Wolves disappoint again at home
After some promising performances on the road in January, Wolves had 5 home games to look forward to in February, but 180 minutes into those games they are yet to get a point or even a goal. It was a result that has the club looking over their shoulder at the relegation positions and that is a realistic proposition if they don't produce more of a goal threat and get some points on the board at Molineux. A league table of home matches only shows Wolves in 23rd place and the only team to have a worse record beat them at Molineux tonight.
There were a few changes to the team with Marshall given his first start, Evans replacing the injured Price, Bodvarsson replacing Dicko and Ronan coming in for Weimann;
Marshall, Batth, Stearman, Doherty
Costa. Enobakhare, Ronan
To say the first half was a tepid affair would be flattering the game a little and there were no saves by either keeper. There was one good run from Bodvarsson with his cross then being just too far in front of Edwards. Enobakhare produced a fine run but then shot into the side net from an impossible angle when there were well placed players waiting for a cross. But then better from Bright who set up Edwards whose shot was blocked. But really the only positive for Wolves was an impressive home debut from Conor Ronan.
Some loose passing from Lee Evans and then a free kick from Stearman that was nowhere near a gold shirt and drifted out for a goal kick. It wasn't getting better after the break. Gibbs-White came on for his Molineux and Championship debut, replacing Evans and he went to give some balance on the left. And with that making three teenagers in the attack, Wolves finally improved. Costa and Marshall set up Enobakhare who sent in a low ball across the face of the goal with nobody on hand to turn it in. It was frustrating that Wolves, as at Burton recently, were putting forward high balls that were food and drink to two big centre backs.
Ronan made two for Edwards at Barnsley recently and there was almost a repeat here as his free kick found dangerous Dave's head but the keeper made a fine save. Enobakhare then shot over from a good position before in the 88th minute Wigan went ahead having been no threat to the Wolves goal all night. Buxton was unmarked as he headed in from a corner. With Wolves piling men forward into the box looking for a late equaliser Ronan took what looked like an unwise decision to try a shot from fully 35 yards but it was a tremendous effort that the Wigan keeper just managed to tip over the bar
Ikeme 6 - had nothing to do until picking the ball out of his net near the end
Marshall 4 - reportedly short on fitness but didn't have a debut to remember fondly
Batth 6 - best of the defenders but some poor distribution
Stearman 5 - not a difficult night in defence, but certainly didn't have his passing boots on with a number not finding their target
Doherty 6 - steady enough defensively but didn't get forward as much as usual
Evans 4 - having signed a contract extension had a night to forget with a string of misplaced passes
Edwards 6 - came close to scoring again but didn't have a big impact on the game
Costa 6 - closely marked and Wolves struggled to get him into the game
Enobakhare 7 - lots of good runs in the middle of the park and has loads of potential but not yet making his mark in the final third
Ronan 9 - his third start for Wolves and a contender for man of the match every time. By far the best player on the pitch tonight with good passes, some tackling back and a tremendous shot late on to nearly save the game
Bodvarsson 4 - hardly won a ball forward all night but would be much better suited to receiving balls in to feet down the channels
Gibbs-White, Coady and Weimann used as subs
Overall a performance of relegation quality and Wolves need to get some points on the board and turn Molineux into a stronghold not a nightmare. In this game it was difficult to see where the goals were going to come from. Incredibly for a club that have spent £25m on transfers, relegation is not out of the question on this showing, and the only positives on the night came from the teenage academy products.