Wolverhampton 1-0 Aston Villa: Match Report
Wolves striker Joe Mason earns boss Paul Lambert victory against former club
Wolves striker Joe Mason earned manager Paul Lambert a 1-0 Sky Bet Championship victory against his former club Aston Villa at Molineux.
Lambert, who had been sacked by Villa in February 2015, saw Mason pounce after 15 minutes as Wolves earned their first home win against their local rivals in 12 attempts stretching bac k to 1978.
The defeat was another serious setback to Villa's hopes of getting into the promotion race. They have collected only one point from their last three games as they crashed to a seventh away defeat of the season.
Before the match, floral tributes were laid in memory of Graham Taylor who managed Villa between 1987 and 1990 and 2002 and 2003 and Wolves from 1994 to 1995.
Wolves backroom staff, Tony Daley and Rob Edwards along with Villa's under-23 coach Mark Delaney, who all played for Taylor, along with the Football Association's technical director Dan Ashworth took part in the tributes while a round of applause broke out in the 72nd minute to honour the former England manager.
In a predictably frenetic start to a local derby, Wolves did build up a head of steam and were rewarded when Mason gave them the lead from close range.
His goal owed everything to the persistence of his fellow forward Nouha Dicko. Dicko looked to be chasing a lost cause when he raced to try and stop the ball going out for a goal kick but he managed to reach it and delivered a cross that Villa goalkeeper Sam Johnstone palmed away.
In doing so, the on-loan Manchester United goalkeeper was left hopelessly out of position and Mason was able to turn the ball into an empty net from 12 yards. It was his fourth goal of the season and his first since August following his recent return to action after a two-month injury absence.
It should really have been a short-lived advantage as Villa's B#12million striker Ross McCormack wasted a golden chance to equalise in the 27th minute.
Villa left-back Jordan Amavi sent over a excellent cross that McCormack rose to meet on the edge of the six yard box but he could not keep his header down and it dropped harmlessly over the bar.
Villa then had to ride their luck to avoid falling further behind four minutes before half-time when skipper James Chester came to their rescue when he cleared Johnstone's effort off the line.
Villa needed a fast start to the second-half and almost got it in the 47th minute.
McCormack teed-up Mile Jedinak but his shot from the edge of the area was blocked
Wolves then squandered a golden opportunity to double their advantage after Costa surged up field before feeding Dicko in the 56th minute.
His powerful near post shot was beaten out to safety by Johnstone.
Wolves substitute Bright Enobakhare then wasted the perfect chance to make the game safe in the final minute when he fired wide after being set-up by some persistent play from Jon Dadi Bodvarsson.