Halford made both goals when Wolves took third scalp
Greg Halford was the man behind both goals when Wolves took their 3rd win in the 3rd country in their best pre-season in years so far.
It was the former team of Mujangi Bia and Guédioura – the Belgian side Charleroi – who had the pleasure (?) to host Wolves last night.
It is rumoured that the travelling fans of Wolves were greeted to town the rough way by the Charleroi supporters at the train station, but when the hardcore Belgian supporters spotted how many Wolves fans there was coming out of the train they went in shock. Apparently the law were there aswell – hosing down the fans of both sides. Shit happens!
Edit: A link to a 9 minutes long amateur video of the match, without any goals, is now available way down in the right margin
But to the game. Wolves started up the match with a 4-4-2 that looked like this:
Stearman, Berra, Craddock, Van Damme
Jarvis, Henry, Jones, Ward
Charleroi started best with a couple of half chances, but Ikeme saved one and Van Damme stopped another. Wolves soon came into the game and two corners by Jones pressured the Charleroi defence as the first was boxed out by the Belgian keeper Baguette (!) and the other went to Jarvis who aimed at Vokes’s head, but Baguette managed to box that away aswell.
Five minutes later Fletcher tried a nice curled shot at goal from 25 yards out, but it went wide. Just after that Jarvis crossed and found Ward who headed the ball wide. A little later Jarvis was fouled to the right just outside the area and Jones took the free and Baguette had to box the ball out to fend his goal.
Just before the half hour Vokes powered a header from a centre by Berra into the far corner, but the Baguette stretched out and could tip it away. After that Charleroi had some half chances, but Ikeme and the defence handled it well.
Eight players were substituted in the second half and the eleven now looked like this:
Foley, Berra, Craddock, Hill
Halford, Guedioura, Edwards, Keogh
Only Ikeme and the two central defenders were left on. Hill, Halford and Keogh – three players threatened to be left out from the 25 player squad were given a chance to shine and prove themselves.
Charleroi had the first chance in the second half when Cordaro kicked the ball wide. But it was Wolves that went ahead when Halford made one of his patented throw-ins into the area and Doyle reached it and headed it with the back of his head into the net.
But only seven minutes later Charleroi could equalise when Thereau found Cordaro and he launched a low cross that the Wolves defence failed to defend and Tormene could fire it home behind Ikeme for Charleroi.
A couple of minutes later – after Charleroi had made many changes to their team – they had a very good chance to take the lead, but Ikeme managed to tip it to a corner.
Ebanks-Blake had a chance after that after good link-up play by Guédioura and Keogh, but after a running header the ball was deflected out . But a couple of minutes later – after 82 minutes played – Halford got another good chance with a throw and in a goal scramble Edwards headed it into the net in a similar fashion to Doyler. 2-1 to Wolves.
Halford had another throw-in a couple of minutes later, but the now alerted Charleroi defence managed to get rid of the ball.
So. Three wins in three matches in three countries in nine days. Not bad at all! I doubt that Wolves will sell Halford after this. He proved that he still is the kong of throw-ins and that they can open up a defence like a can-opener. I have no data about how Keogh and Hill did in the match. It looks like Keogh’s days as a striker in Wolves are over, though. If he still will be at the club when the season starts – and I doubt that – he will have to play as a midfielder.
Like last pre-season McCarthy tries different striker combinations. Vokes and Fletcher in the first half didn’t manage to score, but Ebanks-Blake and Doyler did – but on a set piece. And Halford did not play in the first half. Which pairing will start against Stoke in the first Premier League game of the season? Your guess is as good as mine.
Next is Reading on Tuesday and Hahnemann will be back in goal for sure. I want to see more goals in open play by our strikers there and then. Hopefully Mujangi Bia will be O-k after a slightly stretched muscle and maybe Zubar will be on his way back aswell?! It still looks very good!