Advertising

Wolves 1 Nottm Forest 0 - Report and pictures

By Tim Spiers | Wolves | Published:

Nouha Dicko scored the winner as Wolves won their fifth successive game, beating Nottingham Forest 1-0.

Dicko was only in the line-up owing to Helder Costa suffering an injury in the warm-up, but he won it for Wolves when he turned home Andreas Weimann's cross.

Seconds earlier Conor Coady had cleared off the line and Wolves were also indebted to Andy Lonergan making a great save in injury time.

But they saw it through to rise to 15th in the table.

Analysis

Nouha Dicko wasn't even supposed to be playing tonight.

The striker was named on the bench when the team sheets dropped at 6.45pm. An injury to Helder Costa in the warm-up changed that, an issue which seemed to have impacted on Wolves during what was a drab first hour of football.

But Costa's misfortune was Dicko's gain - and how.

After all the hype and expectation surrounding his long-awaited comeback, the Mali striker has endured some lean times this season. Lean is putting it mildly in terms of goals - he'd only netted once in 24 appearances.

Advertising

And so much of the frustration and anger that has built up over many months was unleashed when he scored what proved to be the winning goal here - and a fabulous one at that in a crazy minute of football when Forest should have scored at one end and Wolves did at another.

This victory lacked the class and potency of the one against Fulham, or the relative calmness of the one against Cardiff. Indeed, Wolves were below par for much of the night.

But win they did, for the fifth time in succession and the third time in a row at home. The last time they achieved the latter they were chasing the play-offs in 2015.

They're miles off doing the same here, but the way Wolves are playing and winning right now, you wonder what could have happened had February not been as disastrous as it was.

Advertising

As it is they've almost certainly staved off relegation. They're 11 points clear of the bottom three with a game in hand. The planning for 2017/18 can begin in earnest.

Lambert had named an unchanged team from the side that beat Cardiff 3-1 on Saturday, before Costa's absence meant a late start for Nouha Dicko. Jack Price was promoted to the bench.

Andy Lonergan continued between the sticks with hamstring injury victim Carl Ikeme still sidelined, while former Wolves defender Michael Mancienne was in defence for the struggling visitors who arrived at Molineux having not won on the road since November.

But for all Forest's struggles they controlled long periods of the first half, certainly in terms of possession, having 50 per cent of the ball.

It was a generally a sluggish, slow and ponderous half from Lambert's team, who appeared to spend much of the half in a state of drowsiness, half a yard behind play and failing to break Forest's spell of possession.

It was as if the Costa withdrawal had stunned them into submission. But, more likely, they were afflicted by complacency after a run of four straight wins and with a quiet home crowd probably expecting them to roll Forest over.

Forest weren't good enough to take advantage, though, with a snap-shot from Britt Assombalonga the only time they tested Lonergan.

Even when Matt Doherty sloppily gifted possession to Ben Brereton just outside the box, the youngster couldn't take advantage and David Edwards cleaned up the mess.

There were a couple of bright moments, namely when an Cavaleiro cross was turned just past his own post by David Vaughan, or when Dicko side-footed Doherty's centre narrowly wide from close range.

But otherwise Wolves were off the pace and no doubt received a rollocking from a visibly frustrated Lambert at half time.

It was all summed up by Cavaleiro kicking the corner flag instead of the ball when trying to take a corner.

But the second half was a different story. Wolves came out with more of a spring in their step, pushing Forest deeper, and turned the pressure up a notch by seeing more of the ball in good areas.

It hadn't yielded much in terms of goalmouth action, though. But then the game came to life in the most dramatic of minutes, specifically minute 62

Forest should have taken the lead, first when Zach Clough was brilliantly tackled by Cavaleiro when through on goal - the ball broke for Assombalonga who had the goal at his mercy but Conor Coady was on the line to deny him with a goal-saving block.

Wolves broke at pace, Weimann raced down the right and crossed low for Dicko who slammed into the net from close range to send Molineux potty. It was exhilarating fare, in sharp contrast to the previous hour, and an emotional Dicko lapped it up after his second goal since his injury comeback.

And thereafter Wolves were pretty comfortable. They almost doubled their lead when Weimann cut inside to curl just wide of the far post, while Bodvarsson lifted the noise volume with a typically robust run and shot, which was blocked.

There was time for a bit of late drama, though, when Lonergan saved brilliantly from Carayol at point blank range, seconds after Danny Fox had seen red for two yellow cards.

The relief at full time was palpable.

Key moments

24 - Cavaleiro's low cross is put inches wide of his own post by David Vaughan.

62 - GOAL - Seconds after Coady clears off the line Wolves break and Weimann crosses for Dicko who slams home.

69 - Weimann sends a curling effort inches past the post.

90 - RED CARD - Fox sees red for two bookings and then Lonergan makes a brilliant save to deny Carayol in stoppage time.

Teams

Wolves (4-2-3-1): Lonergan, Coady, Batth (c), Hause, Doherty; Edwards, Evans; Weimann, Cavaleiro (Gibbs-White, 67), Marshall (Saiss, 77); Dicko (Bodvarsson, 77). Subs: Burgoyne, Williamson, Saville, Price.

Goals: Dicko (62)

Nottingham Forest (4-2-3-1): Smith; Mancienne, Mills, Fox, Traore; Vaughan, Cohen (c); Brereton (Vellios, 79), Clough, Osborn (Carayol, 65); Assombalonga (Ward, 65). Subs: Evtimov, Lichaj, Tshibola, Cash.

Attendance: 21,408 (1,260 Forest fans)

Referee: James Linington (Newport)

Position in the table

15th (51 points from 39 matches)

Tim Spiers

By Tim Spiers
@tim_spiers_Star

Writes about Wolverhampton Wanderers Football Club for a living

Advertising

Top stories

Advertising

More from Shropshire Star

UK & International News