Leaders Wolves survived a scare against Colchester to go four points clear at the top of League One.

The hosts led inside two minutes when Michael Jacobs' cross found the net, before David Edwards seized on a loose backpass and James Henry tapped in.

But Colchester fought back, with Alex Gilbey's header and David Wright's volley setting up a tense finish.

Freddie Sears hit a post for the visitors before Wolves sub Nouha Dicko rounded goalkeeper Sam Walker to score.

Wolves back on course?

  • After seeing their club record nine-match winning run come to an end in their last home game against Shrewsbury Town, Wolves then lost at Crawley. But they have now clocked up successive victories again.

Wolves dominated possession from the start of a one-sided first half, leading 3-0 at the break.

Leon Clarke three times went close to his first goal at Molineux since returning to the club from Coventry.

Clarke had a header saved by Walker and another fly narrowly wide. And, when Walker turned his effort into Henry's path just before the break, the winger netted the rebound.

Jacobs and Edwards both missed excellent chances at the start of the second half before Colchester's stirring fightback.

Kenny Jackett's side had to endure a nervous finale until Dicko sealed a 14th home league win of the season with virtually the last kick.

Wolves' victory - combined with Brentford's 3-0 defeat at Rotherham - strengthens their title aspirations.

Colchester, meanwhile, are now just four points clear of the League One drop zone.

Wolves boss Kenny Jackett told BBC WM:

"You see a lot of comebacks in football and Colchester have a lot of spirit.

"They changed their system, went went to a diamond and caused us problems.

"Things weren't perfect. You can't just expect it happen. But four goals at home is a big positive and overall I felt we deserved to win.

"With us winning and Brentford losing, it's been a good night for us."

Colchester United manager Joe Dunne told BBC Essex:

"I thought the second half we were excellent. We made some substitutions, tactically changed the shape, and had a great response.

"Freddie Sears hits the post, could make it 3-3. We were going for it at the end and left ourselves open a bit at the back.

"In the end 4-2 looks harsh. I know they had a lot of chances, but that's not my fault they missed them.

"I have to pay great credit to the players, in the second half they really dug in deep and showed great character again."

Lineup, Bookings (3) & Substitutions (6)

Wolverhampton Wanderers

  • 13 Ikeme
  • 18 Ricketts
  • 26 Golbourne
  • 14 Evans (Sako - 76' Booked )
  • 05 Stearman
  • 06 Batth
  • 07 Henry
  • 11 McDonald
  • 09 Clarke (Dicko - 76' )
  • 04 Edwards (Price - 53' )
  • 27 Jacobs

Substitutes

  • 03 Elokobi
  • 10 Sako
  • 19 Price
  • 20 McAlinden
  • 23 Ebanks-Landell
  • 31 McCarey
  • 40 Dicko

Colchester United

  • 44 Walker
  • 39 Sesay Booked
  • 03 Dickson
  • 22 Gilbey
  • 04 Okuonghae
  • 18 Eastman
  • 21 Massey (Szmodics - 65' )
  • 02 Wright
  • 17 Ibehre (Morrison - 55' )
  • 06 Eastmond Booked (Sears - 55' )
  • 25 Vose

Substitutes

  • 01 Cousins
  • 09 Morrison
  • 11 Sears
  • 15 Bean
  • 23 Olufemi
  • 40 Szmodics
  • 41 Bonne
Ref: Andy Woolmer
Att: 17,041

Match Stats

Shots

21 9

On target

7 4

Corners

7 1

Fouls

5 9

Live Text Commentary

Full time

Full Time Match ends, Wolverhampton Wanderers 4, Colchester United 2.

90:00 +5:14 Full time

Full Time Second Half ends, Wolverhampton Wanderers 4, Colchester United 2.

90:00 +4:17 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Wolverhampton Wanderers 4, Colchester United 2. Nouha Dicko (Wolverhampton Wanderers) right footed shot from a difficult angle on the right to the bottom right corner.

90:00 +2:38 Booking

Booking Bakary Sako (Wolverhampton Wanderers) is shown the yellow card.

90:00 +2:13 Booking

Booking Alie Sesay (Colchester United) is shown the yellow card.

90:00 +2:09

Bakary Sako (Wolverhampton Wanderers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

90:00 +2:09

Foul by Alie Sesay (Colchester United).

90:00 +0:58

Attempt missed. Dominic Vose (Colchester United) right footed shot from the left side of the box misses to the left.

90:00 +0:23

Foul by Michael Jacobs (Wolverhampton Wanderers).

90:00 +0:23

Ryan Dickson (Colchester United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

89:32

Michael Jacobs (Wolverhampton Wanderers) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

89:32

Foul by Dominic Vose (Colchester United).

87:27

Attempt missed. Danny Batth (Wolverhampton Wanderers) header from the centre of the box misses to the left following a corner.

87:06

Corner, Wolverhampton Wanderers. Conceded by Ryan Dickson.

86:44

Corner, Wolverhampton Wanderers. Conceded by Magnus Okuonghae.

86:38

Attempt blocked. Bakary Sako (Wolverhampton Wanderers) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

85:50

Attempt saved. Sammie Szmodics (Colchester United) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner.

84:40

Freddie Sears (Colchester United) hits the left post with a right footed shot from outside the box.

82:32

Corner, Wolverhampton Wanderers. Conceded by Sammie Szmodics.

81:22

Attempt missed. Ryan Dickson (Colchester United) left footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the left.

79:35

Foul by Danny Batth (Wolverhampton Wanderers).

79:35

Sammie Szmodics (Colchester United) wins a free kick on the left wing.

77:08

Attempt missed. Danny Batth (Wolverhampton Wanderers) header from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the right following a corner.

76:54

Corner, Wolverhampton Wanderers. Conceded by Sammie Szmodics.

76:24

Kevin McDonald (Wolverhampton Wanderers) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

76:24

Foul by Sammie Szmodics (Colchester United).

75:35 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Wolverhampton Wanderers. Bakary Sako replaces Lee Evans.

75:21 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Wolverhampton Wanderers. Nouha Dicko replaces Leon Clarke.

75:02

Attempt missed. Kevin McDonald (Wolverhampton Wanderers) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right.

74:48

Corner, Wolverhampton Wanderers. Conceded by Tom Eastman.

74:40

Attempt blocked. Leon Clarke (Wolverhampton Wanderers) right footed shot from a difficult angle on the right is blocked.

71:50 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Wolverhampton Wanderers 3, Colchester United 2. David Wright (Colchester United) right footed shot from the right side of the six yard box to the top right corner. Assisted by Freddie Sears with a cross.

65:31

Attempt missed. Alex Gilbey (Colchester United) right footed shot from the left side of the box is too high.

64:43 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Colchester United. Sammie Szmodics replaces Gavin Massey.

61:22

Attempt saved. Michael Jacobs (Wolverhampton Wanderers) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

60:02

Foul by Leon Clarke (Wolverhampton Wanderers).

60:02

Magnus Okuonghae (Colchester United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

57:28 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Wolverhampton Wanderers 3, Colchester United 1. Alex Gilbey (Colchester United) header from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Dominic Vose with a cross.

54:32 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Colchester United. Clinton Morrison replaces Jabo Ibehre.

54:19 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Colchester United. Freddie Sears replaces Craig Eastmond.

52:44 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Wolverhampton Wanderers. Jack Price replaces David Edwards because of an injury.

52:19

Attempt missed. David Edwards (Wolverhampton Wanderers) right footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses the top right corner.

51:12

Attempt missed. Michael Jacobs (Wolverhampton Wanderers) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the right.

48:16

Attempt missed. Michael Jacobs (Wolverhampton Wanderers) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the left.

45:00

Second Half begins Wolverhampton Wanderers 3, Colchester United 0.

45:00 +2:18 Half time

Half Time First Half ends, Wolverhampton Wanderers 3, Colchester United 0.

45:00 +1:05

Attempt missed. Michael Jacobs (Wolverhampton Wanderers) right footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the right.

43:01 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Wolverhampton Wanderers 3, Colchester United 0. James Henry (Wolverhampton Wanderers) right footed shot from the left side of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Leon Clarke.

42:45

Attempt saved. Leon Clarke (Wolverhampton Wanderers) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom left corner.

38:10

Attempt missed. Leon Clarke (Wolverhampton Wanderers) header from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the right.

37:49

Kevin McDonald (Wolverhampton Wanderers) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

37:49

Foul by Dominic Vose (Colchester United).

32:23

James Henry (Wolverhampton Wanderers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

32:23

Foul by Alex Gilbey (Colchester United).

30:25

Attempt saved. Leon Clarke (Wolverhampton Wanderers) header from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom right corner.

29:28

Lee Evans (Wolverhampton Wanderers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

29:28

Foul by David Wright (Colchester United).

26:24 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Wolverhampton Wanderers 2, Colchester United 0. David Edwards (Wolverhampton Wanderers) left footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner.

22:50

Attempt missed. James Henry (Wolverhampton Wanderers) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left.

21:13 Booking

Booking Craig Eastmond (Colchester United) is shown the yellow card.

20:53

Lee Evans (Wolverhampton Wanderers) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

20:53

Foul by Craig Eastmond (Colchester United).

20:11

Foul by Michael Jacobs (Wolverhampton Wanderers).

20:11

Alie Sesay (Colchester United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

18:49

Attempt blocked. Jabo Ibehre (Colchester United) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

16:21

Corner, Colchester United. Conceded by Carl Ikeme.

16:09

Attempt saved. Dominic Vose (Colchester United) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.

14:00

Richard Stearman (Wolverhampton Wanderers) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

13:59

Foul by Jabo Ibehre (Colchester United).

10:07

Lee Evans (Wolverhampton Wanderers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

10:07

Foul by Craig Eastmond (Colchester United).

8:37

Corner, Wolverhampton Wanderers. Conceded by Alie Sesay.

7:53

Attempt missed. David Edwards (Wolverhampton Wanderers) right footed shot from outside the box is too high.

7:43

Attempt blocked. Michael Jacobs (Wolverhampton Wanderers) right footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked.

5:28

Foul by Danny Batth (Wolverhampton Wanderers).

5:28

Alie Sesay (Colchester United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

5:09

Corner, Wolverhampton Wanderers. Conceded by Alie Sesay.

5:00

Attempt blocked. Lee Evans (Wolverhampton Wanderers) left footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked.

1:03 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Wolverhampton Wanderers 1, Colchester United 0. Michael Jacobs (Wolverhampton Wanderers) right footed shot from a difficult angle and long range on the left to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Scott Golbourne.

0:00

First Half begins.

0:00

Lineups are announced and players are warming up.

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