Sako saves Wolves at death

Bakary Sako scored a stoppage-time equaliser to earn Wolves a

1-1 draw with Championship high-flyers Watford at Molineux.

Dean Saunders, Wolves’ fourth manager in 12 months, is still

waiting for his first victory in charge having overseen nine of

their run of 13 winless matches, with Wanderers – in the

Championship drop zone – still facing the very real prospect of

successive relegations, as they experienced in the 1980s.

Yet Sako’s well-taken injury-time equaliser drew welcome

celebrations from a frustrated Wolves crowd, who will still believe

in survival.

The game’s defining moment of brilliance looked to have came

just before half-time as Watford playmaker Almen Abdi, one of a

contingent of players on loan from Udinese, converted a delightful

free-kick for his 10th goal of the season.

The Hornets could at that point thank goalkeeper Jonathan Bond,

making his full league debut for the Hertfordshire outfit, for

still being on level terms having made an impressive double

save.

It was a point towards Watford’s march to a Premier League

return, but Gianfranco Zola’s second-placed side will certainly see

it as two dropped.

The first clear chance of the game came in the 19th minute when

Kevin Doyle found possession on the edge of the area and saw his

effort well parried by Bond, in for the injured Manuel Almunia, who

got up quickly to superbly keep out Bjorn Sigurdarson’s

rebound.

Marco Cassetti fired straight at Carl Ikeme following Jack

Robinson’s mis-control and as the game was drawing towards

stalemate at half-time, the visitors broke the deadlock.

Vydra drew a soft foul from Wanderers skipper Karl Henry and

Abdi, 20 yards out from a central position, floated a super

free-kick over the wall.

Watford should have doubled their advantage in the 66th minute

but Ikechi Anya somehow failed to convert after being teed up by

the impressive Cassetti, with Cristian Battocchio drilling narrowly

over from distance minutes later.

Wolves wasted a chance to draw level in the 77th minute,

Sigurdarson seeing his shot saved by Bond before Robinson was well

off target with the rebound.

Yet, with the game seeming beyond them, Sako popped up to

convert from Matt Doherty’s long throw-in.

Watford substitute Fernando Forestieri still had a chance to

snatch matters but blew his shot off target.