Sunday, 14 April 2002
Nationwide League Division 1
Attendance: 26,920
Ref: Roger Furnandiz
Wolverhampton Wanderers
Nathan Blake
1 (1) - (0) 0
Michal Oakes
Gunnar Halle
Paul Butler
Subbed 46m
Joleon Lescott
Mo Camara
Colin Cameron
Kevin Cooper
Shaun Newton
Alex Rae
Nathan Blake
Goal 23m Subbed 26m
Dean Sturridge
Ludovic Pollet
Sub (6 46m)6
Matt Murray
Lee Naylor
Kenny Miller
Sub (27 26m)27
Keith Andrews

Wolves kept up the pressure on West Brom at the top of the First Division table after narrowly beating Wimbledon.

Nathan Blake's first-half header sets up a nail-biting finale for the two west Midlands rivals next Sunday to decide who will claim the division's final automatic slot.

Wolves, who are now third in the table a point behind West Brom, must beat Sheffield Wednesday at Hillsborough next weekend and hope that their local rivals slip up at home to Crystal Palace.

If that is not the case, then Wolves will have to navigate the uncertain territory of the play-offs, where they last appeared four years ago when they went out at the semi-final stage.

Not that after this nervy win the Wolves' fans will have much nail left to gnaw.

Still in with a hope of a unlikely play-off spot before this defeat, Wimbledon adopted an aggressive attacking formation, deploying three in attack with Patrick Agyemang acting as the third striker.

It was a strategy that often had Wolves on the back-foot with the 21-year-old Agyemang's pace and dribbling skills worrying Wolves in general and Gunnar Halle in particular.

Agyemang also drew a superb save from Wolves goalkeeper Michael Oakes late in the game when he powered a header goalward from Joel McAnuff's cross.

If Wolves had the better of proceedings in the second-half, that did not happen in the opening period when Wimbldedon stood toe-to-toe with Dave Jones' side.

Oakes needed to scramble quickly across his goal to push away Neil Ardley's low shot, while just past the half-hour Neil Shipperley should have done better with his lob with only the Wolves goalkeeper to beat.

If Wimbledon had Agyemang, then Wolves had their own flying winger in Mohammed Camara, who from his defensive position on the left, got forward at every own opportunity.

One of those surges saw Camara send in a deep cross which Shaun Newton headed into the side-netting.

Blake calmed Wolves' nerves - briefly - with the simplest of goals on 23 minutes.

Kevin Cooper swung in a corner from the right and the former Bolton striker, sandwiched between Peter Hawkins and Chris Willmott, glanced his header past Kelvin Davis.

Soon after scoring Blake, who had stumbled awkwardly in the seventh minute after unleashing a shot which Davis saved, was replaced by Kenny Miller.