Rare win for McCarthy on Wearside

Last updated : 14 May 2011 By Northern Echo

A SEVERELY depleted Sunderland failed to end the season at the Stadium of Light on a high note by gifting former manager Mick McCarthy a relegation lifeline.

McCarthy, who failed to win any of his 19 home matches in charge after leading the Black Cats to promotion during his reign, was ecstatic this afternoon after watching his Wolves team leave Wearside with three vital points.

Former Sunderland defender Jody Craddock volleyed Wolves ahead in the first half before Steve Bruce's team deservedly equalised through Stephane Sessegnon's neat volley.

But after Steven Fletcher had headed Wolves back in front after the restart, Wolves made sure 12 minutes from time when full-back George Elokobi directed a cushioned header beyond goalkeeper Simon Mignolet.

Wolves resembled relegation strugglers before they took the lead, with Sunderland who had just 11 fit first team players - regularly causing problems in the visitors' half.

Time and time again McCarthy turned away in frustration as Wolves survived a number of scares.

But shortly after Phil Bardsley had gone close for Sunderland, Wolves made them pay with an opening goal completely against the run of play.

A corner was half cleared, Karl Henry's persistence unsettled Ahmed Elmohamady and Stephen Hunt delivered the cross.

Craddock was left unmarked at the back post to volley low in to Mignolet's far corner to put Wolves ahead inside 23 minutes.

But it took less than ten minutes for Sunderland to level. Zenden's corner was missed by everyone at the near post and Sessegnon shaped up before volleying neatly beyond Hennessey.

The second half started in a similar manner. Sunderland went close when Hennessey had to tip over a drive from Steed Malbranque but Wolves edged ahead again nine minutes after half-time.

Scotland striker Fletcher, who had wasted a good chance moments earlier, jumped ahead of John Mensah at the back post to nod Matt Jarvis's perfect cross beyond Mignolet, who had completely misjudged the cross.

Sunderland had a worthy call for a penalty waved away by referee Mike Jones when Sessegnon was tripped by Hunt, but then Elokobi moved ahead of Bardsley to head Jamie O'Hara's free-kick in to secure the points.

SUNDERLAND (4-1-4-1): Mignolet; Elmohamady, Onuoha, Mensah (Laing 87), Bardsley; Colback; Henderson (Lynch 76), Riveros, Zenden, Malbranque (Noble 70); Sessegnon. Subs (not used): Carson (gk), Cook, Knott, Adams.

WOLVERHAMPTON WNADERERS (4-4-2): Hennessey; Foley, Craddock, Mancienne, Elokobi; Guedioura (Jarvis 46), Henry, O'Hara, Hunt; Ward, Fletcher ((Doyle? 71) 71). Subs: Hahnemann (gk), Stearman, Ebanks-Blake, Berra, Milijas.

Source: Northern Echo

Source: Northern Echo