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Stearman caps Wolves celebrations

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04 May 2009 09:13:28

Stearman caps Wolves celebrations

An often sleepy final-day clash was well into stoppage time when the England under-21 international, absent from the starting line-up for the last 12 games, climbed superbly to secure a 1-0 win with a bouncing header from Stephen Ward's left-wing centre. It was the defender's first goal for the club he joined last summer and came in the nick of time - just before Wolves were presented with the League Championship Trophy and embarked on their lap of honour. Amid the celebrations, chairman and owner Steve Morgan, who had said in his programme notes that Wolves were determined not to act like tourists in the top flight, seized the microphone to say of his famous £10 purchase of the club: "I wouldn't sell it back to Sir Jack Hayward for £20 now! He wouldn't get it for £20billion." Morgan has reportedly promised to send the squad on holiday to Las Vegas but the chances of an open-top bus tour of the city seem to be diminishing. "The players would like to have done it," said manager Mick McCarthy. "They are really disappointed. "I'm not saying it's definitely off but they will have to be quick. The players will soon be going out shooting the town up - and so will I." Wolves, having taken their points tally to 90 by winning for the eighth time in 11 games, were laboured, although Kevin Foley hit the post in the first half. "I almost apologised on Friday for how we were going to be," McCarthy added. "We were lifeless compared with how we have been. But it was a fabulous day - and congratulations to Alex (McLeish) and Birmingham as well. To go to Reading and win like that is excellent." Doncaster were often the better side and threatened to take the lead in the second half as Wayne Hennessey made fine saves from James Hayter's header and a shot on the turn by substitute Lewis Guy. In many ways, Doncaster's feat in staying up is as worthy as Wolves' achievement in going up and their Wolverhampton-born manager Sean O'Driscoll was proud that his side again acquitted themselves well after assuring themselves of safety with plenty to spare. "I thought we were the better team and dominated play," he said. "We did what we wanted to do but we have to score goals to win games. "We started really well, handled the occasion and, on another day, might have made 20,000 odd Wolves fans unhappy with the way we kept their team quiet. "Staying in the division has been an achievement and we have hit a lot of our targets. All the players impressed me, especially as we were short of a number of first-team regulars. "The result has left the dressing room a bit flat. We have done 90 per cent of what we came here to do. I think we should have come off with the game won."


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