Sunday, April 25, 2010

Sylvan Ebanks-Blake's late header gave Wolves a crucial point

- Ebanks-Blake 81

- Nelsen 28

**Wolves virtually guaranteed Premier League safety after Sylvan Ebanks-Blake's late header gave Wolves a point at home to Blackburn.
Mick McCarthy's Wolves side moved tantalisingly close to Premier League safety after substitute Sylvan Ebanks-Blake came off the bench to score a late equaliser against Blackburn.

Wolves were the Premier League's lowest scorers coming into this match and once Ryan Nelsen had given Blackburn a first half lead it looked an uphill struggle for them to find a way back into the game.

However, with just nine minutes remaining Ebanks-Blake came off the bench to score within minutes of coming on to earn his side a point and leave them sitting comfortably on 35 points with just two games remaining.

Hull's defeat at home to Sunderland means that only Burnley can now condemn them to relegation from the top flight, but they will confirm their relegation if they fail to defeat Liverpool on Sunday afternoon.

The home side started the game brightly, keen to follow up on their manager's statement that they were likely to need all three points from the game and they were the first to create a chance at goal.

The ball was played into the area for David Edwards. It looked as though he may have had a chance to head at goal himself, but he opted instead to head back across the goal towards Kevin Doyle, but the ball went just behind the Irishman and Blackburn survived the danger.

Blackburn then started to find their feet in the game and started to edge the action. Nikola Kalinic had the best chance for the visitors just a minute later and he came within inches of opening the scoring. Martin Olsson crossed for Kalinic who rose with a fantastic header, but with Marcus Hahnemann beaten the ball went wide off the outside of the post.

Blackburn got themselves in front after 28 minutes and it was from the unlikely source of Ryan Nelsen. Rovers won a corner which was taken by Morten Gamst Pedersen. Hahnemann couldn't get to the cross and Nelsen shook off the attentions of Jody Craddock at the far post to divert home from close range.

The goal seemed to spark Wolves into life as they pressed immediately for an equaliser. Blackburn, however, seemed content to sit on their lead in the hope that the league's lowest scorers were unable to break them down.

Wolves did exert some pressure on the Blackburn goal, but for the most part it looked as though Sam Allardyce's men were going to comfortably hold onto their lead and take the points.

David Jones had a free-kick which was scrambled wide by Paul Robinson. Just after the interval. Minutes later and Phil Jones was forced to clear after another scramble in the Blackburn goalmouth and substitute Chris Iwelumo just failed to connect cleanly on a strike after Robinson fumbled a long throw-in.

Clear-cut chances for the hosts were still at a premium, however. That was until the introduction of Sylvan Ebanks-Blake with 11 minutes remaining.

With 9 minutes left on the clock the ball was played into the Blackburn area and up jumped Ebanks-Blake to head home wonderfully into the bottom corner off the inside of the post, to send the Molineux fans wild.

All that was now missing from the game was a winning goal and all of a sudden both sides looked to break into attack to claim all three points.

The best chance in the dying minutes fell to Blackburn, but they were denied by the upright again. Two of the Rovers substitutes Keith Andrews and Franco di Santo combined in the final minute. Andrews fired a volley at goal, only to see it bounce away off the outside of the post.

The Wolves fans streamed onto the pitch in jubilation at the end of a match which should see Wolves maintain their top flight status.

Source : Clubcall

Squads :

Blackburn: Robinson, Givet, Nelsen, Olsson, Salgado, Jones, Pedersen, Nzonzi, Basturk, Roberts, Kalinic. Subs: Brown, Jacobsen, Dunn. Linganzi, Andrews, Hoilett, Di Santo

Wolverhampton: Hahnemann, Elokobi, Craddock, Ward, Berra, Zubar, Mancienne, Foley, Edwards, Jones, Doyle. Subs: Hennessey, Stearman, Halford, Milijas, Guedioura, Ebanks-Blake, Iwelumo


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