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Championship: Sheffield United 1-3 Wolverhampton Wanderers

Discussion in 'News Archive' started by admin, Nov 25, 2008.

  1. admin

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    <div><img alt="" src="http://hits.guardian.co.uk/b/ss/guardiangu-feeds/1/H.15.1/80485?ns=guardian&pageName=Football%3A+Iwelumo+shows+steel+to+settle+Sheffield+battle&ch=Football&c3=The+Guardian&c4=Championship+%28Football%29%2CSheffield+United+%28Football%29%2CWolverhampton+Wanderers+%28Football%29%2CFootball%2CSport&c5=Not+commercially+useful&c6=Richard+Jolly+at+Bramall+Lane&c7=2008_11_25&c8=1124140&c9=article&c10=GU&c11=Football&c12=Championship&c13=&c14=&h2=GU%2FFootball%2FChampionship" width="1" height="1" /></div><p>Mick McCarthy is still hobbling but Wolverhampton Wanderers show no signs of wobbling. While their manager is moving around his technical area on crutches, the legacy of ankle surgery, Wolves are proceeding towards the Premier League at rather greater speed. Overcoming one of their promotion rivals, Sheffield United, means they can equal a club record of eight successive wins by beating another, Birmingham City, on Saturday. The calibre of the finishes from Chris Iwelumo, who scored twice, and Sylvan Ebanks-Blake bodes well for the end of a pivotal week.</p><p>McCarthy has long derived satisfaction from his ability to unearth a bargain but Iwelumo's age - 30 - and status as a Championship player meant he scarcely conformed to his manager's usual criteria. Nonetheless, his &pound;400,000 fee has been swiftly repaid with the target man, infamously inaccurate for Scotland, proving prolific. His 14th goal of the season showed why. Accelerating on to Michael Kightly's pass, Iwelumo evaded Sheffield United's two central defenders, took the ball wide of their goalkeeper, Paddy Kenny, and finished calmly from an acute angle.</p><p>It was, however, an isolated attack. United were the more adventurous side, with their coveted England Under-21 international Kyle Naughton prominent. The reflexes of the goalkeeper, Carl Ikeme, were evident when he hared off his line to block from Billy Sharp and flung himself to his left to repel Matthew Kilgallon's volley. It came from a huge throw from Halford, showing his credentials as Rory Delap's Championship counterpart. </p><p>It amounted to a spell of sustained pressure from United. They ensured the tempo remained high with Beattie providing a focal point to the forward line and Naughton offering an attacking outlet on the right flank. Wolves' pace, however, remained a threat on the counter-attack. They were inches away from a second goal when Kightly was only fractionally off target with a crisp effort.</p><p>It was a bruising affair, as the removal of three players with first-half injuries indicates. The stretcher-bearers were kept occupied along with the fourth official. McCarthy made his final substitution at the interval. The centre-back Jason Shackell's introduction entailed a reshuffle, but the goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey's arrival brought a moment of panic. In United's view, Brian Howard's curling corner crossed the line before Hennessey clawed it back. The referee was unmoved. </p><p>Wolves' response was swift and devastating. The captain Karl Henry reached the byline to deliver a cross that Iwelumo met with a volley of power and precision in equal measure. Sylvan Ebanks-Blake then demonstrated that Wolves have two forwards capable of unstoppable finishes, lifting a rasping shot beyond the helpless Kenny. </p><p>Matthew Spring reduced the deficit with a well-struck half-volley, but it was insufficient for United, who now languish 15 points behind Wolves.</p><div style="float: left; margin-right: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px;"><ul><li><a href="http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/championship">Championship</a></li><li><a href="http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/sheffieldunited">Sheffield United</a></li><li><a href="http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/wolves">Wolverhampton Wanderers</a></li></ul></div><a href="http://www.guardian.co.uk">guardian.co.uk</a> &copy; Guardian News & Media Limited 2008 | Use of this content is subject to our <a href="http://users.guardian.co.uk/help/article/0,,933909,00.html">Terms & Conditions</a> | <a href="http://www.guardian.co.uk/webfeeds/1,,1309488,00.html">More Feeds</a>
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