CHAMPIONS: Wolves win title in style.
JAMES Henry's late rocket was the icing on the cake as Wolves were crowned League One champions.
The result stretched their unbeaten run to eight matches but, more importantly, with Brentford drawing 2-2 at MK Dons it means Wolves have clinced the title with two games left to play.
Kenny Jackett's men showed no heavy legs from their thrilling 6-4 victory over Rotherham 72 hours earlier as they stormed into a 2-0 half-time lead.
First, Richard Stearman headed Wolves ahead on 17 minutes before Bakary Sako doubled their advantage just after the half-hour mark with his 13th goal of the season.
Although Orient were much improved after the break and pulled a goal back minutes into the second half through Dean Cox, Henry drilled home his tenth of the season in stoppage time to ensure the win.
The match started at a frantic pace with Orient edging the opening exchanges, David Mooney with an early effort that flew wide of Carl Ikeme's right-hand post.
However, Wolves were keen to show their hosts who was boss and it wasn't long before Kevin McDonald forced Orient goalkeeper Jamie Jones into a save when he batted away a curling effort from the edge of the box on seven minutes.
Everton loanee John Lundstram provided creativity from Orient's midfield and nearly slipped a ball behind in the 11th minute only for Ikeme to smother the 20-year-old's through-ball.
However, Wolves' pressure was building and they deservedly went ahead on 17 minutes when Stearman headed in Danny Batth's flick-on from a Michael Jacobs corner.
Orient looked vulnerable after Stearman's opener and Nouha Dicko nearly doubled Wolves' lead when he powered an effort at Jones from 25 yards in the 23rd minute.
Russell Slade's men slowly found their feet and Mathieu Baudry should have drawn his side level in the 28th minute but the midfielder headed over when Cox's header found him free in the box.
Orient were growing into the match and had strong calls for a penalty waved away by referee Neil Swarbrick when Mooney's 20-yard strike appeared to hit Stearman's hand in the penalty area.
With the home side still reeling over the decision, Sako was on hand to double Wolves' lead shortly after the half-hour when he converted Dicko's layoff. The Mali international has been linked with a move away from Molineux this summer but scored his 13th goal of the season at Brisbane Road with the help of Jones' left-hand post.
Despite their lead, Jackett's side were not at their best and had Ikeme to thank for their two-goal cushion at the break when he saved well at his near post from Mooney's low shot inside the area.
Wolves sat back after their second goal and Orient should have scored when Nathan Clarke's powerful header was acrobatically tipped over by Ikeme in the 42nd minute from a Cox corner. In first-half stoppage time, referee Swarbrick was again under pressure from Orient's players when he disallowed Chris Dagnall's closerange header from another corner from Cox.
Orient began the second half in the same fashion as they ended the first and should have reduced Wolves' lead in the 46th minute when Mooney fired a powerful volley straight at Ikeme from seven yards out.
The Wolves goalkeeper was magnificent form but was at fault for Orient's goal when he failed to deal with a looped cross into the box.
Ikeme's failure to collect the cross created a scramble in the box with Cox poking home a deserved goal for Orient.
The home side pushed for the equaliser but the goal seemed to reignite Wolves' interest in the match.
In the 69th minute Dave Edwards had a chance to wrap up the win but Jones had his near post covered to block his scuffed effort.
Wolves had Ikeme to thank again in the 71st minute when he made an outstanding triple save, first from substitute Shaun Batt before denying Mooney and Baudry.
And with Orient pushing for an equaliser in the dying minutes of the game, substitute Henry sealed the win - and the League One crown - with a low drive from just outside the penalty area.
LEYTON ORIENT: Jones, Cuthbert, Baudry, Clarke, Sawyer, Odubajo, Vincelot (James 75), Lundstram, Cox, Mooney (Lasimant 83), Dagnall (Batt 66). Subs: Larkins, Gorman, Simpson, Ness.
WOLVES (4-2-3-1): ? IKEME 8, Golbourne 5, Stearman 6, Batth 6, Ricketts 6, Price 5, Sako 7, McDonald 5, Edwards 6, Jacobs 8 (Henry 66, 5), Dicko 7 (Clarke 66, 5). Subs: McCarey, Evans, McAlinden, Ebanks-Landell, Doherty.
Referee: N Swarbrick (Lancashire).
Bakary Sako celebrates his goal.
James Henry is mobbed by delighted team-mates after his late goal put Wolves 3-1 ahead against Leyton Orient.
|Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback|
|Publication:||Birmingham Mail (England)|
|Date:||Apr 22, 2014|
|Previous Article:||Villa teenager Grealish coming of age as a team player in League One survival scrap at Notts County.|
|Next Article:||Albrighton's made to wait for talks over Villa contract; Albrighton's deal talks are put on hold.|