Match Report and Ratings: Tranmere vs Wolves


After watching the clash between Manchester United and Leeds earlier today it was not a treat for a friend of football to watch the match between Tranmere and Wolves. But the pitch was not in best shape and it was not easy for the players to perform under these harsh circumstances.

In the first half Tranmere was the best team, I have to admit. They had a couple of good chances on goal and their lack of precision and Hennessey (and Foley) in the Wolves goal were the only factors that prevented Wolves from going at least one goal down in the first half.

In the second half Wolves played better and pressured higher up the pitch. The players moved better and started to create some chances. Sylvan Ebanks-Blake got one that was worth a better destiny. And finally Milijas reached Jarvis with a deep ball between the central defenders and he could easily shoot the ball past the Tranmere keeper and into the net. A rehabilitation for missing a sitter earlier on. (a link to the goal in ‘Videos, Highlights’ in the right sidebar)

After that goal in the 77th minute Wolves play was more about defending. Especially the last ten minutes. But they did that well and in the end I think they deserved the win, but it was not an over all good performance. But were in the next round and will meet Crystal Palace in about three weeks.

Manager Mick McCarthy said to the BBC:

I’m very pleased we’re into the next round and we’ve got Palace at home. It is the third round the FA Cup – where people find that extra bit I don’t know but I bet that is the best they have played in a long time. We needed a win. I don’t know what winning will do for confidence but I know what losing would have done for it – it would have had a real adverse effect. I thought first half we were evenly matched but second half we were the dominant force and for long periods we were camped in their half – deserved winners I think.

Well, Mr McCarthy. I don’t agree that we were evenly matched with Tranmere in the first half. At least not when it comes to chances. We didn’t have a shot on goal in the first half when they had five, for instance. Tranmere is worth much credit for their play in this match. Especially Logan and Goodison.

Let us go to the individual ratings for the Wolves players from this evenings play.

Hennessey – 7Looked a bit rusty and unsure at the beginning of the match, but he soon got used to it and saved Wolves a couple of times. Will he take back his place in the first eleven in the Premier League after this? I don’t think so. I still think Hahnemann is a better keeper to have at the back when the wind blows. And he is better at ordering the defence about. More experienced. But Hennessey is Paddytheflea’s Man Of The Match.

Stearman – 5 – Sometimes he does very nice things with the ball and sometimes he misses totally. A very uneven performance again. And he doesn’t seem to find his position sometimes. Will he keep his place in the starting eleven? I don’t think so.

Craddock – 7 – Stable as usual. but he had much to do when his team mates were running around without a plan trying to defend on set pieces.

Mancienne – 7 – He was – together with Foley and Hennessey and Craddock – the reason why Wolves were not at least one goal behind after the first half. McCarthy now proved to me that Mancienne can play both as a centre back and a midfielder. But I prefer him as a midfielder with Berra in the centre back role, thank you.

Ward – 6 – He was kind of weak today in my opinion. Logan made him look a fool a couple of occasions and too many crosses was launched from his side of the pitch to Wolves penalty area. But he fired a couple of crosses himself, so he gets one extra point for that.

Foley – 6 – Had his bright moments going forward as well as defending on the goal line. But his general play was not – like the rest of the players in midfield – not good enough in this match.

Henry – 5 – He is the master of the midfield and didn’t push up his troops enough in the first half. They were sitting in the lap of defence and that created a dangerous situation and a gap to the forwards. Henry is blowing hot and cold and when he does so does Wolves. Sort it out!

Milijas – 6 – He did not better than the others on midfield, but he can decide a game by his sensitive left foot and eye for the game.

Jarvis – 6 – He tries so much and runs so much, but sometimes the quality is missing. But I’m glad that he scored after the sitter he missed. But it was 80% Milijas goal.

Iwelumo – 5 – It’s a little hard to rate our strikers as they had so little support during the first half at least. It’s hard to deal all alone with the Tranmere defence and a couple of midfielders. But Iwelumo was much better last season. But he is just on his way back after injury so I still have hopes for him.

Ebanks-Blake – 5 – The same as for Iwelumo, except that his injury period was way back. He had a couple of good chances and with a bit of luck he should have scored. Or with a bit of precision! He has not yet proved to me that he should have a spot in the starting eleven at Wolves. We need more firepower in the striking department. And it does not seem to be SEB.

Paddytheflea

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~ by paddytheflea on January 3, 2010.

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