Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 25 December 2014

Hunt wins it for Wolves

Stephen Hunt
Stephen Hunt

Wolves breathed much-needed life into their battle for Barclays Premier League safety as they registered a well-earned 1-0 win over West Midlands rivals Birmingham.

The game was decided on the stroke of half-time when Stephen Hunt struck his second goal of the season, but it could and should have been much more as Wolves dominated their opponents.

Ben Foster was in fine form for Blues and kept out efforts from David Edwards, Sylvan Ebanks-Blake and Nenad Milijas.

The win sees Mick McCarthy's men move to within a point of safety after their fourth win of the season, while Birmingham are only two points clear of the drop zone as they are left searching for their first away win.

Wolves were quick onto the offensive and Foster had to be on his mettle straight away to keep out efforts from Edwards and Hunt inside the opening 10 minutes.

The home side were desperate to get a goal their dominance had deserved and Stephen Ward volleyed wide from distance, while Foster was again at his best to deny Ebanks-Blake's drilled effort.

Just as it looked like the two sides would be going into the break level, McCarthy's men got the vital breakthrough in added time when Ebanks-Blake made progress down the right and fizzed in an inviting cross which Hunt stabbed home at the near post.

And it should have been two just two minutes into the second period, but Edwards could not control his header from Ward's cross and it went wide.

The Wolves onslaught continued into the second half and Foster again produced a fine save, this time denying Milijas by tipping his header over.

Birmingham finally began to stir and could have snatched what would have been an undeserving leveller in the 89th minute when Kevin Phillips headed wide from 12 yards out.

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