Verdict: Wolves 2 Saints 2

Last updated : 06 March 2008 By Peattie B
First half stalemate

The first half was a very poor advert for championship football with neither side creating much going forward. Saints' closest opportunity came when Jhon Viafara's low cross was almost fumbled into his own net by keeper Wayne Hennessey.

Wolves only notable chance saw Kevin Kyle balloon the ball over from twelve yards from an Ebanks-Blake pull back. The half time whistle was greeted by boos from the home fans in a half where defences were certainly on top.

Second half thrilling finale

Saints' third choice keeper Michael Poke was thrust into his debut at half time with Kelvin Davis having to make way with a dislocated finger and a dead leg. Saints began to apply some pressure in the second half having a spell of possession in the opposition half and winning a string of corners.

Andrew Davies fired just over from a tight angle following a throw-in down the left. Wolves came back into game and after Ebanks-Blake had Wolves first effort on goal and Kevin Kyle found the side netting Wolves made the break through.

A direct ball down the right was allowed to bounce and Ebanks-Blake muscled in past Davies to thump the ball past Poke. Davies clearly felt he was fouled by the Wolves striker and gave the linesman a piece of his mind subsequently.
Jason Euell came close to grabbing an equaliser when first his low eighteen yard shot through a crowded area was superbly tipped round the post by Hennessey and then by firing an effort just over. The equaliser came on seventy four minutes substitute David Mcgoldrick was tripped in the box by Collins and Gregory Vignal stepped by to dispatch the spot kick.
With ten minutes of normal time left to play Vignal who was already on a yellow card received a straight red card for a display of petulance having a little kick at Ebanks-Blake after the striker forcefully gave the Frenchman the ball for a throw-in.
Wolves were now on the front foot and pushed forward in search of a winner. They again took the lead when a cross from right was header back across goal by Keogh for Ebanks-Blake to volley in from close range giving Poke no chance with the shot going in off the post.
However, there was one final twist as the home fans began to cheer every pass Saints fought to win a corner down the right from which Euell rose to power into the back of the net to save a point with barely thirty seconds left to play.

Overall, I was very pleased in the way we battled in the second half, in the end we had the better chances, slightly more possession and had it not been for the sending off I felt we could have pushed for a winner.

It is clear that Pearson is a passionate, motivating character this can be seen from his animated touchline performances. This is the kind of man we need and it is beginning to show on the pitch.
However, our squad is looking quite bare and a lack of full-backs and wingers is clear to see on the pitch at times. Jermaine Wright gave a good account of himself at right back, but he doesn't offer much going forward.
Mario Licka had a good game on the left of the midfield and I'm glad he is finally getting a chance to show his worth but he is not a left sided player.

Saying that he did well down the flank and what impressed me most was his delivery from corners. So often in today's game you see corners fail to clear the first man however all of Licka's did and they were going into the right areas of the box.

Safri did take one second half corner that didn't clear the first man and the corner duties were handed back to Licka and thankfully they were as it was his delivery that picked out Euell to grab the equaliser.
In reference to sending off, I was very disappointed with Vignal, the incident happened right in front of me and very close to linesman and as soon as I saw it I knew the outcome.

Vignal was taking time to get the ball for the throw in so Ebanks-Blake ran to get the ball and forcefully pushed it into the left backs chest to which he responded with a little kick. Some might say it was not a red but for intent alone it was a second yellow. It was such a stupid and petty thing to do and especially just after we had got back into the game.

We have launched an appeal, but I cannot see it being overturned, but hopefully it could be downgraded from a straight red card to a second yellow meaning a one match ban instead of three - fingers crossed!
Overall, there are positives to take from this result and shows small steps in the right direction. It's also good to see Pearson make all the players go over and applaud the fans at the final whistle, too often in the past this hasn't happened.