Cooper substitution sparks unlikely win.

Last updated : 24 November 2002 By Dave Burgess

Wolves snatched a dramatic and unlikely, and possibly undeserved, win against promotion rivals Forest yesterday at the Molineux.

Coasting comfortably to defeat, the once-again lacklustre and uncommitted Newton was replaced by Cooper.

Cooper, a naturally left-sided player, had failed in previous attempts to convince whilst playing on the right so I wasn’t particularly hopeful of his impact.

However, he injected an urgency and spirit that lifted the crowd and his colleagues.

He almost scored the equaliser himself but his effort rolled just wide of the right hand side of the post but Wolves suddenly realised the deficit was just the one goal.

In the first half, Forest had controlled the game with ease.

Wolves had started the match brightly but the absence of key players once again was to show as Forest’s formation of playing Lester just behind Harewood and Johnson was causing Wolves a big headache.

Several times Murray was called on to deny Forest taking the lead. Williams in midfield was making the most of the acres space he was finding and was himself thwarted by Murray.

However, just as it seemed that Wolves were going to hold on until half time, a failure to clear was punished by a rasping shot from Harewood that went back across Murray and into the corner.

There could be no complaints as Forest were by far the better team.

With the exception of Cooper on the bench you couldn’t see where Wolves were going to get an answer.

The midfield was being over-run, the attack couldn’t hold on to the ball and the defence was just about holding it’s own.

However, surprisingly Forest didn’t push for a killer second.

Instead they contained what little threat Wolves posed which I think was to prove their undoing.

It’s always dangerous to try and hold onto a one-goal lead and the introduction of Cooper was to swing the game back in Wolves favour.

The first goal came from a failure to clear the ball by Forest, Edworthy returned the clearance straight to Miller.

He had a man outside him but used this to give himself the time to steady himself and then fire and unstoppable shot from outside the box.

Absolute relief within the packed stadium well, for the Wolves fans at least.

However, just four minutes later even more delirium for the home fans.

A quickly taken free-kick was headed home in bullet fashion by Deano at the near post. Later we were to learn that he wanted to come off but Jones told him to stay put – proving to be the right decision.

Forest nearly equalised straight from the kick off. Another fantastic save by Murray, turning the ball onto the post, kept Wolves in the lead.

3 minutes of added time saw lots of fingernail biting but joy erupted around the Molineux at the end for another 3 points that lifts us up to 5th.

Forest, well they were really unlucky not to get at least a draw from the game and they will be there or thereabouts at the end of the season.

If Wolves can win matches like this, when they played poorly and were missing key players, then when the squad is fully fit who knows what they will be capable of.

As for man of the match well some papers have given it to Cooper for the positive impact he had on the game but I’d give it to Murray as it would have been all over before then if he hadn’t thwarted Forest in the first half.

Bring on the next game!

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