Wolves grateful for a pointBy: DJ | August 25th, 2012
Wolves had to settle for a point at Molineux thanks to a 93rd minute equaliser from Derby which sounds like a late robbery, but in truth the visitors were the better team for most of the game and a draw was the least they deserved on the day. In fact but for keeper Carl Ikeme this could very easily have been an away success as he made a number of fine saves to secure something for Wolves.
With Matt Jarvis now a West Ham player and Karl Henry suffering with a hamstring injury there were a couple of enforced changes to the midfield for Wolves with David Davis and Dave Edwards coming in to the starting line up and Stephen Ward made Captain;
Zubar, Johnson, Berra, Ward
Edwards, Davis, Doumbia, Peszko
Ebanks Blake, Doyle
Derby’s passing was sharper than Wolves from the word go and the home team were struggling to find the cohesion they produced in their win against Barnsley on Tuesday. Sammon went past Johnson before bringing the first save from Ikeme, and then the keeper made an excellent save to push Jamie Ward’s goalbound shot onto the post. The same player brought another save out of the over worked Ikeme, and then when Ward got a third shooting chance it was Johnson who produced a timely block.
Davis who had impressed in the Premier League last season was struggling to make his mark on the game, as was Edwards, and Wolves were not getting Peszko into the game at all on the left. They were further handicapped by playing with a man short for ten minutes when Doumbia needed extended treatment for a cut head.
Against all the run of play Wolves surprisingly took the lead. Doyle played in Edwards on the right who’s cross was laid back by Peszko to Doyle who calmly found the corner of the net. In fact Wolves were close to finding another goal when an excellent cross by Peszko found Doyle on the far post and he headed across the goal to Ebanks Blake who controlled the ball and then shot against the bar when he should have scored. But the pattern of the game was restored when a poor pass from Zubar led to another save by Ikeme from Sammon.
The second half was also dominated by the visitors with further saves by Ikeme and Keogh heading just over. Forde replaced Davis, then Elokobi replaced Edwards with Ward moving into midfield. Jonsson for Doumbia was the final change as Wolves looked to hang on to their narrow advantage. A final save from Ikeme in the 89th looked like it might have clinched it for Wolves but three minutes into injury time a corner was not effectively cleared and when the ball was played back in on the left of the area Robinson had the time to pick his spot in the far corner.
Ikeme – has to take the man of the match honours with a series of fine saves that kept Wolves in the game
Zubar – not had a good start to the season and had a poor game here
Johnson – looking much more like the player Wolves hoped they had signed a year ago
Berra – done well on his return to the team
Ward – not as effective going forward without Jarvis to attract the markers and caught out a couple of times defensively
Edwards – didnt have a great impact on the game
Davis – another who the game seemed to pass by
Doumbia – continues to look a class above this division
Peszko – had some good moments but not in the game enough
Doyle – took his goal well and had Wolves only shot of the second half
Ebanks Blake – starved of service but lacked movement to be an outlet
Forde, Elokobi and Jonsson made little impact from the bench
It was a slack showing from Wolves and a day when the depth of the squad looked very exposed. Only a couple of injuries but the replacements were not able to produce the goods and there was little on the bench to change the pattern. Solbakken will need to add reinforcements in the last couple of weeks of the transfer window and it looks like Razak Boukari will be the first. He was set to go to West Ham if they had not succeeded in getting Jarvis but will instead be his replacement as Wolves. The Togo winger was signed by Rennes for £4.5m and like his former teammate Doumbia will join Wolves on a season long loan with a view to signing permanently if Wolves clinch promotion.
Next action for Wolves will be a League Cup game at Northampton on Thursday where Solbakken will have the chance to see some of the fringe players in action. Then it’s Cardiff away next Sunday. On the following day the transfer window closes and then there is a fortnight off for an international break so that will be the time when we will know the squad for the first half of the season and be able to take stock after the massive changes of recent weeks. Wolves will have to be better than today to have a successful season but in truth with so many changes going on most associated with the club would have taken 4 points from the two home games this week if they had been offered a week ago.