Early Strike Wins It For Wolves

Wolves 1 (Jota 10) 

Millwall 0

Wolves enjoyed long spells of possession and played some attractive football but they had to rely on Diogo Jota’s tenth minute strike to beat a resolute Millwall side.

Ben Marshall replaced Bright Enobakhare, who was named as a substitute, and Danny Batth returned to skipper the side in place of the injured Willy Boly. Making a return to Molineux after their recent moves to the East End were Jed Wallace and George Saville.

Millwall kicked-off attacking the South Bank end but it was Wolves that had the first chance of the afternoon as Ruben Neves headed over following a Matt Doherty cross.

A great piece of ball control by Lee Gregory gave the Millwall striker the opportunity to fire in a low cross that ran dangerously through the home goalmouth before being cleared.

Wolves took the lead in the tenth minute thanks to a tremendous strike from Jota who took a return pass from Leo Bonantini and lashed the ball past keeper Jordan Archer from 20-yards.

Another one-two saw Jota a couple of feet away from a second. This time it was Ruben Vinagre who returned the ball to Jota who raced into the box and put the ball wide of the far post.

Wolves were playing some fine passing football but Millwall had a good chance when Steve Morison drilled a centre across the face of John Ruddy’s goal.

Bryon Webster was yellow carded for clattering into the back of Jota and the half ended with the Wolves midfielder taking the ball to the by-line and laying it back into the path of Neves whose cross-shot wasn’t too far away.

Half-Time; Wolves 1 Millwall 0

On 50 minutes Archer got down to save from Marshall after good build up play from Doherty and Bonatini and then Neves was too high with a long-range effort.

Morison was way over with a header after a cross from James Meredith before the referee cautioned a player from each side in the space of two minutes - Aiden O’Brien for a late tackle that left Jota in need of attention, and Batth for a shove on Gregory.

In the 57th minute the first substitution of the afternoon saw Enobakhare taking over from Marshall.

Wallace dragged a shot well wide before Archer had to touch over a 20-yard attempt from Romain Saiss who had been set up by Enobakhare.

Millwall were reduced to ten men when O’Brien, somewhat unwisely after he had been booked, fouled Doherty and was sent off.

Bonatini was wide with a shot on the turn from the edge of the box and, at the other end, Wallace scooped a shot a whisker wide of the post.

Alfred N’Diaye made his debut for Wolves when he replaced Neves in the 77th minute and then there was a double Millwall change when Fred Onyedinma and Shane Ferguson took over from Jed Wallace and Meredith.

Enobakhare drilled in a low cross that bounced back to him off a defender. His second attempt at returning the ball into the middle saw it half cleared to Doherty whose shot was deflected for a corner.

Saiss beat two men as he ran into the visitors box before hitting a shot that appeared to strike Archer in the face. The ball bounced into the path of Bonatini but his drive was saved.

Ruddy, who had enjoyed a relatively quiet game, was called into action twice in the five minutes of stoppage time to preserve his side’s advantage.

He palmed away an angle drive from Onyedinma before diving low to smother Shaun Williams.

Wolves: Ruddy, Doherty, Vinagre, Neves (N’Diaye 77), Batth, Miranda, Jota (Cavaleiro 87), Saiss, Bonatini, Coady, Marshall (Enobakhare 59).

Unused subs: Norris, Price, Ronan, Deslandes.

Booking: Batth (57 – foul).

Millwall: Archer, McLaughlin, Meredith (Ferguson 79), Hutchinson, Williams, Gregory, Wallace (Onyedinma 79), Webster, Morison, O’Brien, Saville.

Unused subs: King, Craig, Romeo, Tunnicliffe, Cooper.

Bookings: Webster (41 – foul), O’Brien (55 – foul).

Sending-Off: O’Brien (65 – foul – second bookable offence).

Referee: R. Madley.

Attendance: 24,426 (1,235 away supporters).

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