CHRIS HUMPHRIES GIVES HIS MATCH REPORT ON WOLVES 1-1 NEWCASTLE
After what can only be described as a slightly exciting start to the season but mildly disappointing results, Wolves went into the game at home to Newcastle badly needing a win to set us away on our aim to climb the table ,
Wolves probably fielded at this stage what I would consider to be our strongest available side, with two key alterations from last week. Nelson Semedo who has looked exciting in the small cameos he has had so far this season given his first league start , with Rayan Ait-Nouri dropping to the bench and Podence dropped to the bench to allow the much needed return of striker Raul Jimenez. Calum Wilson out (once a wolves target) injured replaced by Chris ‘oh god not him again’ Wood . New signing Swedish international Alexander Isak did not feature
After some initial pushing from both sides Joelinton slid Wood in for a nice run into the box which Wolves defended. They then defended the corner well with a break which came to nothing. Shortly after a wonderful pinpoint ball from Neves released Guedes who crossed for Neto to dink the ball sadly onto the top of the net. Wolves pressed again after a great interception from Moutinho which allowed Neto to cross but he placed it far too near the keeper. Repeat chance again after a great pass from Neves , Neto down the right but again he passed to the keeper.
Wolves defended well early on against Newcastle, Saint-Maximin moved onto the right and won a throw, this caused some chaos in the box which allowed Willock an effort on goal which he sliced wide and should have done better.
Next it was Guedes turn to send a cross right across the box but wolves had no one there.
Collins made a mistake on 15 minutes which alllowed Newcastle an opportunity but Wolves. defended for a corner from which Wolves broke quickly but Guedes was unable to capitalise.
Newcastle pressed with a series of corners that wolves defended well, then wolves had a fantastic chance to go ahead, Raul battled for the ball and placed a cross on a diving Matheus Nunes head but he could only steer it over the bar.
First booking of the game came after 25 minutes when Nunes played an ambitious cross field ball to Semedo which was intercepted by Saint-Maximin with Nelson being caught out of position and brought the Newcastle player down.
Then ecstasy, as Wolves won a set piece earned because we have a striker who can hold the ball. The ball was crossed in and worked out to the left then back across to Neves cetrally from about 23 yards who stroked the ball in standard Neves style to put Wolves one ahead. Wolves the deserved leaders at the break.
Second half started with Wolves having several opportunities to extend their lead but some poor choices in final ball and delivery meant as the game developed Newcastle seemed to grow in confidence. Eddie Howe injected some fresh legs onto the pitch and Newcastle started to dominate. On 70 minutes it was clear that Wolves were holding on, then out of nowhere some controversy Wolves broke and Neto challenged Trippier for the ball I thought fairly and then with a quick pair of heels went down the left flank and squared the ball to Jimenez who scored Wolves second goal. The dreaded VAR got involved and the referee disallowed the goal.
With the goal chalked of this was the time to galvanise our efforts and at a time when I thought we should strengthen our position and bring on Dendoncker, and maybe refresh our wingplay the manager decided to bring on Podence and Hwang.
Sadly in the dying throws of the second half Newcastle pressure paid off , Hwang cleared straight into the centre of the pitch where Saint- Maximin hit a worldie volley straight past Sa.
Schoolboy error from Hwang a bad mistake when he should have put out for a throw in or a corner as we has defended so many of them well. However blame here I think has to be apportioned to Bruno, my view is the substitutions were made at the wrong time, he took far too long to react to Howe’s changes which gave them more impetus, we should have brought Dendoncker on for Moutinho and Traore instead of Podence. Why when we were being pinned back did we feel the need to bring on Podence and Hwang?
Overall a much better performance, one which shows development, but it needs to happen quicker we are letting points drift away.
match rating 7
ARTICLE BY CHRIS HUMPHRIES
Chris Humphries is a Season Ticket holder at Molineux who has been supporting Wolves since the mid 70’s. His other interests include Formula 1 and Rallying.