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MATCH REPORT

PUBLISHED
13:52 16th October 2011

GOALS in each half from Chris Brunt and super-sub Peter Odemwingie earned Albion a deserved first home win of the season - and, just as importantly, the Black Country bragging rights.

Skipper Brunt gave Roy Hodgson's troops the perfect start with an eighth-minute rocket from 12 yards.

And Odemwingie made the points safe four minutes after coming off the bench with his second of the season in the 76th minute - Albion's first 'second-half' goal this term.

This was by no means a one-sided contest, but the hosts defended manfully when required - to record a third clean sheet of the season - and looked lively up front.

The victory propelled Albion above their arch-rivals in the table and sentenced Wanderers to a fifth successive defeat.

Billy Jones could not have picked a bigger Baggies occasion on which to be handed his Barclays Premier League debut as Hodgson made four changes from the draw at Sunderland 15 days ago.

The summer signing started at left-back while Somen Tchoyi, Paul Scharner and Jerome Thomas all earned recalls. The men to make way were Nicky Shorey, Graham Dorrans, James Morrison and Odemwingie.

Mick McCarthy made two changes, with Adam Hammill and Nenad Milijas replacing Stephen Hunt and the injured Steven Fletcher.

The 159th Black Country derby was high octane stuff from the start - and it was Wolves who threatened first.

In the third minute, Jones had to make a vital block to deny Jamie O'Hara after Stephen Ward's left-wing cross had fallen neatly for the former Spurs midfielder in the Baggies penalty area.

Wanderers kept up the pressure and, seconds later, Ben Foster had to make a fine save low to his right to push wide Hammill's awkward 18-yard shot.

But it was the home fans who were celebrating in the eighth minute.

Jones was enjoying an eventful start to his league career in a blue-and-white-striped shirt and he surged onto Youssouf Mulumbu's neat ball into the box before pulling it back to Brunt, who gave Wayne Hennessey no chance with a 12-yard pile-driver.

The Hawthorns was rocking and, in the 12th minute, the impressive Shane Long jinked inside Roger Johnson before seeing his fierce 25-yard drive gathered by Hennessey at the second attempt.

A minute later, it could very well have been 1-1.

Foster did brilliantly to keep out Milijas' near-post drive after Hammill's low cross had hit Steven Reid and fallen perfectly for the Serb.

The ball squirmed to Kevin Doyle inside the six-yard box who must have thought he was certain to score until Jonas Olsson stuck out his long left leg to somehow divert his shot wide.

The action swung to the other end and only Ward's last-ditch challenge on his Ireland team-mate Long denied him a clear sight of goal from Thomas' low cross after great play by Tchoyi on the left.

Albion had begun to contain Wolves quite comfortably and Matt Jarvis resorted to a long-range effort on 34 which failed to trouble Foster.

And the hosts almost made it 2-0 four minutes later.

After a neat spell of Baggies possession, the unsighted Hennessey did well to push away Mulumbu's dipping 25-yard drive.

Albion went even closer a minute later when Long left Johnson for dead down the left before picking out Scharner at the far post. The Austrian international took a touch and saw his angled ten-yard effort creep agonisingly wide of the far post.

Wolves finished the half by winning a string of corners - but Albion defended superbly.

Wanderers' only moment of danger came from a Christophe Berra shot which Foster did well to tip over after the effort had taken an awkward deflection off Gareth McAuley's outstretched leg.

Neither team made any changes during the break and the second 45 began in scrappy fashion, although there was certainly no lack of effort.

But Albion again continued to look the most threatening. A terrific move from the back presented Mulumbu with a shooting opportunity on the edge of the Wolves box, but the fans' favourite fired just over.

A minute later, Wolves were on the attack and Foster did well to get the faintest of touches to Hammill's 15-yard effort and divert it wide.

From the ensuing corner, sub Sylvan Ebanks-Blake volleyed weakly at Foster from an impossible angle.

Leading up to the hour-mark, there was a long delay after Ward took an accidental boot to the head from Long as they contested a Brunt flag-kick.

After being bandaged up like 'Mr Bump', Ward was able to continue.

Albion were soon piling forward again and Brunt took Reid's perfect pass in his stride before seeing his acute shot well saved by Hennessey.

But Baggies hearts were well and truly in their mouths on 67 when Johnson towered above Jones at the back stick, only to head Doyle's centre horribly wide.

Hodgson replaced Tchoyi with Odemwingie in the 72nd minute and the striker was instantly involved in the move that lead to Thomas seeing a goalbound drive kept out by Hennessey's legs.

Moments later, Foster had little trouble in clutching Wolves sub Hunt's shot from 15 yards.

And Albion finally earned the two-goal cushion their performance had just about deserved 14 minutes from time.

The goal was all down to a terrific run and back-heel by man-of-the-match Scharner and an exquisite 15-yard finish by Odemwingie, who had been on the field only four minutes, inside Hennessey's bottom far corner.

Wolves mounted a response but Foster was again equal to a long-range shot, this time from Ebanks-Blake.

But it was Albion who looked the more likely scorers during the closing stages. Odemwingie fired a great chance over with just Hennessey to beat before Long curled wide from just outside the box.

Wolves mustered one final effort at goal, an ambitious overhead kick by Adelene Guedioura from 15 yards.

But the Baggies stuck to their task and ran down the clock in some comfort.

And Chris Foy's final whistle was roared to the rafters by the home hordes.

ALBION (4-4-1-1): Foster; Reid, McAuley, Olsson, Jones (Shorey 85); Brunt, Mulumbu, Scharner, Thomas (Morrison 81); Tchoyi (Odemwingie 72); Long. Subs not used: Fulop (gk), Dorrans, Dawson, Cox.

WOLVES (4-5-1): Hennessey; Berra, Stearman, Johnson, Ward; Hammill (Hunt 69), Milijas (Ebanks-Blake 55), O'Hara, Henry, Jarvis (Guedioura 74); Doyle. Subs not used: De Vries (gk), Craddock, Vokes, Zubar.

GOALS: ALBION - Brunt (8), Odemwingie (76).

BOOKINGS: WOLVES - Berra (foul 25).

REFEREE: C Foy (Merseyside).

ATTENDANCE: 24,872.

ALBION STARMAN: Paul Scharner.
    Data provided by Press Association

    QUICK FACTS

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