All Square At The Rec
The Recreation Ground
Wolverhampton Wanderers kicked off their pre season preparations with a cautious 0-0 draw away to Grays Athletic on Saturday.
As promised, Mick McCarthy fielded two sides in a bid to build up fitness levels in a fixture that was never likely to be anything more than a gentle run out for both clubs.
With neither side keen to pick up any injuries prior to another arduous season, the first half drew little action of note.
Lewis Gobern forced Gray's 'keeper Danny Knowles into a tidy save, before having to be withdrawn with a rocked ankle, the afternoons only low point.
Gary Breen again forced Knowles into action as neither side carved out real clear cut chances, but perhaps that was in keeping with the nature of the fixture, part of the Michael Kightly transfer which was never going to be about giving Grays a football lesson.
With the Wolves team changed in full for the second half, bar Wayne Hennesey, the sides settles into more or less the same pattern of play as the opening 45.
Jay Bothroyd saw his low shot cleared off the Gray's goal line, which could have added a sparkle to an otherwise low key event, which was possibly more important for the fitness men than the reult.
That's not to say the match was without it's positives, with McCarthy giving debut's to new boy Matt Jarvis in the first half and Darren Ward and Freddy Eastwood in the second.
With Mark Little returning to action, Charlie Mulgrew completing a full 45, Rob Edwards back in the side and Karl Henry wearing gold once more there were more reasons to smile than the scoreline might otherwise suggest.
But when all's said and done, it was mission accomplished.
Michael Kightly finally got to say farewell to his former club, Wolves fans finally got to see Freddy Eastwood in gold, and McCarthy's squad can now move onto Ireland with no serious injuries picked up.
After the match Mick McCarthy said :
'In that respect 45 minutes each was more than enough to provide the lads with a good workout.'