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Saturday, 23 December, 2000, 14:36 GMT
Sheff Wed 0-1 Wolves
Muscat
Muscat: Spectacular free kick gave Wolves victory
Kevin Muscat's well taken free-kick gave Wolves an early Christmas present with a much-needed win over struggling Sheffield Wednesday.

Muscat fired the visitors into the lead on the stroke of half-time from 18 yards as Wednesday struggled to get out of first gear.

Managerless Wolves could have won by a greater margin, but George Ndah and Michael Branch wasted good chances.

Wednesday created very little throughout the game, although they did have the opening chance of the game as early as the second minute.

Owen Morrison's centre was flicked on by Efan Ekoku but the striker's attempt flew over the bar.

A minute later the home side had a scare when the referee waved away Wolves' penalty appeal following Owls keeper Kevin Pressman's challenge on Ndah.

Clearance

Despite Wednesday's early chance it was the visitors who looked the more likely side to open the scoring. Joleon Lescot's point-blank header from six yards forced Pressman into a fine save.

After 23 minutes Andy Sinton's corner was met by the head of Ndah, but Owls full-back Steve Harkness was on the line to clear the danger.

Just asthe first half looked to be ending all square, Wolves broke the deadlock through skipper Muscat.

The defender brilliantly executed a curling free-kick from the edge of the Wednesday box which flew past the outstretched arms of Pressman and into the bottom left-hand corner of the net.

Tight

The second half was as dour as the first with the first shot on goal coming from Wednesday old boy Sinton on 57 minutes.

Wednesday's best chance followed just a minute later when Gerald Sibon fed Morrison down the left hand side, but the youngster's tight angled shot failed to force Oakes into a save.

Wolves should have doubled their lead on 72 minutes but Ndah's free header went wide of the target.

Minutes later substitute Michael Branch capitalised on a Des Walker error, only to see his lob over the stranded Pressman dip the wrong side of the Owls' bar.

But Wolves hung on for a precious away win to help stand-in boss John Ward, appointed following the sacking of Colin Lee this week, stake his claim for the Molineux hotseat.


Sheff Wed: Pressman, Haslam, Harkness, Walker, Quinn, Sibon, Hendon, Ekoku, Cooke, Bromby, Morrison. Subs: Stringer, O'Donnell, Lescott, Hamshaw, Di Piedi.

Wolverhampton: Oakes, Muscat, Naylor, Robinson, Pollet, Bazeley, Sinton, Ndah, Lescott, Andrews, Proudlock. Subs: Nash, Branch, Green, Camara, Tudor.

Referee: R Pearson

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