Sub Sylvan nods Wolves to vital point

Sylvan Ebanks-Blake came off the bench to rescue a 1-1 draw for Wolves against Blackburn and put them on the brink of Premier League survival.

Last Updated: 24/04/10 at 17:47 Post Comment

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Ebanks-Blake had only been on the pitch for barely a minute when he headed home an 80th-minute centre from Stephen Ward.

It cancelled out a first-half opener from Rovers skipper Ryan Nelsen and was Wolves' first goal in 469 minutes of football.

Hundreds of Wolves fans invaded the pitch at the end of the game and the share of the spoils means only Burnley, who entertain Liverpool on Sunday, of the current bottom three can overhaul Wolves.

Ebanks-Blake scored 25 goals last season to help Wolves gain promotion from the Championship but the former Plymouth player has been a peripheral figure during the current campaign - until now.

Wolves enjoyed plenty of early possession but Blackburn could afford to play with freedom given their mid-table position.

The visitors almost caught Wolves on the counter-attack but Yildiray Basturk over-hit his cross to Martin Olsson who was in plenty of space on the far side of the box.

Wolves had a sniff of a chance when a cross from Ward picked out the run of David Edwards but he directed his header back across the six-yard box instead of towards goal.

Blackburn came close to taking the lead with the first clear-cut opening after 19 minutes.

Nikola Kalinic climbed above the Wolves defence to meet a left-wing centre from Olsson and his header thudded against a post with Hahnemann well beaten.

Wolves were struggling to create chances but there was a rare moment of danger when Kevin Doyle's accurate centre was met by Edwards whose close-range effort was deflected for a corner.

David Jones drilled a shot into the side netting but after 28 minutes Nelsen stunned the home side by putting his side in front.

Pedersen's inswinging corner found its way right across the six-yard box to Nelsen who kneed the ball over the line from close range.

McCarthy decided to make a tactical switch after 36 minutes and brought on striker Chris Iwelumo for midfielder Edwards and reverted from a 4-5-1 to a 4-4-2 formation.

Ward was looking dangerous down the left flank and at the centre of most of Wolves' best moments.

In first-half injury-time Jody Craddock volleyed across goal from a narrow angle after Doyle had flicked on a Jones free-kick.

Rovers boss Sam Allardyce made a half-time switch with David Dunn replacing Basturk.

Salgado brought down Doyle 30 yards out and the resulting free-kick from Jones was bent over the defensive wall but turned around the post by Robinson.

There were signs of Wolves coming to life and Craddock volleyed over the bar after Iwelumo had flicked on a long throw from Elokobi.

Pedersen became the first player to be booked for a late challenge on Ronald Zubar.

Robinson failed to make full contact on a punch from Elokobi's long throw but Iwelumo was unable to take advantage and his shot bobbled through to the relieved former England keeper.

Rovers made a second change with former Wolves player Keith Andrews taking over from Kalinic.

Wolves conceded a free-kick when Hahnemann picked up a back pass from Craddock but Dunn flashed his 20-yarder over the bar.

McCarthy brought on Nenad Milijas in midfield for Michael Mancienne after 67 minutes.

Pedersen curled a 25-yard free-kick straight at Hahnemann and at the other end Milijas dragged a shot wide from a similar distance.

Doyle headed over from a Jones cross and then Hahnemann beat out a fierce attempt from Pedersen.

McCarthy brought on Ebanks-Blake for Kevin Foley with 11 minutes left - and 60 seconds later he brought Wolves back on level terms.

Ward's centre picked out the former Plymouth striker who headed back across Robinson into the corner of the net.

It was his first goal in open play in the Premier League for Wolves but could not have been more vital.

Hahnemann got his body behind another Pedersen effort with two minutes remaining and then Rovers substitute Franco Di Santo hit the post.

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