Wolves secure much-needed win over Derby County

Wolves ended a seven-game winless run as George Saville’s first goals for the club condemned Derby County to a rare away defeat at Molineux.

  •  Wolves earn first victory in eight league games
  •  Derby suffer second defeat in four matches under Wassall
  •  George Saville opens Wolves account with first career brace
  •  Rams five points behind top two ahead of other Saturday games
George Saville 2nd goal of season (v Derby - 27th Feb 2016)
Wait is over: Saville, 22, netted his first Wolves goals on his 16th appearance for the club and only his fourth league start of the season (Picture from Sky Sports)

WOLVES ended a run of three successive defeats as George Saville’s brace earned a deserved win over promotion-chasing Derby County at Molineux.

The hosts, who had the better of the first half, led when man of the match Saville curled in superbly from 15 yards.

The Rams levelled shortly before the break as Chris Martin’s sublime free-kick found the top corner of the net.

In an even second period, Wolves hit the post through Bjorn Sigurdarson before Saville headed in Matt Doherty’s cross four minutes from time.

It ended a run of seven games without a win for Kenny Jackett’s side, who temporarily moved in to the top half of the SkyBet Championship.

Kenny Jackett looks on (v Derby - 27th Feb 2016)
Breaking the duck: Wolves earned a fifth home league win of the season but their first against a top-half team (Picture from Sky Sports)

Derby, chasing a third straight victory under head coach Darren Wassall, were short of ideas for long periods as they remain fifth in the table – three points behind Brighton, who face Leeds on Monday.

Jacob Butterfield almost scored another early goal – as he did in midweek against Blackburn – with a low shot which brought a comfortable save from Carl Ikeme.

Wolves, though, settled quicker and got the ideal start on 14 minutes when Saville took one touch to control before finding the bottom corner after good work from impressive duo Kevin McDonald and Nathan Byrne.

The visitors enjoyed more possession but were constantly pressed on the ball by the determined hosts, who had a measure of control in midfield.

Derby, who beat Wolves 4-2 at the iPro Stadium in October, were unable to seriously threaten until Martin found a way through from 20 yards two minutes before half-time.

Chris Martin 11th goal of season (v Wolves - 27th Feb 2016)
On target: Martin, who netted twice and missed a penalty against Wolves earlier in the season, scored for just the third time in 20 games (Picture from Sky Sports)

The striker almost matched his 11th goal of the season from a similar dead-ball situation just after the interval but his effort was narrowly over.

Derby asked more questions as Wassall made a double change on 55 minutes, with Tom Ince and Andreas Weimann replacing George Thorne and Johnny Russell.

Doherty found the net with a tidy finish for Wolves but was offside when played in by Conor Coady.

At the other end, Ince – on his 50th Derby appearance – curled an effort inches wide from Bradley Johnson’s incisive pass as he sought to end a 10-game goal drought.

Darren Wassall on sidelines (v Wolves - 27th Feb 2016)
Struggling: Derby have now won only one of their last six away league games and are winless at Molineux since September 2006 (Picture from Sky Sports)

The contest was finely balanced but Wolves posed more of a danger when £3 million January signing Joe Mason was introduced.

His fellow forward Sigurdarson almost snatched a first Wolves goal since August 2013 when his driving run and shot rebounded back off Scott Carson’s post.

But a priceless three points were in the home side’s grasp when the recalled Saville powered in Doherty’s pinpoint centre from 10 yards to score a first-ever career brace.

The Rams pushed for an equaliser in the closing stages but could not prevent a fourth away loss of the campaign.

After their miserable recent form, it was a marked improvement for Wolves, who got the fans firmly back on side with a first league win since January 11.

Jeremy Helan on Wolves debut (v Derby - 27th Feb 2016)
Catching the eye: The 23-year-old slotted in seamlessly in his first Wolves outing since joining on loan from Sheffield Wednesday this week (Picture from Sky Sports)

TEAMS:

Wolves XI (v Derby County - 27th Feb 2016)
Three changes: Loanee Jeremy Helan made his debut while Dominic Iorfa and George Saville came in for Courtney Hause, Rajiv van la Parra and Joe Mason (Picture from Sky Sports)

Substitutes:  Mason (on for Byrne 76′)

Not used:  Martinez (GK), Hause, Hunte, Rowe, Price, Le Fondre.

Booked:  Batth (51′), Sigurdarson (57′), McDonald (80′), Saville (90+4′)

Goals:  Saville (14′, 86′)

 

Derby County XI (v Wolves - 27th Feb 2016)
One change: George Thorne returned after four games out with a calf problem in place of Jamie Hanson from Wednesday’s 1-0 win over Blackburn (Picture from Sky Sports)

Substitutes:  Ince (on for Thorne 55′), Weimann (on for Russell 56′), Blackman (on for Johnson 88′).

Not used:  Grant (GK), Buxton, Bryson, Hanson.

Booked:  Christie (75′)

Goals:  Martin (44′)


Graham Scott referee (Wolves v Derby - 27th Feb 2016)
Under the radar: The Premier League official kept on top of proceedings in an incident-free game and issued five yellow cards (Picture from Sky Sports)

REACTION:

Danny Batth post-match (v Derby County - 27th Feb 2016)
Solid: The Wolves captain kept Derby striker Chris Martin relatively quiet and marshalled the defence well (Picture from Sky Sports)

“We’ve been inconsistent at times this season and the fans haven’t had much to cheer about.

“It’s been a difficult run for us. We’ve come through a tricky stage, with a lot of first-team players out of the team. But we’ve had people like George come in, and he’s done brilliantly today.”

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