Wolves comeback not quite enoughBy: DJ | October 20th, 2012
Wolves fell to their 3rd away defeat of the season after going 2 down in the first half but then staged a second half fight back that probably made them worth a point by the end of the game. They remain in the top 6 on Saturday evening and there was nothing about this performance to make you believe they couldn’t maintain that position as the season moves on.
With Karl Henry suspended, David Davis took his place in midfield and Kevin Doyle took the captain’s armband while Kevin Foley was restored to right back with loanee Jermaine Pennant coming in on the right of midfield;
Foley, Johnson, Berra, Ward
Pennant, Davis, Doumbia, Sako
Doyle, Ebanks Blake
It was a quiet start to the game but Huddersfield were working hard and closing Wolves down well all over the pitch in a lively first half from the home team. The movement of home strikers Vaughan and Beckford were causing plenty of problems for the visiting defence with Johnson in particular finding Vaughan a handful. And it was Vaughan, on loan from Norwich, who put the home team ahead with a fine far post header after a raking cross from the right wing saw Foley exposed on the back post.
Doumbia had a decent long range effort but Huddersfield were inches away from increasing their lead when Beckford couldn’t quite get a touch to Vaughan’s low cross. Then Wolves really did threaten and inevitably it was Sako that went close when his free kick from 30 yards went inches over and clipped the top of the net. Hunt should have done better with a clear shooting chance for the home team who then increased their lead after Ward gave away position in the opposition half and the home team exploited the space behind him to get free on the right wing. When the cross came in Beckford scored spectacularly with an overhead kick.
At Blackburn in the last away game Wolves were able to build the game from the back in their own time and controlled the game, but Huddersfield were giving no space away and made Wolves rush their passing and not be able to knock it around even in their own half. Doyle and Ebanks Blake were getting no change out of the home defence and Pennant hardly got a touch in the first half hour. Sako was again the main attacking threat and he curled one shot just wide. But Vaughan and Beckford were the stars of the first half and they both went close to increasing the lead late in the half.
Davis had received treatment late in the first half and he didn’t appear for the second half with Edwards the replacement. Ikeme made a decent save early in the half but it was a different Wolves after the break and they were dominating possession, and sub Edwards was doing as much as anyone to wrestle Wolves back into the contest. Pennant was making more of an impression on the right and Ward was getting forward more on the left and there was always Sako. When Ward played it to him down by the corner flag he had two defenders for attention but after a couple of step overs he managed to conjure up a cross and Ebanks Blake was able to turn the ball in at the near post to give Wolves hope.
Doyle earned a penalty appeal when he was sent tumbling near the bye line while Edwards was proving to be a real inspiratoin and his deflected shot was only inches over, and from the resulting corner he headed against the post. Sako had a good chance but it fell to his weaker right foot and his shot was poor and as the home team introduced two defensive substitutions to hold on to the lead, Wolves completely dominated the last 20 minutes but could not find an equaliser.
Ikeme – no real chance with the goals and made a couple of smart diving saves
Foley – had a decent game generally but both goals came from his back post
Ward – his mistake lead to the second goal but made some good attacking forays after the break
Johnson – had an uncomfortable first half against the lively Vaughan
Berra – the best of the backline on the day with some goal saving blocks
Pennant – took him a long time to get into the game and didn’t seem too suited by being asked to tuck in rather than play as an orthodox winger, but had a decent second half
Doumbia – typically powerful in midfield and I made him the best player on the day
Davis – didn’t do badly but Wolves do miss Henry when he is absent
Sako – always the man most likely to make something happen in the attacking third
Doyle – didn’t get much change out of the home defence
Ebanks Blake – took his goal well but rarely threatened otherwise
Edwards – made a significant difference when he came on, as well as he has played for a long time
Surprisingly only one sub used although it looked like Sigurdarsen was about to replace SEB when the striker scored
The Solbakken style is for a patient and steady passing game and the defeats Wolves have had this season have generally been when teams have forced a higher pace to the game, and Wolves must learn to adapt to that. They also do miss Henry when he is unavailable. But there was only one team in it for the last half hour and there was not too much despondency from the visiting fans after the game. Two home games coming up this week against Bolton on Tuesday and Charlton on Saturday and hopefully they will do enough in those to retain the healthy league position.