LEON LEAVES IT LATE FOR KENNY

The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP - By Stephen Thirkill

WOLVES boss Kenny Jack­ett has urged his men to es­tab­lish them­selves as a Cham­pi­onship side after squeez­ing past Sh­effield Wed­nes­day.

Sub­sti­tute Leon Clarke scored with his first touch of the game as Wolves de­feated Sh­effield Wed­nes­day to end a mis­er­able run of five straight de­feats.

Wolves, who were pro­moted from League One last sea­son, started the sea­son well and had lost just one of their pre­vi­ous 13 games be­fore their re­cent dip in form.

“Five de­feats in a row is not nice. It starts to eat away at con­fi­dence and you start to look for a draw to stop the rot,” said Jack­ett.

“We have been com­pet­i­tive in the last two games and have shown im­prove­ment.

“Our back four was solid here, as was the goal­keeper, and we put in another com­pet­i­tive dis­play.

“I thought it was a good endto-end game. We came through some tough pe­ri­ods and scored a qual­ity goal to win it.

“We are new to this di­vi­sion and it is im­por­tant we con­tinue to adapt. We have been faced with tough op­po­nents in re­cent games and that is part of the chal­lenge.

“We need to re­alise what play­ing teams like Sh­effield Wed­nes­day away is all about.We are im­prov­ing and want to es­tab­lish our­selves as a force in this league.”

But Wed­nes­day boss Stu­art Gray was again left curs­ing his side’s lack of cut­ting edge.

“I can­not be­lieve we did not get our noses in front here,” said Gray.

“We could not have asked for a bet­ter start and could have been 3-0 up in the first 20 mins.

“Wolves got in at the break level when they prob­a­bly shouldn’t have been and that gave them a chance in the sec­ond half.

“We knew that one lapse of con­cen­tra­tion could cost us with the pace of their wingers on the counter.

“The game was too open in the sec­ond half and we were pun­ished for some poor mark­ing. Ste­vie May will be dis­ap­pointed with the chances he has missed. He can­not sulk and he will have to bounce back.

“I am happy with the per­for­mance, but not the re­sult. You can­not ques­tion the de­sire, we just lacked the qual­ity needed.”

Richard Stearman cleared off the Wolves goalline on five min­utes to block May’s weak shot as Wed­nes­day started well.

James Henry then blazed over from 12 yards after Wolves ripped Wed­nes­day open on the break.

Roys­ton Dren­the fired a spec­tac­u­lar vol­ley over on 19 min­utes, be­fore Glenn Loovens headed just wide from Dren­the’s cor­ner as the home side dom­i­nated.

May should have done bet­ter on 35 min­utes when he failed to get his shot away after get­ting goal­side of his man.

Wolves con­tin­ued to threaten on the counter and Danny Gra­ham fired ag­o­nis­ingly wide after Do­minic Iorfa’s pass opened up Wed­nes­day on 43 min­utes.

A minute later the waste­ful May again broke the vis­i­tors’ off­side trap be­fore fir­ing wide.

The poor fin­ish­ing con­tin­ued when Ra­jiv van La Parra fired over with the goal gap­ing after Keiren West­wood par­ried Kevin McDon- ald’s ef­fort into this path a minute after the restart.

West­wood got down well to block Van La Parra’s shot on 83 min­utes, be­fore Dren­the fired just wide from 20 yards as the game started to open up.

Kenny Jack­ett in­tro­duced for­mer Wed­nes­day striker Clarke on 84 min­utes in an at­tempt to break the dead­lock, and the Wolves man­ager got an im­me­di­ate re­ward.

Clarke raced in un­marked to get on the end of McDon­ald’s per­fect cross and fire home from close range with his first touch of the game to seal the points.

PIC­TURES: Me­dia Im­age Ltd

TIMELY FIN­ISH: Leon Clarke pounces to give Wolves all three points

OUCH! Ste­vie May re­flects on a missed chance

STAR MAN KEVIN MCDON

ALD Wolves

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