Championship
Wolves2Derby0

Wolverhampton Wanderers 2-0 Derby County

Tomasz Kuszczak
Former Manchester United goalkeeper Tomasz Kuszczak made a string of saves for Wolves

Wolves moved into the Championship play-off scramble with two second-half goals to beat promotion rivals Derby County.

After Tom Ince had hit the bar in a first-half shaded by the Rams, Wolves struck through Nouha Dicko three minutes after the restart.

Rams keeper Lee Grant's own goal then sealed Wolves' rise to seventh, level on points with sixth-place Brentford.

Derby remain fifth after their winless run stretched to six matches.

Although they were denied by a succession of saves in both halves from Wolves keeper Tomasz Kuszczak, Derby could not find a way through, leaving Steve McClaren's one-time promotion favourites just two points better off than Kenny Jackett's Wolves.

Table toppers
Both Derby and Wolves have topped the Championship table this season, although the time spent on top by Steve McClaren's Rams at various times accounts for a lot longer. By comparison, Wolves's time at the top, after the 0-0 lunchtime draw with Birmingham City on 1 November, lasted just two hours

Apart from one menacing run to the bye line by Bakary Sako, Wolves's promising start in front of a near capacity crowd had rather lost its way by the break.

Derby four times went close, with Ince, son of former Wolves skipper Paul, being denied first by the bar, then by home keeper Kuszczak, who also made full-length saves to block Jesse Lingard and Craig Bryson.

There was also a moment of contention when Darren Bent went down easily following a brush with Danny Batth on the edge of the box but, although referee Keith Stroud gave a free-kick, he chose not to punish the Wolves player.

Derby's growing authority vanished just three minutes into the second half when visiting left-back Craig Forsyth's loose pass triggered the opening goal.

Kevin McDonald fed Dicko and, after appearing to take the ball a little too wide, he turned to drill a left-foot shot which took a deflection off Cyrus Christie and Richard Keogh on its way in.

Benik Afobe might have made it two with a powerful right-foot shot which hit the bar before Wolves' opponents somehow engineered a scrappy second for their hosts

Richard Keogh's clearance span wickedly high up into the air and, with Batth making a nuisance of himself at the near post, Grant was sufficiently distracted to flap the viciously spinning ball into his own net.

Wolves head coach Kenny Jackett told BBC Sport:

"At times we rode our luck. Derby are an excellent team, but we did well to overcome them.

"After beating us five earlier in the season, it looked like there was a chasm between us, but for us to now be only two points behind them is an excellent achievement.

"We've got goals in us and we cause problems for opposition defences. But it was still important to make the substitutions we did and get Dave Edwards on in midfield.

"We're still in with a good shout of taking one of those three promotion places. Once again, the Easter weekend looks like it's going to prove vital."

Derby County manager Steve McClaren told BBC Sport:

Media playback is not supported on this device

McClaren on Wolves v Derby

"We've set standards at this football club in trying to be humble about accepting refereeing decisions. Tonight that was tested to the limit. It was difficult to take.

"This time the referee was totally wrong and, when he comes to look at the video, he'll realise that he made a mistake.

"Unbelievably, the player did not get a yellow card, never mind a red card, we did not get the goal, and it changed the game, so it was a triple whammy.

"You get what you deserve in the end in this game. We play the best football. And I'm sure we'll bounce back from this. There's a long way to go."

Line-ups

Wolves

  • 29Kuszczak
  • 2Doherty
  • 6Batth
  • 5Stearman
  • 3Golbourne
  • 7HenrySubstituted forvan La Parraat 68'minutes
  • 11McDonald
  • 19Price
  • 10Sako
  • 12AfobeSubstituted forDoyleat 90'minutes
  • 40DickoSubstituted forEdwardsat 65'minutes

Substitutes

  • 4Edwards
  • 13McCarey
  • 16Doyle
  • 17van La Parra
  • 23Ebanks-Landell
  • 30Hause
  • 33Iorfa

Derby

  • 1Grant
  • 2ChristieBooked at 45mins
  • 6Keogh
  • 36Albentosa
  • 3Forsyth
  • 19Hughes
  • 4Bryson
  • 11RussellSubstituted forDawkinsat 70'minutes
  • 23Ince
  • 16Lingard
  • 39Bent

Substitutes

  • 7Dawkins
  • 10Ward
  • 21Roos
  • 26Hanson
  • 29Thomas
  • 32Shotton
  • 37Warnock
Referee:
Keith Stroud
Attendance:
27,480

Match Stats

Home TeamWolvesAway TeamDerby
Possession
Home40%
Away60%
Shots
Home10
Away19
Shots on Target
Home3
Away8
Corners
Home4
Away4
Fouls
Home10
Away9

Live Text

Match ends, Wolverhampton Wanderers 2, Derby County 0.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Wolverhampton Wanderers 2, Derby County 0.

Attempt missed. Bakary Sako (Wolverhampton Wanderers) right footed shot from the centre of the box is too high.

Corner, Wolverhampton Wanderers. Conceded by Simon Dawkins.

Foul by Craig Forsyth (Derby County).

Rajiv van La Parra (Wolverhampton Wanderers) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Substitution

Substitution, Wolverhampton Wanderers. Kevin Doyle replaces Benik Afobe.

Foul by Simon Dawkins (Derby County).

Matt Doherty (Wolverhampton Wanderers) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Attempt blocked. Darren Bent (Derby County) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Simon Dawkins.

Attempt blocked. Will Hughes (Derby County) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Craig Forsyth with a headed pass.

Offside, Wolverhampton Wanderers. Danny Batth tries a through ball, but Benik Afobe is caught offside.

Will Hughes (Derby County) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Rajiv van La Parra (Wolverhampton Wanderers).

Attempt saved. Jesse Lingard (Derby County) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Cyrus Christie.

Foul by Raúl Albentosa (Derby County).

Benik Afobe (Wolverhampton Wanderers) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Will Hughes (Derby County).

Bakary Sako (Wolverhampton Wanderers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Attempt saved. Simon Dawkins (Derby County) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top right corner. Assisted by Cyrus Christie.

Offside, Derby County. Cyrus Christie tries a through ball, but Raúl Albentosa is caught offside.

Jesse Lingard (Derby County) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Rajiv van La Parra (Wolverhampton Wanderers).

Simon Dawkins (Derby County) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Rajiv van La Parra (Wolverhampton Wanderers).

Attempt missed. Darren Bent (Derby County) header from a difficult angle on the left misses to the left. Assisted by Craig Bryson with a cross following a corner.

Corner, Derby County. Conceded by Matt Doherty.

Attempt saved. Jesse Lingard (Derby County) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Simon Dawkins.

Foul by Simon Dawkins (Derby County).

Matt Doherty (Wolverhampton Wanderers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Substitution

Substitution, Derby County. Simon Dawkins replaces Johnny Russell.

Goal!

Own Goal by Lee Grant, Derby County. Wolverhampton Wanderers 2, Derby County 0.

Foul by Craig Forsyth (Derby County).

Rajiv van La Parra (Wolverhampton Wanderers) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Substitution

Substitution, Wolverhampton Wanderers. Rajiv van La Parra replaces James Henry.

Jesse Lingard (Derby County) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by James Henry (Wolverhampton Wanderers).

Johnny Russell (Derby County) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Scott Golbourne (Wolverhampton Wanderers).

Substitution

Substitution, Wolverhampton Wanderers. Dave Edwards replaces Nouha Dicko.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Watford382261078453372
2Middlesbrough38219859273272
3Bournemouth382010879403970
4Norwich381910973423167
5Derby3919101069432667
6Brentford382051362501265
7Wolves3918111056451165
8Ipswich3818101058431564
9Nottm Forest3815121161511057
10Blackburn381412125149254
11Charlton381215114548-351
12Leeds38149154246-451
13Sheff Wed381214123338-550
14Cardiff381212144650-448
15Birmingham371114124353-1047
16Bolton38128184556-1144
17Huddersfield381111164865-1744
18Reading37128174058-1844
19Brighton38915144246-442
20Rotherham38913163857-1940
21Fulham38117204868-2040
22Wigan38810203451-1734
23Millwall38711203162-3132
24Blackpool38410242977-4822
View full Championship table

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