Impressive Wolves maintain their six-point advantage at the top of the table




at St Mary’s

Wolves continued their dominance in the Championship with a fifth straight win but found it far from easy to defeat a resilient Southampton side reduced to ten men.

 It was perhaps just as well that the visitors were 2-1 up, by the time Jason Euell saw red for a two-footed tackle on Richard Stearman, because Saints lived up to the old adage that 10 men can be tougher than 11.

 Mick McCarthy’s side dominated early on and, with man-of-the-match Carlos Edwards bossing proceedings, were 2-0 up in 18 minutes thanks to goals from Chris Iwelumo and David Jones.

 Saints had pulled a goal back just four minutes later through defender Alex Pearce but then shut up shop.

 The league leaders also made history having not beaten Southampton in 17 previous attempts going back to 1980.

 Giant striker Iwelumo continues to be on the ball for Wolves and is now the club’s top scorer this season with 11.

 It was perhaps fitting however that another international was making all the headlines prior to kick-off with Chelsea loan defender Michael Mancienne being lined up for the full England squad despite the fact that he has yet to play in the Premier League.

 The 20-year-old looks a real talent and had been scheduled to play in the England Under-21s’ friendly against the Czech Republic at Sheffield United this week.

 Mancienne was once again outstanding in defence although at times tempers frayed amid the frustrations of the second half as Wolves’ style of play was strangled. He was eventually booked after a late tackle.

 The magic of Mancienne was again apparent particularly after Alex Pearce’s goal which meant Saints came out fighting despite the dismissal of Euell on half-time. Referee Lee Mason judged Euell to be the aggressor in a tackle with Stearman.

Scorers Iwelumo (9) 0-1, Jones (18) 0-2, Pearce (22) 1-2.

SOUTHAMPTON (4-4-2): Davis, Cork, Lancashire (Perry, 51) Pearce, Skacel, Schneiderlin, Euell, Surman, McGoldrick, Lallana, Gobern (Wright-Phillips, 45). Substitutes: Wotton, Forecast, Robertson.

WOLVES (4-4-2): Ikeme, Foley, Macienne, Stearman, Ward, Kightly (Vokes, 90), Henry, Jones, C Edwards (D Edwards, 85), Ebanks-Blake (Keogh,67) Iwelumo. Substitutes: Hennessey, Collins.

Referee: Lee Mason (Lancs).

Bookings: Wolves – Mancienne (foul); Saints – Surman, Skacel (both dissent).

Sending-off: Wolves – Euell (serious foul play).

Attendance:  17,812.

Wolves man of the match: Carlos Edwards – on-loan Sunderland winger set up both goals in excellent first-half display.