Opponent : Aston Villa
Result : D 2 - 2
Aston Villa 2-2 Wolves
In a terrific advert for West Midlands football, Wolves fought out a 2-2 draw with Aston Villa – but we were only 8 minutes from victory.
Coming into the game, Wolves were on the back of a crucial victory over Burnley, but still sitting one place above the relegation zone. The game was also of significant importance to Villa, in their race for fourth spot. The match started at a frantic pace, with both teams open to attack. Villa created the first opportunity with Carew striking wide after finding a yard of space in the box. Ashley Young was becoming more influential as the game wore on, and it told when on an Aston Villa counter, Young beat Zubar and flashed the ball across the box to find Carew – in an offside position – with the simplest of finishes. Most would think that Wolves would have capitulated at that point, but it seemed to galvanise the team, and within 7 minutes we were level. David Jones whipped the ball in from a free kick on the right and found Zubar, who inexplicably scuffed the shot, only to find Jody Craddock who applied the finish. In the games that Jody has scored, Wolves have won 5 points, showing his importance to the side, without taking into account his defensive effectiveness. Wolves grew further and further into the game, with Kevin Doyle hassling the defence and Jones at the centre of most of our possession. These players combined again in the 38th minute to feed Jarvis, whose pullback towards Jones was diverted into his own net via James Milner. The Villa were shell-shocked and set about getting the result back on level terms. Just prior to half time Stewart Downing missed a golden opportunity as he headed over from 6 yards.
Wolves set their stall out with a reshuffle at half time. George Elokobi came on for the ineffective Adlene Guedioura. The Villa onslaught arrived, as they constantly peppered the Wolves box with long balls towards Carew and Heskey, but Christophe Berra and the evergreen Craddock stood up to the challenge. At the other end, the tireless Doyle was occupying Dunne and Collins on his own, with the impressive Jarvis making in-roads down the left. Wolves finally succumbed to the pressure in the 82nd minute. A long ball was not dealt with by the Wolves defence and Heskey laid the ball back to Villa sub Steve Sidwell. His shot was trickling wide, but Carew managed to stay onside and deflect the ball into the net. A cruel blow to the Wolves side, who seemed to be running out of steam. Wolves actually had the better of the last ten minutes and almost forced a few chances, but a draw in the end was probably a fair result, and one the club and fans should be very proud of.
By Gulraj kular