To use footballs oldest cliche, today’s match was most certainly a game of two halves.
Town set up in their more recognisable 4-3-2-1 formation, with loanee Kasey Palmer being handed his first senior start. Jonathan Hogg was also reintroduced in a familiar looking team so far this season.
As the blue and white army filtered into the ground and began to dry off, the game got underway with town dominating the ball in the opening minutes. Wolves clearly arrived at the John smith stadium with every intention of soaking up the pressure and aiming for Icelandic giant Bödvarsson at every opportunity.
But it was town who struck first with former Wolves man Rajiv Van La Parra. Another one of footballs great cliches. Not to say that I didn’t go absolute berserk. On 6 minutes, after a neat exchange between Palmer and Wells with the latter hitting the post with a low left footed shot, it’s VLP who was on hand to strike home the rebound.
The start all football fans want. Settle the nerves and jitters early. Town would play some of their best football this season (possibly since the beginning of time) over the next 40 minutes. DW would follow today’s victory by admitting that himself “the first half was outstanding; one of the best 45 mins we have ever played.”
The only criticism could be pointed at the lack of goals when presented with good chances. At 1-0 you are always vulnerable and as the second half started this would be emphasised with Wolves taking the reigns from Town and taking control of the match.
But put aside the fast paced attacking football David Wagner promotes, he is also a bastion of hard work and unity in defence. Something that was evident during today’s second half. With their backs against the wall, the help of the post and an unbelievable save, that words do not do justice, from shot stopper Danny Ward.
But the Town team stood together as one and pushed back every Wolves attack and earned their first shut out of the season and another 3 points, securing top spot over the international break.
Oh and one more thing, I absolutely called today’s game – see my pre match predictions here.
Ooh to be a…