MATCH REPORT: Wolves 3 Barnsley 1

Not this time: Craig Davies shot is saved by Wolves keeper Carl Ikeme.'           Picture: keith turner
Not this time: Craig Davies shot is saved by Wolves keeper Carl Ikeme.' Picture: keith turner
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BARNSLEY slipped to their first defeat of the new season having been outclassed by a side who look certain to be pushing for promotion this season following this performance.

An early goal from Stephen Ward set the tone of the evening as the hosts took control.

Then when the Reds were just edging in the game after a bright start to the second half, they were hit with two goals in the space of ten minutes from Sylvan Ebanks-Blake and David Edwards.

Tomasz Cywka’s late goal was no more than a consolation but was deserved for the endeavour alone shown by the visitors.

Reds boss Keith Hill was forced to make two changes to the side that opened up their Championship campaign with a win against Middlesbrough on Saturday. Matty Done was forced off in the early stages of that victory and was replaced in the starting 11 by Kelvin Etuhu, while John Stones, who has just recently signed a new contract until 2015, was unable to make the game through injury so Bobby Hassell began

The Reds opening chance of the game fell to the in-form striker Craig Davies from just inside the 18-year box, this time though the Reds striker shot tamely straight into the path of Carl Ikeme in the Wolves goal.

A couple of minutes later the Reds were undone by a wonderfully crafted goal by the home side.

Ward started and finished the move that had Hill’s side helpless. The Wolves winger played in Ebanks-Blake who cut the defence open with his perfectly weighted pass that was followed by Ward who tucked past the helpless David Gonzalez.

The visitors went close through Davies who was allowed time to shoot before firing narrowly wide of Ikeme’s left post.

The home side were growing in confidence following their first goal at Molineux since March but Hill’s men were doing a good job at absorbing the pressure. They did though have to rely on Ebanks-Blake to squander a couple of chances midway through the first half. The former Manchester United youngster was proving to be a handful and if it wasn’t for a smart save from Gonzlaez, he could have doubled Wolves lead on 26 minutes.

An in-swinging corner from Ward was delivered right into the danger area where Ebanks-Blake was well placed to make contact.

Gonzalez was quick to react and managed to get both fists onto the ball to parry it away from danger.

The Reds earned themselves a couple of consecutive corners but were unable to carve anything from them.

Mellis then had the opportunity to shoot from 18-yards, unfortunately for him, he dragged his shot and was unable to test Ikene.

Barnsley came out of the traps well for the second half and immediately threatened the Wolves goal through Marlon Harewood. His shot was denied by Ikene who almost made a mess of it, parrying the ball forward before Roger Johnson cleared upfield.

Harewood more of a presence and threat after the break. He wasn’t far away from 25-years with a thunderous strike that was only inches wide of the goal.

Despite seeing a lot of more possession in the second half, Barnsley were dealt a cruel blow on the hour mark when Wolves scored with their first real attack of the half.

Skipper Karl Henry lifted the ball over the Reds back four where Ebanks-Blake was clever enough to time his run to avoid the offside trap and pick his spot past Gonzalez.

The evening got worse for Barnsley 10 minutes later when substitute David Edwards was on hand to head home Slawomir Peszko’s cross from the right touchline. Hill’s men did get something to show for their tireless effort with 10 minutes to go when Cywka slotted home from 15-yards.

WOLVES (4-4-2): Ikeme 6, Johnson 7, Berra 7, Ward 8, Peszko 7, Henry 7 (Edwards 64, 7), Doumbia 6 (Davis 74, 5), Jarvis 7, Doyle 7, Ebanks-Blake 8 (Sigurdarson 64). Subs (not used): Stearman, Nouble, Forde, De Vries.
BARNSLEY (4-4-2): Gonzalez 7, Hassell 6 (Cranie 66, 5), Wiseman 6, Foster 7, Golbourne 6, Cywka 7, Mellis 7, Perkins 6 (Dawson 51, 5), Etuhu 6, Harewood 6 (Dagnall 57, 5), Davies 6. Subs (not used): Lidakevicius, Collins, Clark, Rose.

Referee: Phil Gibbs (West Midlands)

Attendance: 24,400