Writer: The New Ricky Hill
Date:Saturday March 3 2007
3 March 2007, 3pm
On form an easy win for Wolves, currently the form team in the Championship. The arrival of Clarke Carlisle on loan, a 6'3' centre-half, added a bit of interest to the selection, so wat would Newell do?
Communal prayers before the game that Newell would see the light and drop Beresford and Robinson were to no avail, as the Town lined up:
Keane Barnett Heikkinen Emanuel
Foley Spring Robinson Bell
So some weird decisions:
1 Beresford selected even though he is virtually entitled to start drawing a pension and was at fault for all three goals on Tuesday.
2 No Carlisle even though vulnerability in the air has been apparent all season.
3 Robinson yet again even though he is out of his depth in this division.
4 Morgan not even on the bench, yet the patently unfit and overweight Boyd is.
I guess we have come to expect this.
For Wolves not a team of big names for a change,but Michael McIndoe and Michael Kightly for sure have reputations. In goal the enormous Matt Murray, and up front Andy Keogh, their recent signing from Scunthorpe.
A bevy of scantily-clad beauties to welcome the teams, courtesy of the News of the Screws. So no chance of Boyd performing, on the pitch at least.
Newell emerged from the tunnel wearing a tracksuit for a change.
As usual a great atmosphere, with a full house of Wanderers fans.
Wanderers made the early running, and early pressure saw a 20 yarder hit the post with Marlon a horizontal observer.
On 9 minutes came the first Wolves set piece, a free kick wide left. Curled in near post and, surprise surprise, yet another which managed somehow to evade all white shirts and of course a static (some might say dormant) Marlon Beresford. Apparently a Gary Breen header.
To the home fans hardly a surprise, and ironic cheers a minute or two later when Beresford actually managed a save for a change.
But on 21 we got back on level terms. Foley cut inside from the right and found Emanuel 25 yards out. His shot wasn't the best but was deflected by Breen past a stranded Murray.
The goal seemed to create a sense of belief and the Town started challenging on an equal footing, with Bell in particular prominent. For the rest of the half it was basically one-way traffic as the Town dominated.
The effort produced a spate of corners, which Bell orchestrated. Several went straight to the keeper on the edge of the 6 yard box, but on 44 the hand signal from Bell changed. As he started to swing the Town big guns ran en masse to the near post, and like Tiger Woods Bell delivered perfectly. They all rose in unison and Leon it was who reached it, glancing neatly across Murray and in.
2-1 and no more than the Town deserved.
So ahead at half-time. A strange experience. No changes at half-time, and hopefully a good pep talk. Interesting that the Town emerged early.
We started well but after 6 minutes failed to clear well enough and although Marlon dived bravely to block a point blank shot, Keogh was first to the rebound and scrambled it in.
Bell kept charging down the left, and almost immediately a Runstrom near post header from a Bell cross had Murray sprawling.
On 14 minutes Marlon earned at least some of his crust with a fine save, tipped round for a corner. Maybe he wasn't so useless after all. But within 5 minutes he proved us doubters right, as a modest shot straight at him from 20 yards squirted out from under him and trickled into the net.
2-3, and once again against the run of play.
A double change from Newell, Feeney for Talbot (who had as usual been by far the most effective of our strikers), and Carlisle for Spring (who had equally been by far the most effective of our two central midfielders), with Barnett pushing into midield and Carlisle taking Barnett's vacated centre half position.
What on earth was Newell thinking, having managed in one fell swoop to weaken the defence, the midfield, and the attack?
And so for the next 20 the result seemed in little doubt, with the Town battling, Bell and Keane in particular, but not really believing.
The only moment of excitement came as Bell surged past his marker yet again, and was sandwiched inside the box. But the ref just waved play on.
4 minutes of injury time but not so much as a whisper of a shot. So yet another 3 points blown by awful management and Marlon.
Beresford 2 yet again the OAP cost us the game
Keane 7 another classy performance in a position he is starting to make his own
Barnett 8 determined and strong
Heikkinen 7 cool and calm and hard-working
Emanuel 7 battled well against a relatively anonymous Kightly
Foley 6 looks like he could make it in midfield but needs to be a bit more confident and direct himself on the edge of the box
Spring 7 worked hard but should have closed down Wolves' second goal
Robinson 4 ran and ran and hardly ever got to where the ball was. First touch terrible again.
Bell 8 the Wizard
Talbot 7 running machine and always a threat, in the air and on the ground
Runstrom 4 very disappointing
Carlisle 6 sound enough
Feeney 3 same as always
Newell 2 I have to say I think this is the game that has changed it for me. I have previously resisted the temptation to blame Newell for our predicament, but in basic team selection he has just made too many howlers, and despite the injury run our squad is too good to be where we are. If we go down then I am afraid Newell is responsible, and continuing to select Beresford and Robinson is verging on gross misconduct.
Date:Saturday March 3 2007
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Luton to Entertain Aston Villa (Friday May 17 2013)
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Keeper Ranks Bolstered (Monday May 13 2013)
Nielson Finds New Club (Monday May 13 2013)
Welcome to the Mad World! (Monday May 13 2013)
I Felt Physically Sick! (Monday May 13 2013)
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