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Di Matteo hails Wood wondergoal
Published : 16 Sep 2009 08:34:17Rss feed
New Zealand international Wood, 17, scored from 30 yards in the 85th minute - the first senior goal of his career - as Albion bounced back in style at The Hawthorns after falling behind to a seventh-minute strike from Waide Fairhurst to secure their fifth Championship win of the season and leapfrog Newcastle at the summit. Central defender Jonas Olsson had earlier struck twice to put Albion in control before Wood's spectacular late intervention. Di Matteo said: "You can see Chris has a talent and he has a lot of ability. "He will only be 18 at the end of the year so we need to be patient with him and he has to keep his feet on the ground. "But it is great to see a player coming through the Academy and he will have a bright future if he keeps his head on his shoulders. His goal excited me, it was worth the admission money alone." Di Matteo was not entirely pleased with the display of his side and he added: "I am happy about three things: three points, two goals from set-pieces and Chris Wood's stunning goal. "We still have a lot of work to do. But we are still winning in the meantime. "We showed good character to come back from a goal behind for the second successive game but giving early goals away makes your life so much more difficult." Doncaster boss Sean O'Driscoll felt the final score was somewhat harsh on his side, saying: "We gave away two free headers and it was a great strike by Chris Wood but we probably shouldn't have let him get the opportunity. "Apart from that I thought we gave as good as we got and if Adam Lockwood had converted his chance that he had then the last 10 minutes would have been interesting. "Albion are a quality side and we knew that when we came here but I thought we had a really good go at it. "I didn't want to come here and defend for 90 minutes because Albion are too good a team. "They are arguably the best team in the league. We can take the positives out of the game as this is a difficult division for us. "When we come to places like this we use it as a challenge for the players. They enjoy it. We are quite entertaining and if we are going to lose I would rather lose playing like that." Fairhurst initially stunned Albion when he made no mistake from close range. He had played a part in the build-up to the goal by exchanging passes with Billy Sharp following good work on the right from John Oster. On-loan Sheffield United marksman Sharp then rolled the ball back into the path of Fairhurst who made no mistake from six yards. But Doncaster could only hold on to their advantage for 13 minutes as Albion made them pay for some slack marking at a corner. Doncaster failed to deal with the cross from Graham Dorrans and the Scotsman's centre flew straight to the unmarked Olsson who powered home a header at the far post. That was a warning Doncaster didn't to heed and the duo repeated the trick 20 minutes into the second half to put Albion in control. This time, Dorrans swept in a left wing free-kick and Olsson made no mistake with a powerful header that flew past stranded goalkeeper Neil Sullivan. Teenager Wood then struck with a goal he is unlikely to forget - holding off the attention of two Doncaster defenders before letting fly with a volley that flew into the top corner of the net.