Writer: Sheriff Kimbo
Date:Thursday October 8 2009
Attendance: 802 (So me & my Dad were the 2!)
Having looked at the team sheet before kick-off, the Wolves side was clearly a strong one. In fact, out of the starting XI, I had saw (or at least heard of!) seven of their players, which at a reserve team level definitely indicates a strong side.
I then glanced at ours and, seeing that Albrighton, the Gardner brothers, Isaiah 'Fingers` Osborne and the Hoff were all in the line-up, I assumed it would be a 4-5-1/4-3-3 formation with James (Paddy, not Taffy) Collins spearheading the attack.
As it was, in the style of the first team, we operated in a 4-4-2 formation. Albrighton started up front with Gary Gardner on the right. The problem with that is that neither of them are really suited to those positions. In fact, they were switched round within seconds of the first time that Albrighton got the ball on the right wing and whipped in one of his trademark crosses; it was as if they realised, "Well this way, we only need to pay one player out of position"! Incidentally, the Hoff should have scored from the cross. Oh well.
That change came after Wolves had already taken the lead. The visitors generally got the better of the early exchanges and, after some sloppy Villa play that gave the ball to Wolves, Kightly found himself with FAR too much space in the area and duly slotted the ball home.
That gave us the kick up the backside that we required and after the Albrighton/G Gardner split happened, we started to look the better side. After all, we had a good outlet on the right and Gary Gardner, while certainly not a forward, did offer us a bit more of a physical presence up top.
Indeed, it was who Gary set up older brother Craig for our equaliser. Craig looked to play the one-two with his younger sibling, and as he collected the scooped pass out of his feet and powered his way past a couple of Wolves defenders, he finished with some aplomb.
We finished the first half the stronger team and were unlucky not to grab a second as the ball spent a lot of time in and around the Wolves area.
The second half was not the most open game. It was essentially us pushing forward without creating anything. Perhaps a little surprisingly we actually looked the stronger of the two sides in the latter stages and there was a feeling that had the game carried on a bit longer we would have probably nicked a winner. We especially looked more threatening once Adam McGurk came on, which raised the question of, while Gary Gardner is undoubtedly a talented lad (and was involved in the goal), if we wanted to play 4-4-2 why did we not just start with McGurk?
Still, we remain unbeaten and given the amount of senior players in the Wolves side - plus the lack of Delfouneso and Bannan in ours - the lads did well.
Date:Thursday October 8 2009
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