Wolves make progress in the Carabao Cup
Wolves gained a deserved, if hard earned, win against Yeovil to progress to the next stage of the Carabao Cup but had to wait until the 76th minute before finally getting their noses ahead. These matches in the early stages of this competition are traditionally uninspiring games but the possession football played at a reasonable pace made the game a better watch than some in recent years.
Wolves made 9 changes to the starting line up compared to Saturday with only Boly and Bonatini retained;
Bennett, Batth, Boly
Graham, Price, Ronan, Vinagre
There was an early move from Wolves that was rarely bettered in the rest of the game. Boly made a run forward and knocked the ball in to Bonatini who switched it first time to Graham on the right, whose cross found the head of Bonatini who headed over.
Wolves were getting lots of the ball and it was one way traffic towards the Yeovil goal, but there was little in the way of openings with both Graham and Vinagre continually failing to get in decent deliveries from the flanks. Brightest part for Wolves was the non stop involvement of Ronan who is always on the move looking for the ball.
Closest Wolves came to a first half goal was when Danny Batth met a corner and his header went down into the ground and then bounced just over the angle.
The second half was a similar story with all the play going towards the Yeovil goal and no chances being created. Bonatini had a shot blocked and Ronan had two long range efforts as he had in the first half, then Dicko hit the best shot of the game that went just over. Wolves replaced a tiring Bonatini with Jota, and Edwards was replaced by Enobakhare.
Yeovil had also made a change with their main striker Zoko replaced by Browne and there was almost an almighty shock for Wolves as the sub found himself in space between Batth and Boly and had time to turn and shoot but put it wide, a real chance for the visitors, their only one of the game.
That woke Wolves up a bit and Ronan brought a diving save from the Yeovil keeper before Wolves finally made the breakthrough. An outswinging corner from the right from Graham found the head of Dicko who scored from close range.
Norris 6 - had a quiet night but what he did he did impressively and looked the part
Bennett 6 - steady and untroubled
Batth 6 - looked comfortable enough. Didn't knock a long ball all evening and has clearly been adapted to the Nuno style
Boly 7 - another highly impressive performance from the big defender
Graham 5 - maybe it was his long injury absence, maybe not being suited to the wing back role, but struggled to show his ability on the night. Got another assist though.
Price 6 - played deep and retained possession well with making any telling passes
Edwards 6 - won the ball back for Wolves on a number of occasions high up the pitch but wasn't able to make an impact on the ball
Vinagre 5 - promise there but got a lot of possession in good positions and made little happen
Dicko 6 - another goal to add to two in pre season and had some good moments without really threatening the Yeovil defence much
Bonatini 6 - some real promise from the Brazilian and he was continually pulling away from his defender to find space and link up the play. Not up to the required match sharpness yet but better things to come
Ronan 7 - always looked the most likely to make something happen in the attacking third. A bundle of energy, always moving to make himself available, and had more shots than anyone on the field.
Jota, Enobakhare and Saiss used as subs with Enobakhare making the biggest impact including one good run and shot to bring a diving save out of the keeper.
Not a game that will stick long in the memory but another demonstration of the direction that Nuno is taking the team. Much improved from last season in terms of retaining possession, not giving much away defensively, and playing the game at a decent pace. This uninspiring game should not disguise the fact that Wolves have a decent depth to their squad, and most of those that are starting the season as cover players would walk into the first teams of most Championship clubs. The three 1-0 wins we have seen at Molineux over the last 10 days have not been thrillers, but they have still done the job in terms of maintaining the pre season optimism. Next up is Derby away on Saturday.