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Saturday, 2 March, 2002, 17:58 GMT
Wolves 2-0 Gillingham
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Alex Rae's seventh goal of the season and a header from Nathan Blake sent league leaders Wolves eight points clear at the top of Division One.

Dave Jones' side took full advantage of Manchester City's inactivity as two first-half goals kept their title ambitions firmly on track.

The game started scrappily, and the Molineux crowd had to wait until the 12th minute for the first attempt on goal.

Rae's free-kick from the right was met on the volley by Paul Butler but the defender failed to trouble Vince Bartram as his effort flew wide.

Fierce drive

Dean Sturridge then saw his shot saved by Bartram and Shaun Newton was next to test the Gills' keeper, but Bartram palmed his volley over the bar.

Wolves took the lead four minutes later when Bartram blocked Kennedy's fierce drive and Rae smashed home the rebound from six yards.

Gillingham tried to hit back immediately and Chris Hope saw his strong header saved by Michael Oakes.

Paul Shaw, whose stunning strike knocked Wolves out of the FA Cup earlier this year, then drilled a shot just wide as the visitors threatened to get back into the game before half-time.

Attacking threat

But any hopes they had were soon dashed as Blake powered home a header from Rae's cross in time added on at the end of the half.

The Gills came out fighting after the break and Marcus Browning and Shaw both went close, with the latter hitting the woodwork.

But Wolves were soon back on the attack and Sturridge twice failed to hit the target when well placed.

Blake tried his luck with a stunning 30-yard strike at the death but Bartram was equal to his effort.

Wolverhampton Wanderers: Oakes, Muscat, Lescott, Butler, Camara, Newton, Andrews, Rae, Kennedy, Blake, Sturridge. Subs: Ndah, Cameron, Pollet, Miller, Murray

Gillingham: Bartram, Nosworthy, Ashby, Hope, Edge, Browning, Smith, Hessenthaler, Osborn, King, Shaw. Subs: Butters, Ipoua, Gooden, Saunders, Perpetuini.

BBC Sport's John Southall
"The Premiership is inching closer for Wolves"
Wolves boss Dave Jones
"We worked hard today"
Links to more Eng Div 1 stories are at the foot of the page.


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