Next match/report: Septmember - away to Luton Townhere
An amazing performance by Carl Cort to grab his first hat trick for Wolves. He spent much more time in the box and it paid off. Although some of his touches were as poor as we’ve come to expect, his finishing for the first and third goals was outstanding, and his positioning for the second goal made by Kenny Miller, was similarly excellent. The goal brought another chorus of “there’s only one Kenny Miller” recognising both the excellence of the cross, as well as their displeasure over his substitution on Saturday.
Outstanding performances, then, from Kenny Miller as well as Joleon Lescott, Rohan Ricketts and Darren Anderton in his home league debut who ran the game until QPR starting man-marking him late on. Leon was strong and running well into positions and could have scored. This was also probably Rob Edwards’ best performance at centre back. But, it should have been more, with Rohan clear through and a Danny Shittu own goal being disallowed by the incompetent referee (Nigel Miller) and linesmen.
The first goal in the sixth minute came from Rohan Ricketts persistence. A couple of minutes earlier he had another good 25 yardchance wel saved from a knock down by Cort, but this time when the QPR goalie Simon Royce parried it, Rohan made a lot of ground to win the ball back. A good cross was totally miskicked by Leon - hitting it against his own leg and it rebounded backwards towards Carl whose hard shot between the keeper and the post was unstoppable.
Within 5 mnutes though QPR were level with Stefan Moore going down the left tpwards the North Bank and delivering a great cross to their captain Kevin Gallen. Gallen lept above the static Naylor who seemed totally lost on this cross. Minutes later, usually troublesome Paul Furlong got clean through but Oakes pulled off a great save diving to his right.
The 25th minute brought us back into the lead. Kenny turned Evatt, cut inside and delivered a perfect curving cross which eluded the defenders but fell just right for Cort’s perfectly timed run. 2-1.
Leon had two great chances - the first from Rohan went wide, and the second from Carl Cort was saved by the keeper. And just before half time a one two between Kenny and Rohan left Royce standing but Rohan’s shot curled wide.
4 minutes into the second half had the North Bank screaming for a penalty after Danny Shittu (strangely pronounced sithoo by 107.7) upended Kenny in the box as he ran on to Leon’s pass, but Kenny’s namesake didn’t give it.
The crowd were properly woken up when the linesman flagged for offside on Cort at Shittu turned the ball into his own net. Dave Bassett on the Sky roundup was quick to explain that he was interfering just by being there. But it gave the crowd their voice at last, and we had the sort of volume we need week in week out to support the team. Again the pass from Kenny was outstanding but Cort had absolutely no need to run offside.
Glenn decided to strengthen the midfield since QPR had changed formation and were taking away the freedom that Darren Anderton had been enjoying with Seyi George Olinfinjana replacing Leon with 28 to go. QPR had one attack before we were back at them with Rohan attempting to lob Royce. Then three chances for Kenny were foiled - from a pass from Rohan which the keeper saved with his legs; put through again by Olofinjana and Royce was at full stretch, and finally Kenny shot high and wide from an Anderton pass. In to extra time, and Ricketts calmly slotted the ball bewtween two defenders on the edge of the box, Cort ran on to it and calmly shot the ball home for his first hat trick in the League.
Wolves: Oakes, McNamara, Naylor, Kennedy (capt), Lescott, Edwards, Anderton (Ndah 80), Miller, Cort, Clarke (Olofinjana 62), Ricketts.Unused subs: Gyepes, Ikeme, Davies.
“I left Wolves in good shape” said Dave Jones, Cardiff’s manager, before the match, where Glenn gave the Cardiff defence their first headache - speedy George Ndah gets his first start since that semifinal in 2003. And star of the Chester match, Darren Anderton also starts while Nayls is on the bench and there was no place for Seol or Rohan Ricketts.
The second minute brought pressure on Joleon and he defended well but conceded the corner. From the corner, Joleon is beaten at the far side and Cardiff‘s Cameron Jerome scored with a header from 6 yards although Joleon had a go at Rob Edwards. There seemed to be a strange formation between Olofinjana and Anderton, altough Anderton is playing further forward. Cardiff attacked again, but Coops handled it and down to the other end where Rob Edwards got a chance from 8 yards out but the goalie cleared with his legs.
Oakes was forced into a great save in the 9th as Jerome broke away again... could easily have been two. Kenny was hacked down in the 15th and won a foul about 35 yards out, but the free kick from Darren A came to nothing. Back to our end and Kennedy doesn’t challenge too well and Koumas got a free shot - straight down the other end and the goalie wins a race with George Ndah. Kennedy lost the ball and Kenny had to cover at left back. Cardiff at half way in the first half seemed to be in control of the match, but an Ndah run and pass to Kenny is put out for a corner taken by Anderton. But a ppor short corner is sent back to Kennedy the ball broke away and Jerome was loose again but Sparky again covered.
On the 30th minute Glenn went to the touchline, obviously unhappy with the way it’s going. George had another shot but it went wide. A few minutes later Cort flicked on for Kenny. Ndah on another run from a great pass wins a free kick. Joleon had a chance from Anderton’s kick, not offside as Cardiff claimed and should have been better. Cardiff attacked again and the match was getting scrappier while the Cardiff defence seem totally on top. George Ndah our star of the first half. 5 mins to go and Olofinjana had a headed chance from a Sparky cross which again went begging and was caught by Alexander in goal.
Second half: Wolves came out strongly in the second half with a Kenny chance in the first two minutes. Anderton’s corner brought out a great save from Alexander and another corner. Joleon almost got to this one but it again went behind. Cardiff straight down the other end, Lee takes over from Koumas, who passes to Cameron Jerome who slots it home. Sloppy defending.
Kenny gets a chance 3 minutes later, but the header goes wide. Leon warming up - and hopefully Cort to leave. On 10 minutes a double substitution in fact - Leon Clarke on for Kenny Miller and Rohan Ricketts on for Colin Cameron. The Wolves fans chant “there’s only one Kenny Miller” as he goes straight off down the tunnel. Wrong man off!
Then a messup over the next substitution with a debate over whether George has taken a knock or whether Olofinjana comes off. In the end it’s George Ndah off with an injury for Nayls. Fortunately this was only cramp and not an injury.
But at last Leon Clarke breaks through - it looks as though he may have been pulled up by the ref (for offside) but Cort’s shot had rebounded off a Cardiff player. Leon pulls wide of Alexander and slots the ball home form the acutest of angles. Immediately another attack led by Rohan and Anderton’s shot is astray. Lescott puts a terrific header across the box but Cort’s header is useless. Another attack and Cort can’t leap high enough for a MacNamara cross.
DJ sensed that things had turned against him and decided to take Coops off - to warm applause from the travelling Wolves fans. A lot more pressure on Alexander at last. 90th minute and Olofinjana has the next chance. Another chance went missing. Cardiff stop to argue with the linesman and referee about 4 minutes of extra time being shown - while Nayls crossed and Joleon carries on playing despite the attempts to haul him down - could easily have been a pen - and scores left footed from the 6 yard line!!! Another corner - chance for the winner? Kennedy shot just wide via a deflection from Anderton’s corner. The next corner tough was a poor one from Nayls. Jerome breaks again, but is foiled. Koumas made a run and was hauled back by Anderton who was booked. A free kick in the 94th is taken too early and the Cardiff player is booked, but orders the kick retaken which went for a corner off the wall. And that was it.
Rickett’s substitution was obviously a good one and in the end he and Nayls made the difference , but Cort’s continued misses asks the question about why Kenny went off. Sparky and Oaker were spotted after the match chatting to DJ.
In the post match interview, Glenn was not happy with a point, nor trying to win it in the last three minutes. He didn’t say “well done” to the players since “they should have done better”. “Kenny has not got the goal returns at the moment” when asked about Kenny’s substition. Other quotes:
DJ said “it’s nice to see old friends, but I’m fully focussed on Cardiff” DJ also disappointed that Cardiff didn’t win, but didn’t have the depth to match the changes that Wolves made. Their forwards needed replacing and he had no cover. “We matched them and gave them a lot of problems.” The Cardiff job is a turnaround - 5 weeks ago they only had nine players.Dave Jones also said:
Team: Oakes, Olofinjana, Lescott, McNamara, Cameron (Ricketts 56) Kennedy (c), Edwards, Anderton, Miller (Clarke 56), Ndah (Naylor 67), Cort. Subs not used: Gyepes, Ikeme
and thaknks to Pete D from Telford Wolves for the pictures of the garden shed aka Ninian Park
This Carling Cup match against Keith Curle's Chester City was very entertaining for us. A great 5:1 win had no fewer that 4 home full match debutants - star of the future 17 year old Captain of England U17 Mark Davies, Goalkeeper for the future Carl Ikeme, Hungarian centre back Gabor Gyepes (pron Geepesh), and new signing Darrren Anderton, previously known as Sicknote, while loan goalie Stefan Postma was on the bench. To cap an outstanding performance by Man of the Match Anderton including a goal from a free kick, Kenny opened his scoring account, as did Mickey (Colin Cameron) with 2, and we saw the return to competitive football of Vio Ganea, and an impressive cameo from George Ndah, making the second goal.
Darren Anderton was a real pleasant surprise that he kept running things for 94 minutes, really non-stop and never shirked the ball. Best set of corners - 11 of them, inswinging, outswinging and two cracking free kicks. Kenny was offside when he put it home after the first rebounded from the bar. DA's what we hoped Olofinjana might have developed into (with ball-winning skills). Seemed to work well with Sparky and Mark Davies doing the hard tackling although Darren put it about a bit, and won what seemed light a lost corner just in the North Bank/West corner. Kenny worked his socks off too, a well taken goal, after this disallowed one. from a Darren free kick hit the
Mickey took two great goals - looking as sharp as he did against Ipswich - we need midfield to deliver some goals. The run from Mark Davies which led to Mickey's second was magic. Leon worked hard, but clearly George's two runs, one of which led to Mickey's super first goal (starting with a pass from DA) were mesmerising.
Having hit the bar from a free kick early in the match, Darren made no mistake with the goalkeeper flapping in the second half.
It was great to see a goalkeeper throw the ball out to start moves, and Carl Ikeme really only had one little "moment". No chance for their goal. Gyepes seemed confident although he got conned into the FK which led to their goal. Mark Davies had a confident start too, and made one terrific run but the ball just didn't get through to him, and he made the fourth goal. Vio's goal was the icing on the cake, he seemed to have just so much time. Joleon forgot his problems of Saturday, but Rob Edwards' passing still leaves a lot to be desired - yes there were some good ones, and he took up some great positions, but he and Seol really didn't seem to have the understanding they should have developed. However, Rob's run into the penalty area was nearly as good as George's and that made Vio's goal. Rob took the throw in, then the return and weaved into the box pulling it back to Mickey in the box who passed it forward to Vio on the six yard line, and he made no mistake. Seol made one or two great runs/centres, and could well have had a goal from around the penalty spot - not sure whether it was DA or Sparky who crossed it, but overall he's not fulfilling his potential by a long way. I think also we should have had a penalty when
A match of defensive errors and over-elaborate passing with Wolves dominating the first half, but this might result have brought te board to their senses that the squad just isn’t strong or big enough....no spending so far, a contract extension offer turned down by Joleon, and only days to the end of the window.
So Kennedy and Ince both out with injuries (thigh strain) but former captain Paul Butler had recovered for Leeds.
Nayls lost control of the ball in the 8th minute on the edge of the box - Richardson broke through, and no-one picked up Eddie Lewis’ run and the cross was shot home from 8 yards. As shoddy as some of our defending in the last two years. Nayls also underhit a back pass but Rob Edwards was quickly in to clear, with the crowd calling for handball. Nayls, it was disclosed later, was playing with a pulled stomach muscle. We had plenty of chances though for the rest of the half, including Kenny hitting the bar, another one a 25 yarder when he should have taken more time, and Cort also headed one wide. A terrific chance came Jackie Mac’s way but he shot well wide. On half time we rained shots in bringing out good saves from the Leeds goalie, especially one from Carl Cort, and Butler and his other defenders.
Some early chances again but in the 69th minute when Colin Cameron's foul on Kelly led to a booking and a second Leeds goal. Before the free-kick was taken Mark Davies made his first-team debut when he was sent on in place of Ricketts. Kelly fired the kick deep into the Wolves box to Hulse who, despite having Lescott at his back, was able to turn and shoot past Oakes.
George Ndah also came on for the ineffectual Seol and blazed a shot over in the 90th minute. One run he went on though 3 Wolves players “trotting up in support” instead of running for the ball at George’s pace. 21 goal attempts altogether for us, 15 on targer. Leeds had 6 goal attempts but only two were effective and they scored from both. So we drop to 10 still on 7 points.
Leeds: Bennett, Kelly, Butler (capt), Gregan, Hulse (M. Ricketts 75), Lewis, Richardson (Healy 80), Einarsson, Derry, Harding, Blake (Douglas 58). Unused subs: Sullivan, Kilgallon.
Wolves dominated this match against newly promoted Peter Taylor’s Tigers, with Keith Andrews starting but picking up a knock and having to leave the pitch ater 23, but still showed frailties which could have cost the match - a lack of finishing and a lack of attention but fortunately Barmby’s “equaliser” was ruled offside. So the record of 21 unbeaten was set breaking that of 1923-4. Wolves nearly caught Hull napping in the first 11 seconds when Hull goalie American Boaz Myhill was lucky to save with his thigh. Overall we had 68% of the possession, but disappointingly only 7 shots on targets. Seol’s deflected centre took a tremendous hit off Delaney to be the only score. We were dominant in the first half, but the second half showed that we still haven’t got the wherewithal to keill teams off, and Barmby’s chance in the 37th minute had already shown we couldn’t just sit back. Men of the match - Kenny Miller, who again was everywhere, Mark Kennedy who ran midfield, and Joleon at the back. Cort again spent a lot of time on the flanks instead of being the target man. We still need to strengthen at the front unless we can get Vio and George up and running.
Wolves: Oakes 7, McNamara 7, Naylor 7, Ince (capt) 7, Lescott 8, Edwards 7, Seol 7, Ricketts 7 (Cameron 64 6), Cort 7, Miller 9 (Clarke 87 6), Kennedy 8.Unused subs: Olofinjana, Ikeme, Ndah. (ST ratings shown)
It was a cracking match and yes we did give the ball away too much again, but the win was overshadowed by the welcome return to League action of Wolves here George Ndah. Jackie McNamara was my man of the match, not least for only once being bested and the cross that won the match but my travelling companions went for Joleon and Kenny. I think Jo might have been ball watching for their goal but have to see it again. Kenny again worked his socks off and had a cracking shot which hit the post.
Poorest perfomances were the two goalscorers funnily enough. Seol really didn't look fit but got in the right place for his goal, and was the worst at giving the ball away. Cort still can't run/jump/tackle and he should have put Kenny in for a goal but selfishly wasted it. His “goal” actually looked as though he was trying to head it back to George Ndah - a great gesture - before it bounced off Palace’s Fitz Hall and in. Nayls hit some stunning crosses, as did Sparky. Olo made more tackles than I've seen before but still looked a bit lost at times. Ricketts had some great periods but disappeared for about 15 mins in the second half. Jodi Craddock, presumably injured, didn't put a foot/head wrong (apart from the one that eventually led to the goal)and Edwards did ok. There were some really great inter-passing sessions though. In the first five mins Oakes actually threw the ball out twice (that's now three times this season!!) to get moves quickly under way, and made a cracking save from Johnson after a smart free kick move. Leon looked hungry and Palace needed a great save by Kiraly from him. He seemed to be able to take their right back on without any problems.
Seol’s opening goal was really well worked - a series of passes came to an overlapping McNamara, he passed to Sparky who laid it off to Rohan who turned neatly and plugged the ball through to Carl Cort in the box. His low cross evaded all the defenders and Kenny and went to an umarked Seol Ki-Hyeon in the six yard area - 1:0 in the third minute!
Two minutes later a hyper active Rohan Ricketts robbed ben Watson and fed Kenny, but Fitz Hall blocked the shot. A bizarre incident then when Joleon fouled the aggressive Andy Johnson about 30 yards out. Palace continued and McAnuff slotted it past Oakesy, but Ref Rob Styles hadn’t played the advantage and the goal was ruled out. It seemed that the ref regretted this decision since a string of decisions went Palace’s way for the next hour. A period of pressure after this free kcik and Oakes was momentarily flapping as Watson curled a free kick from near the corner flag onto the bar
Soares was booked for an ugly tackle on Lee in the 26th minute, then missed a chance when he tried a Camara shot over the bar.
Joleon generally handled Johnson very well, here he skinned him bringing shouts of “easy, easy” from the South Bank, but the player capped once for England escaped and pulled a good save from Oakesy in the 30th. Another attack from Wolves and Olo’s shot is already heading wide as soon as it leaves his foot.
And not long after that Palace stretch us at the back, Joleon might be accused of ball watching, and new Palace signing McAnuff rounds him and tucks the ball away beyond Oakes to equalise.
So, at half time, the scores are even, probably just about reflecting the overall balance of play.
Within the first 30 seconds Kenny hit a great shot just going wide at the South Bank end. Olofinjana put Cort through but, instead of crossing to an unmarked Kenny Miller he selfishly shot and missed.
Kenny again had a terrific shot which went so close but skimmed off the post. Jody Craddock, who had had a faultless game - carrying on how he finished last season - was substituted by Rob Edwards in the 64th, together with Leon Clarke who replaced the lack-lustre Seol. Leon almost immediately was put through and Kiraly was lucky to save his blistering shot. Leon continued to skin the Palace right back for the rest of the match, aided sometimes by Sparky who just nicked the ball in this tackle.
At last the moment Molineux had waited two years for. George Ndah comes back on, replacing the hard working Kenny Miller. His speed certainly worried the Palace defenders, and his presence contributed to the goal in the 84th minute. But before that Johnson won a free kick. Palace worked a very good move, which cut the wall out by the continued movement of McAnuff. Jackie was alive to this but you can see how much of a gap opened ip to the sied of the wall, which had also drifted right.
Fortunately Michael Oakes was wide awake and pulled off a terrific save as the ball headed to the top corner, just tipping it over the bar.
The sheer peseverance of Jackie McNamara, winning the ball back several times just in the Palace half down the right wing. He broke free and delivered a great cross to Carl Cort on the far post. Carl headed back toward George and the goal but it took a wicked deflection off Fitz Hall and we were 2:1 up, with 6 minutes to go.
Leon nearly gave George a dream return, but Kiraly smothered the cross just ahead of George.
In general our free kicks and corners were very disappointing although Nayls worked very hard. in contrast Palace’s were quite clever. The first picture shows how they caught us napping with a quick short corner, but just to prove that we can use tricks too, the Palace defence linig up for a corner were concentrating on Carl lumbering into the area when Kenny broke out and played a one-two with Nayls. The sixth picture shows Johnson’s appeal for a penalty
Another reason for Ian Dowie fo be upset with Styles. There were several impressive cameos in the game - Joleon managing Johnson, and Rohan backtracking to help his defence. And then at the end a little contretemps in our box led to both Joleon and Fitz Hall being booked. Johnson was still appealing for a penalty after clattering into Oakes, but the ref gave it the keeper’s way for once.
So a return to Saints for manager Glenn Hoddle who left in acrimonious circumstances to Spurs and taking ex Wolf Dean Richards with him for some £6m. A warm welcome to come? - no the crowd still shell-shocked from relegation which they now believe Hoddlle would saved.
Wolves dominated the first half which saw the welcome return of captain Paul Ince, although at the cost of Olofinjana, and Southampton were only saved by Finnish international Antti Niemi in goal. Shame he didn’t leave for Celtic was Glenn’s quote after the match. We were lucky that new signing Ricardo Fuller was so profligate - when he could have sunk us. Cort had two clear chances with the goal wide open which he should have buried Niemi pulled off oustanding saves from Sparky and Joleon in the first half and a world class one from Kenny in the second.
Several attacks let to corners, but we really didn’t seem to attack the centre of the goalmouth and the crossing was not as good as we’ve seen recently
Michael Oakes had nothing to do thanks to Fuller until his hands were stung by a great shot from Saints captain Nigel Quashie.
In the second Seol Ki-Hyeon had a great chance after a mesmerising Ricketts run along the 18 yard line, but thundered it against the stanchion. An absolutely outstanding save from Kenny (although he mishit the shot) kept Saints in it
The match was predicted to be hard but the referee’s card count of 8 yellow and one red showed how he lost control early and never regained it. He wasn’t helped by fairly inept linesmanship. However he had let a couple of early ones go and that’s when he lost control. Here Kenny is clattered by David Prutton (who was banned for 10 matches last season for an assault on a referee)
Carl Cort made two excellent defensive headers out, although his play at the other end meant he missed two excellent opportunites, once hitting the bar with a header.
And in the next picture here he and Seol are both back defending
Seol was clattered by Klaus Lundekvahm with feet high going for the ball but somehow managing to wrap his legs around Seol’s neck for which he got a deserved booking (in spite of what Sky say). This was to prove costly for him later in the second half, scything down Kenny, and his second yellow saw him leave the pitch.
The second half just got under way when the confrontation “INCE v WISE” predicted by the papers was enabled by Dennis Wise coming on. He made a major difference to the match and the pressure swung on to us. And for Dennis the Menace. Bets were that he would be sent off within a minute, but we were wrong - it was only a booking and it took two minutes for him to pul Rohan Ricketts back by the shirt. Rohan swung round and was probably lucky to escape at least a stern talking to but wise was booked acknowledging the Wolves fans singing “Dennis Wise you’re a w**ker you’re a w**ker” with a thumbs up. Lundekvahm was sent off when he hacked Kenny down.
But a piece of history was made when, at 16 years and 143 days Theo Walcott came on (once he’d been reminded to out his shirt on!) to become the youngest ever Saint. He has electrifying pace as we discovered in the FA Youth Cup matches and certainly tested the Wolves defence. Jackie McNamara was given a torrid time by the youngster - just over half Jackie’s age - but coped admirably, although we all thought he’d conceded a penalty in the 81st minute but the ref was right on the spot to give a free kick on the edge of the box.
Overall a saisfactory performance, but we desparately need to get our strikers firing. Cort’s two simple misses were to prove costly, coupled with Niemi’s outstanding performance. Kenny again worked really hard, but Rohan drifted in and out of the match with only one shot of his own to speak of. Sparky had by far the best shot turned out via the post by Niemi in the 13th, and he had a good first half. bit quieter in the second but still covering defensively. Nayls and Jackie made quite a few overlap runs, but Seol was not as mesmerising as we’ve come to expect, and still gets fairly easily pushed off the ball. Oakes looked amazingly commanding in the box and even through the ball out rather than kicking every time! Joleon again was our man of the match and Incey’s presence was commanding. Dennis Wise was reminded that “there’s only one Paul Ince”. Rob Edwards coped very well with everything he had to do. The substitution’s came a bit late - and we didn’t really seem to be able to take advantage of the extra man
But, I’m not sure where this wolf in the left of the picture came from during Rohan’s mesmerising run