Carling Cup: Wolverhampton Wanderers 3 Accrington Stanley 2
(after extra time - score at 90 mins 1-1)
It had been 85 years since Wolverhampton Wanderers last faced Accrington Stanley and, after this showing, they will hope it is another 85 before they meet them again as they were taken to extra time by the League Two side before they finally squeezed into the second round of the Carling Cup.
Homegrown teenager Mark Davies finally put the knife into Stanley but it was an uncomfortable night for Mick McCarthy’s men, who were pushed all the way by Accrington.
McCarthy made six changes to the side that kicked off the season at Plymouth Argyle with Neill Collins, David Edwards, Sam Vokes, Chris Iwelumo, Daniel Jones and Michael Gray all given the chance to impress, especially teenage striker Vokes, who scored an impressive equaliser at Home Park.
However, it was a similar story to Saturday as Wolves failed to press home their advantage and this time that advantage was enormous for the opening 35 minutes.
It was one-way traffic with Iwelumo having a goal ruled out after only five minutes for a foul and Collins forcing a good save from Stanley keeper Kenny Arthur soon after.
Wolves were dominant but their final ball into the area was extremely poor at times. One decent delivery presented a chance for George Elokobi in the 34th minute but his header was blocked and then Richard Stearman’s follow-up was cleared off the line.
The visitors had their first sight of goal three minutes later when Stearman gave away a needless free kick and Mullin forced Hennessey to tip his curling shot over the bar but the Wolves keeper was left helpless on 40 minutes when Jamie Clarke found space in front of the Wanderers back four and his thunderous strike cannoned back off the bar and Mullin stooped to head the rebound into the empty net.
The boos rang out around a half-empty Molineux at the interval and after ten minutes of the second half McCarthy responded by sending on his main strike duo of Andy Keogh and then Sylvan Ebanks-Blake ten minutes later.
The deserved equaliser finally came when Keogh sent over a teasing cross and Iwelumo planted a superb header past Arthur but Wolves weren’t able to build on their breakthrough and the match went into extra time.
Collins forced another great reaction save from Arthur in extra time and then Ebanks-Blake headed over from close range as the chances continued to come and go.
McCarthy’s final substitution did the trick as Davies made an impact after replacing Gray and his corner in the 11th minute was met by a thumping header from Iwelumo to give Wolves the lead but in the last minute of the first period Ian Craney levelled after the Wolves defence had been dissected by a Richardson pass.
However, Davies struck at the start of the second period of added time to seal Wolves’ passage and Stanley finished the game with ten men as Williams was dismissed for a second bookable offence.
Scorers: Mullin (40) 0-1; Iwelumo (73) 1-1; Iwelumo (102) 2-1; Craney (105) 2-2; Davies (107) 3-2.
WOLVERHAMPTON WANDERERS (4-4-2): Hennessey; Foley, Stearman, Collins, Elokobi; Gray (Davies 99), David Edwards, Henry, Daniel Jones (Keogh 53); Vokes (Ebanks-Blake 63), Iwelumo. Subs not used: Craddock; Stephen Ward, Potter, Ikeme.
ACCRINGTON STANLEY (4-4-2): Arthur; Cavanagh, King, Richardson, Craney; Clarke (Ryan 74), Mullin, Grant (Miles 71), Phil Edwards; Williams, Mullin (Murphy 79). Subs not used: Dunbavin, Ona, Bell, Smith.
Referee: Jon Moss (West Yorkshire)
Booking: Wolves – Keogh
Sending-off: Accrington - Williams (second bookable offence)