Wolves clinch promotion
Wolves secured promotion to the Premier League with a nervy 1-0 win over QPR at a jubilant Molineux.
Last Updated: 18/04/09 6:23pm
Wolves secured promotion to the Premier League with a nervy 1-0 win over Queens Park Rangers at a jubilant Molineux.
Sylvan Ebanks-Blake was the hero for Mick McCarthy's side with the winner one minute after the break to send the home fans into delirium.
The win was good enough to clinch promotion with two games to spare and they are on the verge of winning the title due to their considerable goal difference advantage over second-placed Birmingham.
The hosts were hustling Rangers at every opportunity from the off yet clear-cut openings were few and far between in the first quarter of the encounter - Dave Edwards coming the closest with a header that forced a smart stop from Radek Cerny.
Edwards tried his luck from 30 yards in the 26th minute as the hosts rallied in an attempt to find the crucial breakthrough.
But it failed to materialise in the latter part of the first half, with Matt Jarvis seeing his inswinging corner rebound off the crossbar.
OpenerWithin a minute of the restart all the tension was released and the home support finally started to believe.
Damion Stewart looked to shepherd Stephen Ward's hopeful ball to safety just inside the penalty area, but Andy Keogh hounded the Rangers defender and managed to nick in and square the ball across for Ebanks-Blake to fire home.
But QPR reminded the hosts of their threat in the 53rd minute as Rowan Vine's effort deflected off Christophe Berra before striking the crossbar, much to the relief of a stranded Wayne Hennessey.
The Wolves keeper then had to come to the rescue just after the hour mark, saving well from Heidar Helguson when the R's striker found himself clean through.
Substitute Marlon Harewood wasted a golden opportunity to put the game, and promotion, beyond doubt shortly after when he fired straight at Cerny from 12 yards.
Nevertheless, Wolves held on for victory to banished the memories of this time last year when they finished just outside the play-off places by the virtue of goal difference.