Wolves continue good pre-seasonBy: DJ | July 28th, 2012
After 5 goals in Ireland last Saturday, Wolves returned to the Black Country this weekend and secured another pre-season success. Before the game there was a minutes applause for Wolverhampton based referee Jack Taylor, the former World Cup final referee who died aged 82 on Friday. It was again a case of a different 11 taking to the field each half, with the following team starting the game;
Zubar, Stearman, Berra, Elokobi
O’Hara, Jonsson, Davis, Forde
It was a narrow midfield with O’Hara and Forde tucking in and Kightly playing behind Nouble. Virtually all of the first 45 minutes was played in the Walsall half on a sunny day where the visting fans represented at least half of the attendance. Walsall were playing decent possession football but had little threat going forward, and there was not much goalmouth action at either end.
Wolves took the lead just before the half hour and as at Bray last week it was new man Frank Nouble who broke the deadlock. A long ball over the top of the home defence saw a defender heading the ball back towards his own keeper but it fell short and Nouble nipped in to take his chance well. Elokobi went off injured shortly after the goal with Forde dropping to left back and Hamill coming on to the left midfield role. The lead was doubled 5 minutes before the break when a cross from the left by Kightly was only half cleared to present an easy chance for Hamill.
Walsall only threatened with a couple of through balls that De Vries was quick to come off his line to clear. Davis looked strong in midfield and Kightly also impressing. Solbakken kept the team on the field for a quiet analysis of the half with one to one chats with a few of the players. He comes across as a calm, quiet but assertive manager but seems to be gaining plenty of respect and creating a good atmosphere.
With Fletcher and Sigurdarsen not available due to injury, the second half team was;
Foley, Batth, Johnson, Ward
Hunt, Henry, Milijas, Jarvis
Ebanks Blake, Doyle
Wolves looked livelier going forward this half with Ward and Jarvis linking well on the left and Doyle looking particularly sharp. And it was Doyle who turned in the 3rd goal after good work on the left by Ward. It was a livelier 2nd half with Doyle, Henry and Ward the best players and Batth continuing to look the part in defence. Players that didn’t really impress for me today would be Foley, Forde, and Jonsson but Wolves have won their first two friendlies with plenty to spare and Stale will have a decent squad to choose from when the season starts, although there may well be some changes in the coming three weeks.
The pre season will continue at Shrewsbury on Tuesday and Southampton on Saturday before the League Cup game at Molineux against Aldershot on the 11th. All pretty encouraging so far for all concerned