Goals from Kevin Doyle and David Edwards gave Wolves all three points at Molineux on Sunday afternoon. Wolves took the lead on 18 minutes after the Whites were unable to deal with a long throw from Greg Halford. Mick McCarty’s men doubled their tally after half-time through David Edwards. But Fulham struck back through a Danny Murphy penalty on 66 minutes.
Roy Hodgson reverted to a more familiar line-up for the encounter at Molineux as attentions returned to Barclays Premier League action following the Whites’ exploits in the UEFA Europa League.
The game got off to an encouraging start for the home side as Fulham, despite some promising passing movements in midfield, surrendered possession with a few unforced errors early on. Fortunately, Wolves were unable to make the Whites pay and the match soon settled down into a more predictable flow.
Both sides adopted a conventional 4-4-2 formation, looking to keep compact and narrow when not in possession. But it was certainly the Whites doing the majority of the defensive work as a couple of half-chances went Wolves’ way with Kevin Doyle and Andy Keogh placing their efforts wide.
The home side took the lead in the 18th minute after the Whites failed to clear a long throw from Greg Halford. Christophe Berra was first to the ball in the box, flicking a header into the path of Kevin Doyle, who scored from close range. Indeed, the passage of play was initially started by Doyle who won the throw-in after good work.
Fulham closed out the reminder of the first-half struggling to make significant forward progress – leaving Wayne Hennessey’s goalmouth relatively untroubled. By contrast Wolves were quick to get forward when in possession and often found their way into the final third of the pitch – albeit without producing the killer final pass.
A late surge by Fulham saw a good opportunity fall to Clint Dempsey but the ball was whipped off his toe by a determined tackle from George Elokobi.
The second-half was only a few minutes old when Wolves doubled their lead through David Edwards. Clint Dempsey gave the ball away in midfield with a loose header which Andy Keogh seized upon with great relish. The Wolves attacker made a purposeful run deep into Fulham territory before crossing low to Edwards who powerfully side-footed into the top corner of the net.
Buoyed by the goal, Wolves created two further scoring opportunities in quick succession with Matthew Jarvis hitting fierce shot just over the bar from long range and Aaron Hughes almost diverting a header past Mark Schwarzer.
Simon Davies came on for Clint Dempsey on the hour mark. The change saw Damien Duff move out to the left wing with Davies taking up position on the right side of midfield.
Fulham looked instantly a more dangerous side as good chances for Damien Duff and Bobby Zamora soon followed. Zamora was heavily involved in Fulham's equaliser on 66 minutes when he was pulled to the ground by Michael Mancienne on the edge of the six yard area. The referee pointed to the spot, Danny Murphy stepped up and, as usual, calmly side-footed past the keeper.
The goal took some of the wind out of Wolves’ sails and certainly the introduction of Davies gave the Whites more threat in attack.
Roy Hodgson made a second substitution when Jonathan Greening came on for Paul Konchesky. As a result Damien Duff dropped back to left-back with Greening occupying the left wing berth.
Fulham were denied a good penalty appeal when yet another pull by Mancienne on Zamora went unspotted.
A third change came on 75 minutes when Diomansy Kamara came on for Dickson Etuhu. The Whites came close to equalising in bizarre circumstances minutes when, somehow, four Fulham players escaped a mass push for offside from the home defence following a Fulham free kick – leaving Zamora and Kamara standing in the area. The ball found its way back to Kamara but his rushed effort was cleared off the line.
The Whites finished the game well on top but a nervous-looking Wolves side managed to hang on for the