, the Australian hitting a stunning right foot volley that flew into the top corner.

Two minutes later and Rovers were inches away from making it three. Twisting and turning Junior Hoilett advanced into the area, but his effort across goal was tipped just past the post by Wayne Hennessey.

But two minutes into added on time at the end of the half the 3000 Rovers fans were in dreamland. Again Paul Robinson sent the ball long, Jason Roberts flicked onto Hoilett and he cut inside Elokobi to lash the ball home to make it 3-0 at the break.

Scorelines elsewhere meant that Wolves were in the bottom three at the start of the second half, Mick McCarthy sending on Sylvain Ebanks-Blake for Michael Mancienne. A striker for a defender.

Almost immediately Wolves had a greater threat, Stephen Hunt heading over Matt Jarvis' centre, whilst Ebanks-Blake fired over when well placed.

But Rovers weren't resting on their laurels, on 56 Jason Roberts could have grabbed his second of the afternoon, latching onto Brett Emerton's cross to turn past Foley but his effort was weak and easily saved.

Then on the hour mark Jason Roberts had strong claims for a penalty when he was brought down in the area by Ward. Howard Webb was unmoved, had the scoreline been 0-0 he may have had a different opinion.

With 17 minutes to go Molineux was suddenly in hope once again, a well worked free-kick saw Hunt square the ball for Jamie O'Hara who fired low through the crowd into the corner of the net to make it 3-1.

Suddenly it was all Wolves, Paul Robinson superbly denied Fletcher then Phil Jones made a great defensive header to thwart a Jarvis cross. His namesake Jermaine backed that up with an impressive clearance as the home side laid siege.

Elsewhere goals meant that Wolves were back in the bottom three, the home fans chanting "We only need one goal" as the match entered the final five minutes.

That one goal duly arrived to delight the black and gold, Stephen Hunt curling an unstoppable effort into the far top corner with Robinson having no chance.

As the final whistle's started to blow elsewhere it was clear that both Wolves and Rovers were safe, both sides keeping ball until Howard Webb blew to signal an end to the 2010-11 season.

It was an eventful campaign, but one the Rovers players would not like a repeat of.

WOLVES: Hennessey, Elokobi, Craddock, Henry (c) (sub Guedioura 85 mins), Fletcher (sub Berra 90 mins), Ward, Hunt, Jarvis, Mancienne (sub Ebanks-Blake 46 mins), O'Hara, Foley.

Subs: Hahnemann (GK), Stearman, Vokes, Milijas.

ROVERS: Robinson, Salgado, Samba (c), P. Jones, Givet, Emerton, Nzonzi, J. Jones, Olsson, Hoilett (sub Pedersen 80 mins), Robert (sub Diouf 74 mins).

Subs not used: Bunn (GK), Dunn, Andrews, Santa Cruz, Benjani.

Booked: Henry, Craddock, Hunt (Wolves), Samba (Rovers).

Attendance: 29,009

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