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18 April 2015

Town stay in control of Play-Off place with honours even at Molineux

Christophe Berra was the star of the show as Town maintained a grip on the Play-Off places with a point against Wolves. 

The defender, making his first return to Molineux since leaving in the summer of 2013, came to Town’s rescue on three occasions as Wolves pressed for the win that would take them level with Blues. 

Former Town loanee Richard Stearman gave Mick McCarthy’s side a 23rd minute lead with an own goal but Wolves levelled early in the second-half through Benik Afobe. 

Wolves surged forward looking for that crucial second goal but Town held on, inspired by Berra, to remain in pole position for a top six place. 

Town made one change from the side that beat Cardiff in midweek, Stephen Hunt having to settle for a place on the bench against his former club, Jay Tabb coming in. 

Daryl Murphy sent an effort wide of the far post inside the first few minutes, while at the other end Bart Bialkowski held on safely to Dominic Iorfa’s cross.

Bakary Sako’s cross was prodded back to the Town ‘keeper to clear by Berra. The Scotland international came to Town’s rescue again to stop the pacy Nouha Dicko getting in, then cleared the danger from the Wolves striker.

Berra tracked the run from Dicko as Wolves pressed for an opener, Tommy Smith then in the right place to clear from Rajiv van La Parra. 

The New Zealand international was centre stage at the other end moments later, Teddy Bishop sent in a corner and the defender challenged with Stearman, the ball coming off the Wolves defender before finding the net. 

Dicko headed over as Wolves responded, the home side switching off at the other end from another corner, Murphy and Tyrone Mings almost capitalising. 

Berra stood firm yet again to cancel out Dicko’s shot after the frontman surged into the box, Dave Edwards denied by the post as Blues held on to the lead at the break. 

Dicko headed wide from a free-kick in the first minute of the second-half but Wolves were level soon after, Afobe forcing the ball in from close range after Dicko’s shot had been half blocked. 

Freddie Sears exploded a right footer from 30 yards at Carl Ikeme before Wolves introduced James Henry for van La Parra just past the hour, Paul Anderson on for Jonathan Parr in Town’s first change. 

Berra did enough to stop Afobe getting in on goal, then blocked Dicko’s cross as Wolves forced the pace. Sears countering for Blues with a left foot effort wide. 

Hunt replaced Teddy Bishop in Blues’ second change, the Republic of Ireland international given a warm reception on his return to the club where he spent three years. 

Berra was immaculate again with a goal saving tackle on Dicko 12 yards out, Smith then doing equally well as the Wolves dangerman looked to get on the end of Ikeme’s kick into Town’s box.

Chris Wood replaced Sears for the closing stages and the Leicester loanee was a yard wide from making an instant impact with a right foot curler.

Dicko almost got on the end of Kevin McDonald’s shot in the final minute and with it went Wolves’ hopes of that winner. 

Wolves: Ikeme; Iorfa, Batth, Stearman, Golbourne; van La Parra (Henry 64), McDonald, Edwards, Sako; Afobe, Dicko. Subs not used: McCarey, Doherty, Doyle, Price, Ebanks-Landell, Jacobs. Booked: Dicho.

Town: Bialkowski, Chambers, Smith, Berra, Mings, Skuse, Tabb, Parr (Anderson 65), Bishop (S.Hunt 73), Sears (Wood 81), Murphy. Subs not used: Gerken, Clarke, Chaplow, Williams. Booked: Parr, Tabb. 
Att: 23, 409



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