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Saturday, 17 August, 2002, 16:55 GMT 17:55 UK
Wolves 3-0 Burnley
Wolves' Denis Irwin celebrates his goal

Wolves' two veteran summer signings made a major impact as Dave Jones' side maintained their promising start to the new season.

Former England skipper Paul Ince went on for his debut as a substitute in the ninth minute, by which time Nathan Blake had scored the opening goal and Burnley were down to 10 men.

And Ince's former Manchester United team-mate Denis Irwin showed his quality by curling in a beautiful free-kick early in the second half which effectively ended Burnley's resistance.

Ince, signed on a free transfer from Middlesbrough, went on for the injured Colin Cameron, who had played a major part in giving Wolves the lead after 82 seconds.

Cameron's shot from outside the area was spilled by Burnley goalkeeper Nik Michopoulos and Wales international Blake was on hand to smash the rebound high into the net.

Five minutes later, the visitors had Paul Cook sent off for a foul on Alex Rae and followed up with an outburst at referee Jeff Winter, who flourished the red card.

Burnley's fiery tackling then brought an end to Cameron's game as he was forced off following two crunching challenges, prompting Ince's entry into the fray.

And the former Manchester United and Liverpool star soon began pulling the strings in midfield as Wolves looked comfortable without creating many chances.

But they could hardly have had a better opportunity to extend their lead after 37 minutes when Wolves were denied by a brilliant penalty save.

The spot-kick was given after Dean West used his hand to prevent a Kenny Miller shot from crossing the line. Miller stepped up to take the penalty but Michopoulos dived to his left and kept the ball out.

That meant the advantage remained 1-0 at the break, but four minutes after the restart Wolves went further ahead thanks to a brilliant Irwin set-piece.

After Ince had been fouled by Steve Davis, the former Republic of Ireland full-back bent the ball into the top corner of the net from 20 yards.

Ince was again in the thick of the action after 66 minutes but his shot went wide, while fellow substitute Kevin Cooper hit the woodwork from 20 yards as Burnley faded.

But former Wimbledon winger Cooper made no mistake three minutes from time to put the gloss on an impressive Wolves performance, chipping the ball into the net after being played in by Shaun Newton.


Wolverhampton: Oakes, Irwin, Lescott, Butler, Naylor, Newton, Rae, Cameron, Ingimarsson, Blake, Miller. Subs: Murray, Sturridge, Cooper, Ince, Proudlock.

Burnley: Michopoulos, West, Stephen Davis, Gnohere, McGregor, Little, Briscoe, Weller, Cook, Alan Moore, Taylor. Subs: Ian Moore, Papadopoulos, Payton, Cox, Blake.

Referee: J Winter (Cleveland).


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