Wolves 1 Birmingham 0: King scores at wrong end to hand derby win to Solbakken's men
19:43 GMT, 8 December 2012
Marlon King's own goal handed Wolves the derby spoils as they saw off neighbours Birmingham at Molineux.
King has bagged 13 goals for City this season, but he found the net at the wrong end in the first half to hand Wanderers their first home win in seven attempts stretching back to late September.
The striker sliced past Jack Butland when attempting to clear Bakary Sako's drilled free-kick at the front post, with Nathan Redmond also guilty of turning his back on the ball as part of a one-man wall.
Unlucky: Marlon King put the ball in his own goal
Wolves: Ikeme, Ward, Johnson, Berra, Foley, Henry, Sako, Doumbia (Davis 74), Ebanks-Blake (Pennant 84), Sigurdarson, Doyle
Subs not used: De Vries, Stearman, Batth, Forde, Nouble
Goal: 34 (og)
Birmingham: Butland, Caldwell, Davies, Spector (Morrison 46), Caddis, Robinson, Mullins, Elliott, Redmond (Lovenkrands 72), King, Hall (Burke 80)
Subs not used: Doyle, Packwood, Hancox, Morrison, Diop
Booked: Robinson, Mullins
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Wolves put in a much-improved
performance after the break and enjoyed several chances to extend their
advantage, but profligate finishing and some superb saves from Butland
ensured the result hung in the balance until the final whistle.
It was only the second time Wolves
have won back-to-back games this season after last weekend's 4-1 triumph
at Bristol City, a result which ended a nine-match winless streak.
Birmingham went into the clash also
underperforming this term and struggling at the wrong end of the npower
Championship table, although it was they who started the better, Paul
Caddis seeing his curling effort from 20 yards well parried away by Carl
Bjorn Sigurdarson found the
side-netting for the hosts after good work down the left by Sako before
Ikeme had to be alert once again to tip over after Roger Johnson and
Jonathan Spector tussled to get on the end of Redmond's set-piece.
Blues were certainly posing the
greater attacking threat and looking the more lively, but Wolves were
steadily coming into the game more as the first half wore on.
Sylvan Ebanks-Blake saw his appeals
for a penalty waved away before Kevin Doyle put the ball into the net
only to be denied by the assistant's flag.
But Wolves did get the breakthrough just minutes later.
Ebanks-Blake went down easily under a
soft challenge from Steven Caldwell right on the byline outside the
penalty area. Sako whipped in the resulting free-kick and King could
only divert the ball into his own net at the near post when trying to
It was a goal Wolves arguably did not
deserve on the overall balance of play in the first half, but that will
not have mattered much to under-pressure manager Stale Solbakken.
Wolves have been heavily criticised of late for lethargic second-half performances, but that was certainly not the case tonight.
Sigurdarson found himself clean
through almost immediately after the restart only to fire straight at
Butland, although the assistant's flag was raised.
Doyle's driving run ended with a shot
narrowly wayward of Butland's left-hand post before Sako finished
another mazy venture forward with an effort off target as Wanderers
Stephen Ward brought a solid save out
of Butland at his near post, with Curtis Davies deflecting Doyle's shot
on to the top of the crossbar from the resulting corner.
Butland then produced a superb instinctive save to keep out Sigurdarson's header from Sako's corner, keeping Blues in the game.
But they could not force a late
leveller and Wolves were left celebrating only their third derby success
over their local rivals in 15 attempts.