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
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
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
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.