Wolves 1-2 Newcastle

By Saj ChowdhuryBBC Sport
Newcastle striker Demba Ba
Ba made it four goals in two games for Newcastle

Newcastle made it their best start to a season in 17 years with victory over Wolves at Molineux.

Demba Ba scored his fourth goal in two games when he headed in Yohan Cabaye's corner at the near post.

Argentine midfielder Jonas Gutierrez added a superb second when he surged past four challenges to fire in low.

Poor decisions cost us - McCarthy

Steven Fletcher headed in for Wolves late on, who were denied a penalty and what appeared to be a legitimate equaliser in stoppage time.

Wolves boss Mick McCarthy will rightly be aggrieved by those two decisions.

The first was made by referee Mark Halsey who judged Steven Taylor's foul on Jamie O'Hara to have been outside the area when it was inside, and the second was made by the assistant referee who deemed Adam Hammill's cross to have gone behind before it was headed back for Kevin Doyle to net.

McCarthy will point to their bad luck but the statistics now show that Wolves have lost four league matches and have claimed one point from a possible 15 - so it may prove to be another difficult season for the Midlands side.

In contrast, the Newcastle juggernaut rolls on.

The Magpies are unbeaten and enjoying their best run since 1994, although few would have thought the class of 2011 would come close to emulating their ancestors.

Alan Pardew's current squad has been put together with a relatively low budget but the resolve and unity within the team is priceless.

Another surprise is that Newcastle have the meanest defence in all four leagues and they did their utmost to preserve the tag at Molineux.

Young Dutch keeper Tim Krul saw his value rocket up with a sensational display.

He dived low to stop O'Hara's free-kick from swinging in before twice saving from Doyle. But his Hollywood moment came in the second half when his double save denied Fletcher and Hammill.

For all of Newcastle's braveheart efforts, Wolves were also guilty of profligacy with Fletcher and Doyle wasting chances when in good positions.

The visitors attacking unit played their part too.

Newcastle were lucky admits Pardew

They looked pacy and powerful in attack and opened the scoring when Ba scored his fourth goal in two games when he headed in Cabaye's corner from the left.

Newcastle extended their advantage seven minutes before half-time when Gutierrez went on a mazy run before slotting in.

Minutes later Wolves were denied a penalty which could have brought them back into the game.

Fletcher did give his side hope with three minutes remaining when he scored from Hammill's cross, but another dubious decision denied them a deserved equaliser.

It was Hammill again who swung the ball to the far post which was nodded back by Matt Jarvis for Doyle to covert. The Wolves players ran away to celebrate only for the party to be halted by the assistant's flag.

Wolves manager Mick McCarthy:

"Bad decisions have cost us, but poor defending has cost us first and foremost.

"When you're having a tough time you need the right decisions to go your way. It doesn't help our cause does it?

"We were wasteful in front of goal and had enough chances in the second half to win the game."

On the decision not to award a penalty: "I spoke to Mark [referee Halsey] and he said he didn't want to guess. It didn't require a guess because it was in the area.

"I could just point fingers at everyone else but we conceded poor goals."

Newcastle manager Alan Pardew:

"We were lucky today. Wolves were very, very good and off the back of two home defeats they weren't going to give in.

"Perhaps deserved a point at the very least. In the first half we showed we had quality in this team and in the second half we showed we had the spirit to hang on.

"We've been better than that and controlled the game much better in other matches. Today we had good fortune and did play well at times."

Live text commentaryexternal-link

Top Stories