Comprehensive away win keeps Wolves on trackBy: DJ | October 6th, 2013
Wolves secured a comfortable away win at Colchester with strike duo Leigh Griffiths and Kevin Doyle both on the mark as Wolves kept on track for one of the automatic promotion positions that they crave. Peterborough won again to keep second place ahead of Wolves but Orient lost which means only one point now separates the top three places, then there is a four point gap to Bradford and a growing 9 point cushion to remain in the play off places.
After the transfer speculation in the week, Sako was not included in the squad although he evidently was sent home ill from training on Thursday. James Henry came in for his debut and Richard Stearman got a recall as Golbourne was moved out of defence to take Sako’s position;
Doherty, Batth, Stearman, Ricketts
Henry, Price, McDonald, Golbourne
Most prominent Wolves player in the early stages was James Henry with some good runs down the right and useful crosses. Wolves were controlling the games well but Colchester were coming closer to a goal in the early stages and when Taylor Beat Golbourne to a cross his glancing header is only inches wide. Then Ikeme came to Wolves rescue to push a powerful long range effort from Wright away. But on 20 minutes it was Wolves who took the lead when Henry and Doherty linked together on the right and when Doherty cut inside the area he was brought down to present Wolves with a penalty that Griffiths placed low to the keepers left.
Wolves were on top after the goal and Batth headed a left wing cross back across the box and Doherty’s effort was blocked, and then Batth again won a header from a corner and was only inches wide. And Wolves arrived at half time without conceding a goal as they have done in all ten league games so far this season.
It felt like a narrow lead for Wolves at the break with Colchester having gone close a couple of times when the score was 0-0 but the game was over as a contest ten minutes into the second half. McDonald sent Doherty through on the right of the area after 47 minutes and his low cross was turned in by Griffiths. And then 8 minutes later Henry set up Doyle to make it 3-0.
It was all pretty comfortable for Wolves from then on until Ikeme was asked to earn his Spurs late on. Firstly he made a fine one handed save from Ibehre. Then after he blocked an effort the ball was bobbling in the Wolves area and in the resulting scramble Ikeme was judged to have fouled a Gillingham attacker and the referee awarded a penalty. But Ikeme saved Wolves clean sheet with a fine diving save from Sears’ kick.
Ikeme – made a crucial early save and then a fine penalty save late on
Doherty – came forward much more often today and linked well with Henry and had a hand in the first two goals
Batth – solid as a rock
Stearman – a good return to first team action
Ricketts – says he prefers to play centre back but looks better as a full back to me
Henry – a fine debut with some good runs down the right and got in some dangerous crosses
Price – played deeper than last week and had a good game, rarely giving the ball away and a fine eye for a first time pass
McDonald – worked hard in the middle of the park and had a hand in the second goal
Golbourne – did ok deputising for Sako but clearly not the same flair or creativity
Doyle – worked his socks off and my idea of man of the match and good to see his name on the scoresheet
Griffiths – back amongst the goals and a constant threat to the home defence
Sigurdarson replaced Griffiths, then Davis replaced Doyle and Forde replaced Henry late on
A convincing win that was sealed as early as the 55th minute. Henry seems a good addition and when Sako is back on the left then you cant help feeling Wolves will have just too much firepower and creativity for most teams in the division. There’s a home game against Notts County in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy on Tuesday, but next weekend’s scheduled league trip to Carlisle has been postponed to November the 5th due to international call ups. So the next league action sees two home matches against Coventry and Oldham on the 19th and 22nd.