FI­NALLY, SMILES AT MO­LINEUX

The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP - To comment on this match go to http://boards.footy­mad.net/ By Michael Beard­more

ABAN­NER draped over a Mo­lineux bal­cony read ‘This is our love and it knows no di­vi­sion’ – and the Wolves fans who proved it with their feet were rewarded by a thump­ing win over Gilling­ham.

Af­ter two suc­ces­sive rel­e­ga­tions and a win­less first two away games – in­clud­ing a Cap­i­tal One Cup exit to min­nows More­cambe – a big crowd of 19,102 still turned up to wit­ness Kenny Jack­ett’s first win as Wolves boss.

The club had clearly not ex­pected such a re­sponse af­ter poor sea­son ticket sales – a del­uge of fans turn­ing up on the day meant kick-off had to be de­layed by a quar­ter-of-an-hour.

And out­classed Gilling­ham might as well have stayed in the dress­ing room longer as Wolves had the points wrapped up with three goals in­side the first 35 min­utes.

Beam­ing boss Jack­ett said: “It was a com­pre­hen­sive per­for­mance from start to fin­ish – we passed the ball very well and I felt that was the key to it but I’m pleased de­fen­sively too.

"There's en­cour­age­ment there for the play­ers that they can be a suc­cess­ful team and that's the big­gest mes­sage in­ter­nally. They should be en­cour­aged by the stan­dards they set.

“The sup­port­ers have wanted to see a new team, see some at­tack­ing play and some qual­ity and, when needed, see the play­ers roll their sleeves up, bat­tle and scrap.

“There's a good link be­tween the play­ers and sup­port­ers now. The play­ers have to both re­spect and en­cour­age the sup­port­ers be­cause they are go­ing to need them, both home and away.”

Wolves were in front in­side five min­utes as Leigh Grif­fiths was al­lowed space to chest down a cross and vol­ley home his first com­pet­i­tive Wan­der­ers goal from 15 yards.

Two years ago th­ese sides were three di­vi­sions apart and the gulf was clear for all see as Lee Evans cap­i­talised on com­i­cal Gills de­fend­ing to poke home the sec­ond and the un­marked Bakary Sako slot­ted home Zeli Is­mail’s cross for the third.

Only fine Stu­art Nel­son saves to foil a pair of Grif­fiths drives and a Sam Rick­etts rocket pre­vented a rout as Gilling­ham sim­ply could not cope with Wolves’ pace and move­ment.

That was typ­i­fied by the fourth goal 20 min­utes from time as Leon Legge was miles late with a tackle that felled Evans in the box and Grif­fiths slot­ted home from the spot.

It left the Gills with­out a point af­ter two games and boss Martin Allen moaned: “I thought it was very dis­ap­point­ing. I don’t think we played any­where near where we can.

“Wolves had a very strong side but the one thing we wanted to do was keep them quiet for that first 20 min­utes.

“But we never man­aged to do that and it gave them the momen- tum that they wanted. The im­por­tant thing is that we don’t pop the pills when we lose and we don’t pop cham­pagne when we win so just take it in your stride.”

PIC­TURES: Me­dia Im­age Ltd

HAPPY CHAPS: Wolves Leigh Grif­fiths cel­e­brates af­ter scor­ing their first goal. Inset: Bakary Sako scores

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.