Old Boy Ends Wolves' Unbeaten Start

Wolves 1 (Bonatini 72)

Cardiff City 2 (Ralls 54, Mendez-Laing 77)

The first v second clash between Wolves and Cardiff at Molineux went the way of the visitors with one time Wanderers Academy striker Nathaniel Mendez-Laing rubbing salt in the wounds by hitting the deciding goal in a closely fought out encounter.

For the fourth consecutive League game, Nuno named an unchanged starting XI but it was Cardiff that started proceedings kicking-off towards the South Band end.

The Bluebirds enjoyed much of the early possession although the only the only real threat came in the shape of two long throw-ins from Aron Gunnarsson.

On 15 minutes Bright Enobakhare slid a pass into the path of Romain Saiss but he topped his shot and the ball drifted wide of the target.

Junior Hoilett, with a low long distance effort, forced a diving save from John Ruddy. From Hoilett’s corner Sol Bamba thundered a header against the bar.

Hoilett went into the book after a late challenge on Enobakhare before Bamba headed wide from a Joe Ralls Corner.

In the 24th minute Leo Bonatini pulled the ball back for Enobakhare who curled his shot over the angle and, from another Gunnarsson throw, Kenneth Zohore was wide with a shot on the turn.

Saiss was yellow carded for a foul on Jazz Richards but Ruddy had little difficulty in collecting Ralls’s free-kick into the box.

Jota won possession in the City half and beat two men before firing over, then keeper Neil Etheridge caught a cross from Enobakhare under the crossbar.

Zohore drilled a cross through the home six-yard box before Ralls was booked for an untidy challenge on Ruben Neves.

Enobakhare held off two challenges before shooting wide and the half finished with a booking for Loic Damour after he had clattered into Saiss.

Half-Time: Wolves 0 Cardiff 0

Hoilett fired into the side netting before he became the man behind City taking a 54th minute lead. He slid a pass into the path of Ralls who hit a low shot past Ruddy and into the bottom corner.

Lee Peltier went into the book for fouling Jota and, after Ivan Cavaleiro had replaced Enobakhare, Barry Douglas saw yellow for catching Mendez-Laing.

Ruddy made two saves in as many minutes both times from Zohore before Cavaleiro saw his low shot well saved by Etheridge.

Wolves pulled level in the 67th minute after Etheridge had parried Cavaleiro’s drive. The ball ran to Jota who hit a low cross that ran through to Douglas and when he volleyed a shot towards goal, Bonatini was there to convert from close range.

Saiss was high and wide with a shot from the edge of the box, Gunnarsson headed wide after Zohore had nodded the ball on to him, and then it was the turn of Cavaleiro to miss from 18-yards.

But the Welsh fans in the lower tier of the Steve Bull Stand were the ones celebrating in the 77th minute as Mendez-Laing ran on to Zohore’s through ball and slotted past Ruddy. Almost immediately, Nouha Dicko went on in place of Bonatini.

Mendez-Laing was a couple of feet away from his second in the 81st minute whilst the nearest Wolves came to salvaging a point came seven minutes later when Dicko shot into the side netting.

The five minutes of added time yielded no reward but, despite the defeat, Wolves are still handily placed in third place in the Championship table.

Wolves: Ruddy, Doherty, Douglas (Dicko 78), Coady (capt), Boly, Miranda, Saiss (Ronan 83), Enobakhare (Cavaleiro 58), Bonatini, Neves, Jota.

Unused subs: Norris, Bennett, Batth, Price.

Bookings: Saiss (28 – foul), Douglas (61 – foul).

City: Etheridge, Damour (Manga 90), Gunnarsson, Hoilett (Ward 83), Bamba, Zohore, Peltier, Mendez-Laing, Richards, Ralls, Morrison (capt).

Unused subs: Murphy, Kennedy, Boggle, Tomlin, Halford.

Bookings: Hoilett (19 – foul), Ralls (28 – foul), Damour (45+1 – foul), Peltier (56 – foul).

Referee: S. Duncan.

Attendance: 27,068.

Manchester City Under 18s 4 Wolves 1 (Samuels).