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Keogh hits winner for Wolves

(AP Photo/Tim Hales)

By MARK HENDRY

STATS European Football Writer

(AP) -- LONDON (SE) - Wolverhampton boss Mick McCarthy hailed match-winner Andy Keogh as the Irish forward's fifth minute strike defeated Wigan 1-0 and gave his side their first ever Premier League victory away from home.

Keogh met Nenad Milijas' free-kick to beat Chris Kirkland just minutes after he had struck the upright.

Wigan were strangely lacklustre considering their impressive opening day win over Aston Villa but picked up after the break with substitute Jason Scotland and Scott Sinclair going close.

The three points is Wolves' first victory in the top flight, away from the sanctity of the West Midlands since 1984, as their only other Premier League season, in 2003-2004, failed to yield any wins on the road.

McCarthy said: "After the start on Saturday, considering what people have been saying about us and losing at home - it has been a great evening for us.

"From the start of pre-season Andy Keogh has been one of the stars and that is why he is in the side, it was lovely to see him get the goal and see 5,000 away fans singing his name.

"What we have learned is that we can play at this level. We had to play differently but there is not many of us who have played here before."

Wigan's steady season last term was ruined by a lack of goal-scoring threat at home and although the management as changed, with Roberto Martinez replacing the departing Steve Bruce, on this performance little has changed.

Keogh hit the woodwork with Wolves first attack of the game to give the home side concern but the former Leeds youngster did not have to wait long for his first ever Premier League goal.

Milijas, already looking a fine acquisition by McCarthy, floated a free-kick into the area and Keogh beat the muscular Paul Scharner in the air to head past Kirkland.

Greg Halford should have doubled the lead from another Milijas set-piece, this time a corner, but the full-back blazed over inside the penalty area as Wigan looked in disarray.

The home side needed to improve after the break and looked marginally more likely to score as Hugo Rodallega curled a free-kick straight down the throat of Wolves 'keeper Wayne Hennessey and then Scotland was only denied by a dramatic last ditch challenge by Wolves midfielder Karl Henry.

The threat on the break was always a worry though and Wigan were nearly caught out when Keogh turned Titus Bramble in the penalty area and despite being brought down by the defender failed to win the charm of the referee.

Scotland was denied again this time by Hennessey and Scott Sinclair misplaced a header from Jordi Gomez's cross but Wolves were worth their three points.

Wigan manager Martinez said: "We saw two different performances tonight and we paid the price with what has been a very demanding week with players on international duty.

"We were sloppy in that period and Wolves got in top but after half-time we were much better and although we did not create too many chances there were many, many good things which we can build on."

Updated August 18, 2009

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