Wolves at least nick a pointBy: DJ | March 1st, 2013
Wolves grabbed a late equaliser to get one point from their Molineux games this week against the division’s top two teams. Against a Watford team that were probably the best we have been at Molineux this season with their controlled and confident passing, Wolves did well to hang in there till the end. And although Watford would go down as worthy winners over the 90 minutes there were a number of occasions where Wolves were a whisker away from getting other goals and you do feel the men in gold for all their shortcomings are also missing out on a rub of the green in recent games.
Saunders seems to be scrambling to find a line up that will work for him and here we saw a surprise recall for Stephen Hunt on the left of midfield with Sako switching to the right. And Doyle and Sigurdarson were the latest pairing to be tried up front;
Doherty, Johnson, Gorkss, Robinson
Sako, Henry, O’Hara, Hunt
Wolves started the game at a high tempo and always look better when that is the case, but it was not something that was maintained and within ten minutes we started to see evidence of the fine passing and movement of the Watford team that saw them start to dominate possession. The visitors were looking by far the better team but Wolves were having their attacking moments and were actually coming closer to breaking the deadlock. Sako shot across the face of goal and then Bond saved from Doyle only for the ball to run free to Sigurdarson and his volley brought a remarkable reflex save from the keeper.
But 4 minutes before the break Watford got the breakthrough when Henry was perhaps harshly judged to have fouled just outside the area and Abdi scored directly from the free kick.
The second half was following a similar pattern with Watford dominating the game but as the half went on Wolves were again getting close to scoring. Ebanks Blake and Cassidy replaced Doyle and Hunt with Sako now finally able to move to his favoured position on the left of midfield and Sigurdarson moved to the right hand side. There could have been a goal at either end when Wolves best player Sigurdarson forced another save out of Bond before Anya missed a clear chance for Watford by screwing his shot sideways when he had a clear sight of goal from 8 yards.
Then another close call for Wolves as Sigurdarson’s shot is pushed away by Bond but only to Robinson whose rushed shot went over the bar when he probably had time to take a touch before shooting. It looked like Wolves chance had gone but in injury time the ball fell to Sako 12 yards out and he drilled a right foot shot into the corner of the net. The home fans were screaming for Wolves to push for an unlikely winner but it was Watford who created a last minute chance that Forestieri was unable to take.
Ikeme – didn’t have that much to do as Watford were putting there opportunities over the bar although he did make one fine save to tip one over
Doherty – generally did well but Watford did get in behind him on a few occasions
Johnson – maybe lucky to get his place back at Batth’s expense but had a sound game here
Gorkss – steady enough defensively
Robinson – not able to stop a steady flow of crosses from the right
Sako – as Wolves most threatening player this season I find it difficult to see why he would be played in anything but his best position on the left. Struggled to get into the game first half but knocked in some excellent crosses after moving to the left whenever Wolves got him into the game and no surprise he popped up with the game saver
Henry – pretty ineffective in the middle of the park as Watford passed the ball around him
O’Hara – the bundles of energy that used to be a characteristic of his game are not in evidence now and there was little creativity to credit him with
Hunt – frankly hopeless until taken off after an hour
Sigurdarson – his pace and direct running made him Wolves biggest threat and best player on the day, and that’s been the case in a few games lately
Doyle – more life from him today for sure and brought a couple of good saves out of the keeper
SEB – put himself about and helped create some late openings for Wolves
Cassidy – doesn’t look out of place and will do more as his confidence grows
Davis – made a real impact late on and looks a livelier option than Henry and O’Hara for a place in central midfield
Its 13 games without a win for Wolves now and no wins in 9 attempts for Dean Saunders as manager. He needs to decide on a favoured pairing up front and give them a run together as changing the team every game is not helpful. Defensively there has been some improvement but the return of the more experienced full back pairing of Foley and Ward would not be a surprise. But its midfield more than anywhere that things are far from sorted. Henry, O’Hara and Hunt looked well short of the players they were not so long ago and that’s the area of the team that is looking well below par.
Watford will doubtless feel this was a game they should have won and they looked strong promotion contenders on the night. But despite that I was still left with the feeling that Wolves are not that far away from getting back on track.