Team: Smith, Perch, Onuoha, Lynch, Robinson, Sandro (Henry), Hall, Luongo, Chery. Polter (Sylla), Washington (Ngbakoto)
Subs Not Used: Ingram, Bidwell, Cousins, Gladwin
Attendance: 12,222 (including 804 Wolves fans)
Wolves ended their nine-game winless run and picked up their first victory under new boss Paul Lambert by beating 10-man QPR.
R’s defender James Perch was sent-off before half-time for two yellow cards, and Dave Edwards fired in from 10 yards on the hour to put Wolves ahead. Helder Costa then cut in from the right to double the lead.
Joel Lynch pulled one back from close range and then missed a glorious chance to equalise as Wolves held on. That miss – an air-shot five yards out – came in eight frantic minutes of stoppage time when play swung from one end to the other as QPR searched for an equaliser and Wolves looked to hit them on the break.
Costa, twice, and Jon Dadi Bodvarsson were both brilliantly denied by Rangers keeper Alex Smithies as Wolves looked for the third goal that would have settled the contest.
The finale was in contrast to the first-half in which Smithies again saved from Costa before Perch was dismissed after being booked first for dissent and then for a late tackle on Matt Doherty.
QPR’s 10 men began the second-half brightly but fell behind when Edwards shot into the top corner from Dominic Iorfa’s pull-back before Costa made it 2-0.
Another smart Smithies save from Doherty kept the R’s in the game and they were rewarded when Lynch reduced the arrears.
But Wolves, whose keeper Carl Ikeme pulled up with an apparent Achilles injury when taking a second-half goalkick, held on to secure their first victory since beating Brentford on 24th September and move three points clear of the relegation zone in 19th.
QPR boss Ian Holloway on James Perch’s sending-off: “It’s probably the most bizarre thing I seen for a while. The decisions (referee Tim Robinson) made in the first few minutes led to the first booking. He blew everything up and that set the game up. ”
“I think he has made a mistake, Perchy then made a mistake on his second challenge, he caught him. My player shouldn’t have (gone in on the challenge) for the second one, the referee shouldn’t have booked him for the first one.”
“The ref said he spoke to him in an ‘aggressive manner’. Which is that stupid new-fangled rule. He said ‘ref, he dropped it’, there was no swearing. If there was swearing I could understand.”
Wolves head coach Paul Lambert told BBC WM 95.6: “I thought we earned the right to win the game with the start we had, and we had one or two chances before the sending off against a team that’s really difficult to play against here.”
“There was more enthusiasm for the game, more intensity for the game, we looked more of a threat and I think we look stronger defensively.”
“I still think we can be better in a lot of aspects, but it’s a decent start and I think we’re playing pretty well at the minute.”
Steve Marshall – BBC Sport
John22 was over from Dublin and it was good to meet up with him pre-match in the Crown & Sceptre.
Rangers were denied a penalty for a handball and were down to ten men after 35 minutes when James Perch received a second yellow card.
Former R’s loanee Carl Ikeme was initially booed when he went down as he attempted to take a goal kick. But it turned out that he wasn’t time wasting after all and Andy Lonergan replaced him in goal.
Joel Lynch scored from close range in the 90th minute and he then somehow missed a simple chance to stab the ball home two minutes later!
Once again, Alex Smithies was our Man of the Match.
Gareth Ainsworth, Simon Barker and Bobby Hazell were the latest ex-players to be inducted into the ‘Forever R’s Club’.