Next matches: Wed Mar 2nd Derby v WW (19:45) (rearranged from Sat 12th Feb)
Sat Feb 26th WW 0 Watford 0
Well after a week where Glenda joined Moxey in blaming the fans, 80 more turned up than last week (presumably Hornets fans) and gave the team a warm welcome, tried to lift them and we got, in return, a mediocre attempt to break down a 5 man midfield. Kenny and Leon both had chances, we won a load of corners, but creativity wasn’t too apparent. After putting up with this “Wolves get even duller” (Steve Marshall in the Pink Star) the match finished with choruses of “Blame the fans” and the team were, unfortunately, booed off the field again.
There were certainly some good cameos.... Kenny worked hard all match, running, ready to beat the offside trap, but if Henri Camarat is complaining about the service he gets from the Southampton midfield then Kenny should be shouting - they were slow on the ball, slow to see the opportunity, and wayward with the passing. Seol made some good skips to th by-line and his partnership with Lee Naylor - mistake free in the this match really blossomed. Joleon was solid although a bit slower today, but Jody Craddock also had a fault free day barring once when he slipped leading to Watford’s Bouazza hitting the side netting. In truth Watford looked more like nicking the 3 points, especially during a period of pressure to start the first half.
With both Keith Andrews and Paul Ince on, most of the match we weren’t disturbed by seeing Watford in our half. Cooper kep the forward part of midfield going, with Seol in advance. Here’s Keith, having just given the ball away, tackling back to recover it.
With only 10 minutes gone in the second half Glenn brought game saviour from Loftus Road Carl Cort on for Cooper. He made an immediate effect sending Leon away but Leon crossed the ball to Kenny which was easily cleared. If he’s continued in to the box we might have won more from it. Carl won a few more tackles than usual but his distribution failed him, and he is rarely seen in the box now. He ventured to the post for a couple of long Naylor throw-ins, but Lee chose to ignre the tallest forward on the field and sent them to Joleon venturing forward.
Leon tried a long range shot which Richard Lee did well to hold with Seol following up.
Kennedy, returning from injury replaced Andrews whose game hadn’t been bad, but a lot of misplaced passes, on 77 (well the substitution started in the 70th, but Sparky was stripped off for 5 minutes before Glenn finally got him on) and then Seol whose contribution was declining was replaced by Cams 5 minutes later. Oakes was sound, even if still on his line, and made a couple of good saves. Sparky and Cort both made important clearances in the last 10 minutes, but no real attacking moves were put together. Mind you, ref Salisbury saw a need to help clear a Watford corner.
At half time Phil Bant paraded in his Superman outfit - see his page on our site - he’s running for Autism charities in the London Marathon. Here he is setting off on his lap of honour.
Tue Feb 22nd QPR 1 (Gallen 11) v WW 1 (Cort 85)
So we really started showed some attacking nous with 5 minutes to go plus injury time of 3 and were indeed in with a good chance of a win. The Rangers fans warmed up at the end by booing Holloway for not handling the fresh Cort brought on after 78 minutes and looking as though he wanted to make a point. We should have been able to stress the QPR defence earlier but pushing Leon out to the wings and hoping that Kenny could outbattle the immense Shittu really didn’t seem likely to pay off, especially since the yellow flag (a Mr S S S Thiarra) gave 8 offsides (7 against Kenny) - almost more than we’ve had the rest of the season put together. Wolves battled well and seemed to have Rangers’ threats contained for most of the time. Strengthening the back of midfield with both Ince and Andrews playing was interesting, but we’re still too slow to get the ball forward for Kenny and Leon to run on.
The ground was a whiteout just before the match started and remained bitterly cold, justifying QPR’s decision not to heat the pies and make us freeze. Apart from the odd chorus of “my garden shed” the away fans were nearly as quiet as at Moli on Saturday. Much better, though, they were very appreciative of the huge work rate Kenny Miller was putting in.
We had a good start with a couple of chances kicking away from the fans. But, once again, Craddock won a ball then lost it again and Gallen calmly shot it wide of Michael Oakes, so once more a Craddock mistake cost us a goal. (Arguing for a settled defence in the E&S maybe isn’t such a good idea!) He did, however, make two excellent clearances in the second half. This position really needs strengthening.
Cams and Seol, who hadn’t really got into the match were replaced by Coops and Olofinjana in the 65th, with Glenda finally catching up on what the fans were saying for ages - we needed a change. Seol had created a couple of chances, and Nayls got forward well. Joleon had got tangled up a few times
Joleon was booked on the linesman’s say so for shirt pulling but the ref let a few nasty challenges by QPR go by without cards.
So, with 12 to go Glenn took Keith Andrews off and added a forward. No sooner had we started berating Carl Cort for wimping out of tackles when a Nayls run down the left and cross was met by Carl and keeper Royce just managing to push it on to the post. Seconds later though, Carl got the ball, beat Shittu and his low shot beat Royce. So 5 left plus three on injury time and it was all Wolves. Olofinjana has a shot 10 times harder than on Saturday turned round the post by Royce who earned his money in these last few minutes. For 80 minutes we didn’t deserve a result. For 8 we did. Under Jones we played with passion for just one half of each match, under Hoddle that time has reduced.
Well the QPR fans in the Pavillion were talking about avoiding relegation before the match and we were still hoping for a playoff place. On this showing we should avoid relegation. but the 7 points we needed this week means we want 5 against Watford who were busy defeating leaders Ipswich! Back to fortress Moli then, which might be even more of morgue if we can’t get a win.
Who’s our left back??? Here it’s Seol. Joleon tried to add to the forward strengths but lost his way - he’s a fantastic defender but doesn’t have the instincts except at set pieces. And, talking of set pieces, Jody and the QPR attackers had some differences of opionion, but clearly Jody was the innocent party.
Occasional attacks - here’s a free kick from Nayls
So, the playoffs look out of reach now... even Glenda didn’t mention it in the post match interview. Perhaps. in spite of Jonah’s return now’s the time to start blooding Carl Ikeme and some of the younger players so we are ready to run at full tilt next season.
Sat Feb 19th WW 2 (Miller 60, Clarke 90+3) Gillingham 2 (Henderson 55, Flynn 90) att 24,949
Awful first half. The smaller than usual crowd was down from the very start in spite of Joleon being handed the Captain’s armband because Incey was suspended and Sparky injured. We needed at least 7 points from the 3 ganes this week and this was to be the first three gainst the 22nd club. Some hope - we never looked like scoring, and it was only the two Gillingham goals which sparked us briefly into life to go for equalisers.
Jody Craddock had been having a great game with he and captain Joleon commanding the back, until he was fooled by Darren Byfield’s cross and passed it directly to the incoming Darius Henderson who scored easily. One mistake, one goal. Kenny almost equalised from the restart but we only had to wait five minutes before he took his season’s tally to 13. Cams was dispossessed got a good rebound, flicked it to Rob Edwards, making his first start in six months, whose pinpoint cross Kenny headed home.
Heading for another 1-1 draw then when a fortunate bounce off Cams’ head from the Gills keeper’s clearance went straight to the offsice (when the keeper kicked the ball) Flynn who chipped the adancing Oakes in the 90th minute, An unlikely double then for the Gills when Leon pushed hard in the box, the ball ran his way and he forced it home. Yet again a saving goal. Stan Ternant claimed Leon had handled, which the TV relay showed it clearly was. Actually referee Woolmer had a good match - he’s supposed to be fresh from the Conference... which is where some of our players belong (no disrespect to Farnborough Town). The other picture shows the Gills celebrating their 90th minute “winner”
Glenda didn’t hear us requesting Leon’s presence from half time - in fact, although his few starts weren’t as impressive as he had been in the first 4 matches, he shows his passion for the club and is much more likely to score than the decreasingly effective Cort. However, Carl wasn’t the worst in old gold - that “honour” was once again reserved for Olofinjana. Poor passing and tackling, and a weak shot marked his game until Leon replaced him. Keith Andrews again tried hard - perhaps too hard - but the crowd are always on his back and miss some of the good things he does. Seol didn’t have his best game, but like Kenny tried and tried. In fact, a great corss from Lee Naylor was headed for Kenny when Seol, facing the wrong way took it away. Kenny would have had the better chance.
Rob Edwards return from injury was good - a few loose balls, but also some good runs which deserved a better result. Cams worked as hard as ever but seemed off the pace, and his link ups with Kenny were nothing like two years ago.
Some sections of the North Bank booed Kenny after he’d scored thinking he was having a go at them. He was jusr showing his passion and at least some parts of the North Bank told them so.
The Gills actually had the closest chance of the first half from a free kick by Southall hit the bar with Oakes well beaten before Cams cleared it away. Southall was later deservedly booked for a foul on Nayls.
Our only other chance of note came when an unusual free kick between Cams and Keith A wasdropped by keeper Banks but neither Joleon nor Leon could get to it, Joleon taking a knock in the melee.
Other crowd abuse was directed at CEO Moxey, with “Early Bird, you’re havin’ a larf”. Glenn’s interview on the official site said he didn’t know why they were getting at Jez, but a 15% price hike in season tickets followed by such poor play should have given him a clue. The fan sites two weeks ago were urging the Club to get Glenn signed longer term. Now they’re not. It can only be a matter of time before some of the fan chants are directed at him too. Neil Moxley of The Daily Mail also wondered why Moxey was the target, but summed up the feeling saying
"Revolution is in the air at Molineux and even Leon Clarke's late equaliser may not be enough to prevent the ricking timebomb from going off in the near future.
Friday Feb 4th WW 1 (Seol) Sunderland 1 Elliott (live on Sky)
So we stopped Sunderland going top (they needed to win by 3 goals) but we stayed in 15th after yet another draw, soon to be 17th as soon as Saturday’s matches finished. An excellent goal by Stephen Elliott when Ince and Craddock couldn’t get a challenge in as he ran across the box, was cancelled out within a minute by Seol’s header from Naylor’s great cross. The Black Cat’s goalkeeper Thomas Myrhe called for the ball but Seol beat him to it. Hero of the game again with three outstanding saves was Michael Oakes, supporting Wolves’ man-of-the-match Paul Ince. For once, Molineux didn’t get on the backs of the players. We must also mention the huge workload Kenny Miller got through, tackling back and with several good chances.
The match started with a well observed minute’s silence to remember Jack Harris, after whom the South Bank stand is named. Wolves’ chairman when Sir Jack took over the club, and a Vice President of the club still, his last match was the 4-2 win over West Ham. The match programme contains an nice tribute to him including how he helped rescue the club from 1986 at a time when we’d been relegated to the old fourth division and crowds averaged around 4,000!. London Wolves offer their sympathy to Jack’s widow Muriel and to John, Jane, Diane, Susan and Julie. Here are the Wolves players and Mascots lined up.
Wolves probably had more pressure in the first 30 minutes than we’d had all season. Sunderland made clear it was to be a tough match from the beginning with a bad foul on Nayls from Dean Whitehead. Referee Joslin, posing for the cameras for much of the match, didn’t book him, and, indeed let a lot of robust challenges from Sunderland go. He was quick to book Joleon and Jody later in the match though. In spite of our pressure Elliott’s goal came in their first attack in the 11th. A pass from Wright to Whitely was picked up by Elliott who ran across the box, Ince was unable to tackle and Craddock was late to close him down leaving Oakes with no chance. But a minute later a great cross from Nayls was called for by Myrhe and Seol bravely beat him to it, and we were level.
Barely three minutes later, Kennedy got to the by-line and pulled the ball back for Kenny, who flicked the ball over Breen, side-stepped Whitehead and shot for the far post. We couldn’t believe it hadn’t gone in! Kenny was tackling back, making space and getting into great positions. Paul Ince also had a shot blocked when he was in position just like the goal against West Ham.
Seyi George Olofinjana picked up a knock, which Kennedy thought should have resulted in a booking, but in truth George had another very poor match. He was substituted for Cams at half time, but should have gone off because of his performance. At least Glenn doesn’t hang around with substitutions. However he should also have replaced Carl Cort with Leon.
Here is a little cameo of Carl, winning the ball, then losing out to Breen who handled him too well all match
Kenny tackling back and clearing from a Sunderland corner in the first half, and again centring in front of the Graham Hughes stand.
In the second half Oakes pulled off a marvellous save from a snapshot by Robinson. Pressure brought Seol tackling back but we did eventually win several free kicks in the Sunderland half in front of the North Bank. Kenny had a great chance but Myhre saved. He’d been tripped by Robinson who should have been booked. Ince’s free kick was cleared but Clyde got it back in for Kenny.
Kenny nodded down for Paul Ince with a shot going just wide. Cam was brought down by Breen when through on goal but the referee decided there were covering players so only a yellow card was produced. Kenny was tumbled over by Myrhe who then required a lot of attention. Later in the match, Joleon jumped into but turned away, and the ref was as quick to book Jo as he had been not to take action against Sunderland players. At the end, though, Mick McCarthy, Sunderland’s manager was quick to congratulate the Wolves players on their performance.