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15:24 12th February 2012

PETER Odemwingie once again proved Wolves' nemesis as his hat-trick fired the brilliant Baggies to a truly emphatic derby double over Wolves.

The Nigeria ace converted Albion's first-half dominance into a 34th-minute lead with his third goal in as many games against Wanderers - only for Steven Fletcher to level on the stroke of half-time.

But Jonas Olsson restored the visitors' advantage on 64 and Odemwingie's seventh and eighth of the season in the 77th and 88th minutes respectively sealed Albion's fifth win at Molineux in their last seven visits.

To rub salt in Wanderers' wounds, sub Keith Andrews crowned his Albion debut by hitting the visitors' fourth against his former club five minutes from time.

Roy Hodgson's men were well worthy of their sixth away win of the term.

A stunning run of just one defeat in seven games on their travels has propelled Albion eight points clear of the drop-zone - and today's result has put Wolves in it on goal difference.

Hodgson rang two changes as Liam Ridgewell, making his Albion debut, and Paul Scharner came in for Nicky Shorey, dropped altogether, and Graham Dorrans. Shane Long (chest) returned to the bench from illness where he was joined by ex-Wolves man Andrews.

Mick McCarthy made two changes, with Kevin Doyle and Sylvan Ebanks-Blake replacing the injured Emmanuel Frimpong and Richard Stearman, who dropped to the bench.

There was a poignant moment before the 160th Black Country derby when Albion fan Kieren Caldwell and Wolves supporter Ian Marrey delivered the matchball to the centre spot, having carried it all the way from The Hawthorns as part of a 60-strong 'March to Molineux' army in aid of Acorns Children's Hospice.

The two clubs are separated by just 10.6 miles and they were only five points apart in the Barclays Premier League table, as 17th entertained 15th.

The Baggies started like a house on fire and could've been one-up inside 70 seconds. Kevin Foley was guilty of dithering as James Morrison's low cross was poked across the Wolves box by Sebastien Bassong. Jerome Thomas nipped in to fire goalwards from eight yards but was denied at point-blank range by Wayne Hennessey.

From Morrison's ensuing corner, Gareth McAuley worked the ball to Ridgewell, whose shot on the turn was gathered at the near post by Hennessey.

Albion continued to ask the early questions and Thomas wasn't too far away with a 25-yard shot which Hennessey had covered.

In the ninth minute, Marc-Antoine Fortune did well on the right and his cross-cum-shot, with which Scharner just failed to make contact with a cheeky back-heel in front of goal, drifted just wide.

Moments later, Steven Reid lashed a fierce 30-yard effort over.

Wolves were struggling to get any momentum going and Fortune did well to turn Bassong on the edge of the Wanderers box on 13 before shooting straight at Hennessey.

Another chance came and went on 18 when Reid played in Odemwingie and the striker produced a fine near-post reaction save out of Hennessey from a tight angle. The rebound flew straight back to the ex-Lille marksman, who was off-target with his follow-up.

It wasn't until the 20th minute that there was even the remotest sign of danger at the other end, when McAuley did superbly to head clear a Jamie O'Hara corner with his back to goal under severe pressure from Fletcher.

But Albion were soon back on the attack and went mightily close on 22. Fortune dispossessed Bassong and Odemwingie found Thomas, who teed up Scharner in the box. The Austrian volleyed goalwards and the ball clipped Roger Johnson before being superbly tipped over by Hennessey.

From Morrison's corner, the ball dropped to Ridgewell whose goalbound effort was blocked at point-blank range by Fletcher.

Wolves earned some respite by winning a succession of corners, but the Baggies rearguard stood up manfully.

And Albion finally got the lead their early endeavour undoubtedly deserved in the 34th minute. Odemwingie cut in from the right and saw his 20-yard left-footer clip Dave Edwards and fly past the wrong-footed Hennessey. Cue scenes of delirium in the lower tier of the Steve Bull Stand.

Odemwingie had a real taste for it now and, three minutes later, sent an acute drive into Hennessey's midriff, which was too hot for the Wolves No.1 to hold.

Albion looked comfortable for the rest of the half - until the final few seconds of stoppage time. Ben Foster had barely touched the ball but found himself picking it out of his net. Fletcher finished a move he had started by clipping the ball past the Albion No.1 on the turn from 15 yards. It was Wolves' first shot on target.

The visitors were forced into a change at half-time when Scharner was replaced by Andrews, whose arrival was greeted by predictable boos from the Wolves fans.

There was an early scare for the Baggies after the break when Doyle wriggled free of Jonas Olsson, but his low cross was intercepted by Reid's outstretched leg to deny Fletcher a tap-in.

The equaliser had breathed confidence into Wolves' game and Fletcher saw a terrific first-time strike from Reid's headed clearance clip Olsson and squirm just wide of the right-hand post.

But Albion regrouped and created a decent chance themselves. Odemwingie skipped past Stephen Ward down the right and from his pull-back, Thomas fired high into the South Bank from 15 yards.

Then, on 58, Andrews headed a decent chance over from Morrison's corner.

Albion had not been quite as dominant since the break but were still playing some great stuff.

A terrific 64th-minute move from front to back resulted in Hennessey palming wide Fortune's acute drive.

And the Baggies had their noses back in front from Morrison's ensuing corner. Olsson headed the Scotland international's deep centre back into the danger-zone and McAuley's looping header clipped the far post. Roger Johnson inexplicably booted the rebound high inside his own box and the ball broke for Olsson, who took a touch before seeing his 12-yard shot squirm through Hennessey's grasp and bounce over the line.

Foster was finally called on to make his first save of the game on 72 - and what a save it was. The on-loan Blues man dived at full stretch to tip away Fletcher's header from Matt Jarvis' centre. From O'Hara's corner, there was more drama when Johnson's goalbound header was nodded onto his own bar, and to safety, by Youssouf Mulumbu on the goalline.

Albion immediately broke upfield and Odemwingie teased his way past O'Hara and Jarvis on the edge of the Wolves box before clipping the ball past Hennessey - but Foley cleared off the line.

The end-to-end action continued when sub Nenad Milijas had an 18-yard effort blocked by McAuley in the Albion box.

Another goal had been on the cards for some time - and it went Albion's way on 77.

Ridgewell headed Morrison's corner into the heart of the Wolves box and Olsson back-heeled the ball to Odemwingie who, with his back to goal, swept home from eight yards.

The game was now over as a contest and Andrews struck his first Baggies goal from the edge of the box - with the aid of a deflection off Johnson - from Morrison's pull-back.

Incredibly, Albion were 5-1 up when Odemwingie stabbed home Morrison's low cross from eight yards.

As Molineux emptied, the Baggies kept pressing for further goals but Wolves just about prevented them inflicting further damage.

The final whistle sparked scenes of unbridled joy in the away end as the Black Country bragging rights remained firmly in the blue-and-white-half of the region.

WOLVES (4-4-2): Hennessey; Foley, Bassong (Berra 61), Johnson, Ward; Doyle, O'Hara, Edwards (Milijas 69), Jarvis; Ebanks-Blake, Fletcher. Subs not used: De Vries (gk), Stearman, Hunt, Hammill, Jonsson.

ALBION (4-5-1): Foster; Reid, McAuley, Olsson, Ridgewell; Thomas (Cox 76), Mulumbu, Morrison, Scharner (Andrews HT), Odemwingie (Dorrans 89); Fortune. Subs not used: Fulop (gk), Jones, Long, Tchoyi.

GOALS: WOLVES - Fletcher (45+1). ALBION - Odemwingie (34, 77 & 88), Olsson (64), Andrews (85).

BOOKINGS: WOLVES - O'Hara (foul 27).

REFEREE L Mason (Lancashire).


ALBION STARMAN: Peter Odemwingie
    Data provided by Press Association


    For the first 50 years of their existence, England played their home matches all around the country.