Cav's Christmas Cracker

Wolves 1 (Cavaleiro 40)        

Ipswich Town 0

Wolves had to work hard to break down Mick McCarthy’s well drilled Ipswich Town but thanks to Ivan Cavaleiro’s seventh goal of the campaign the Molineux men sit seven points clear at the top of the Championship table.

The only change to the Wolves starting line-up saw Barry Douglas returning from injury to replace Ruben Vinagre who was named as a substitute.

Wolves kicked-off attacking the South Bank end and there was a scare for the home fans after just three minutes when Diogo Joto appeared to twist his ankle as he turned. He looked to be in a lot of pain but thankfully, after treatment, he was able to resume.

The first corner of the game, in the tenth minute, went the way of Wolves and when Douglas’s kick was half cleared to Ruben Neves he struck a shot that was easily claimed by Ipswich keeper Bartosz Bialkowski.

Cavaleiro got his foot to Neves’s defence splitting pass but couldn’t control the ball before Ipswich’s first real opportunity came in the 15th minute after Romain Saiss was adjudged to have fouled Joe Garner.

The free-kick was in a central position some 25-yards out but Martyn Waghorn lifted the ball way over the bar.

There was a near calamity when John Ruddy’s clearance put Conor Coady under pressure. The skipper had to hurry his return pass to the keeper and it looked like an own goal could be on the cards but Ruddy got across to clear in a nick of time.

Town had another free-kick opportunity when Willy Boly fouled Garner outside the box, but Ruddy made light of Bersant Celina’s attempt at goal.

In the 34th minute Myles Kenlock came to the Tractor Boys’ rescue as he blocked Jota’s goalbound shot after a great through ball from Boly.

From the corner conceded, taken by Douglas, the ball was half cleared to Neves who was only just too high from 22-yards out.

Cavaleiro broke the deadlock five minutes from the break. Jota was the creator with a run down the right flank and a cross that took a deflection as a defender attempted to clear.

Cavaleiro took possession and ran along the 18-yard line before hitting a shot on the turn past Bialkowski.

Half-Time: Wolves 1 Town 0

Three minutes after the restart a neat piece of interplay between Jota and Cavaleiro ended with the latter seeing his low shot bouncing behind off a defender.

Douglas took the flag-kick and Ryan Bennett powered in a header that was deflected inches wide of the far post.

On 56 minutes Celina’s low cross found its way to Waghorn who screwed a low shot well wide of Ruddy’s goal.

Coady cleared a dangerous cross from Grant Ward at the near post, and when play switched to the other end, Jota was well wide with a shot on the run.

Jota was then a lot closer with an angled effort after he had taken a return pass from Leo Bonatini.

Midway through the half both sides made a change with Bright Enobakhare taking over from Cavaleiro for Wolves whilst Teddy Bishop replaced Kevin Bru for the visitors.

Neves fired over the bar with a shot from distance, before Waghorn went into the book for a foul on Neves who was yellow carded himself a minute later when he pulled back Kenlock.

More changes came in the minutes that followed, two of them for Town - David McGoldrick and Freddie Sears for Waghorn and Garner, whilst Helder Costa for Bonatini was the Wolves change.

Callum Connolly was booked for a foul that left Saiss in need of treatment. When he recovered the midfielder laid a great ball into the path of Costa whose low cross went behind Enobakhare and Jota before being cleared.

Costa was inches away with a falling volley after Neves had lifted the ball into the area then, after Adam Webster had been booked for fouling Costa, Douglas curled the free-kick over the wall and into the side netting.

The final substitution of the afternoon came when Alfred N’Diaye replaced Jota.

In the 88th minute, Saiss headed just the wrong side of the post and, in stoppage time, Enobakhare went close after he had been set up by N’Diaye.

Wolves: Ruddy, Doherty, Douglas, Coady (capt), Boly, Bennett, Cavaleiro (Enobakhare 66), Saiss, Bonatini (Costa 78), Neves, Jota (N’Diaye 87).

Unused subs: Norris, Batth, Gibbs-White, Vinagre.

Booking: Neves (71 – foul).

Town: Bialkowski, Chambers (capt), Webster, Waghorn (McGoldrick 72), Celina, Spence, Garner (Sears 78), Connolly, Ward, Bru (Bishop 66), Kenlock.

Unused subs: Crowe, Smith, McDonnell, Webber.

Bookings: Waghorn (70 – foul), Connolly (80 – foul), Webster (86 – foul).

Referee: D. Coote.

Attendance: 30,218 (754 away supporters).