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Saturday, 16 March, 2002, 17:51 GMT
Wolves 0-1 Grimsby
Wolves' Kevin Muscat in action
Muscat's sending off turned the game

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Promotion-chasing Wolves slumped to a disappointing home defeat at the hands of Grimsby.

Australia international Kevin Muscat was deservedly sent off nine minutes into the second half for a reckless elbow on Michael Boulding.

The right-back will now miss three matches of Wolves' promotion run-in.

And the dismissal proved pivotal as relegation-threatened Grimsby stole three priceless points, with Andy Todd's 80th-minute header lifting Town out of the bottom three.

Wolves clearly have a case of the jitters as they are making hard work of winning promotion to the top flight.

On the back of six successive league victories at Molineux, and with Grimsby losing three of their last five matches away from home, there appeared only one outcome prior to kick-off.

But it is now two points from the last three matches for the Midlands side as their previous two games saw them come away from Nottingham Forest and Birmingham with 2-2 draws.

The gap to bitter Black Country rivals West Brom is becoming less comfortable by the week.

And the Baggies also have the far easier run-in to a campaign which could yet go down to the wire.

Even after Muscat's dismissal, Wolves enjoyed the majority of possession, but they were restricted to a handful of chances by the battling Mariners.

Shaun Newton's 60-yard run from inside his own half was the highlight of the game for Wolves in the 65th minute.

But there was no breathtaking finish as his left-foot shot flashed narrowly past Danny Coyne's right-hand post.

With just 10 minutes remaining, Grimsby then clinched an unlikely victory with Todd heading home a Danny Butterfield corner beyond Michael Oakes from eight yards.


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

Grimsby: Coyne, McDermott, Todd, Groves, Gallimore, Butterfield, Pouton, Coldicott, Campbell, Allen, Boulding. Subs: Ford, Croudson, Burnett, Jevons, Rowan.

Referee: P Richards (Preston)

BBC Sport's Bob Ballard
"Wolves' lethargy was difficult to understand"
Links to more Eng Div 1 stories are at the foot of the page.


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