Attendance: 21, 326
Another game, another early goal conceded and another defeat. It was a familiar story for Derby County at Molineux last night as they fell to a 3-0 reverse against table topping Wolves to leave them with one win in eight in the league and four games in a row without a goal away from Pride Park in the Championship. A penalty awarded less than 60 seconds in knocked The Rams but they fought back well and played some good football but couldn`t find an equaliser and found themselves two behind before halftime. Despite having more corners and shots on goal than their opponents Derby found themselves three behind just before the hour mark and in truth the outcome of the game was never really in doubt well before this point.
Paul Jewell made five changes to the side that fell to Crystal Palace at the weekend including bringing in Stephen Bywater for the suspended Carroll and a first start in a Ram`s shirt for Ruben Zadkovich. Martin Albrechtsen also returned to the starting line-up in place of James Tomkins with Rob Hulse recalled after his place on the bench on Saturday and a start for Tito Villa. Wolves were without the Championship`s player of the month for November as Chris Iwelumo missed out and former Derby man Dave Jones only made the bench.
Wolves were handed a perfect start with less than a minute on the clock when the referee adjudged Darren Powell to have handled in the area as Andy Keogh tried to play the ball past him and Sylvan Ebanks-Blake sent Bywater the wrong way from the sport to put the leaders in front. Luke Varney could have out his side level almost immediately when Villa`s cross found him at the far post but his effort was blocked in front of goal before troubling Hennessey. The home keeper then made a mess of a ball into the area but it fell kindly for the home side and was hooked clear before Derby could take advantage.
A scramble in the area lead to half-hearted penalty appeal for the visitors but Wolves could have doubled there lead just short of the half-hour as Ebanks-Blake robbed Powell and ran at goal but his pass to Keogh fell slightly behind the striker and he quite get his effort on target under pressure from Connolly. Ebanks-Blake was involved again eight minutes later as he fired against the post after a fine run from Kightly. The winger then put over another deep cross that was headed away by Albrechtsen but the ball fell to David Edwards who steadied himself before firing past Bywater but the Wolves man had found space far to easily on the box.
The Rams made it to halftime without any further damage being inflicted and came out strongly after the break without threatening a breakthrough despite possession in some promising positions. Kightly had also started brightly and another run from the Wolves man picked out Ebanks-Blake but Bywater denied the former Plymouth striker with a good save low down.
Darren Powell had picked up a knock and was replaced by James Tomkins less than ten minutes into the second half and Kazmierczak`s free kick looked dangerous but Addison`s effort was blocked and Albrechtsen couldn`t keep the rebound down. Wolves began to force the play and went further ahead just before the hour when Edwards played in Keogh with a nicely weighted ball and, despite being denied by Bywater first time, he calmly pulled the ball back for Ebanks-Blake to roll home from six yards out.
Luke Varney then had two efforts in quick succession, firstly glancing an Addison cross wide of the post before firing in another effort that was gathered by Hennessey moments later. Ellington then took over from Hulse with just over a quarter of an hour to go and Kris Commons came off the bench to replace Kazmierczak and despite some dangerous looking balls into the area Derby failed to create any meaningful chances as the game ended in a fairly routine home victory after some promising moments early on for the The Rams.