Date: Saturday, October 1st, 2011
Referee: Mark Halsey
Goals: Ba (17), Gutierrez (38), Fletcher (88)
In what was quite possibly the most exciting, and surprisingly nerve-wracking Newcastle game so far this term, some brilliant individual performances, and more than a little help from referee, Mark Halsey, helped Newcastle United ascend even higher, to third, in the Premiership table.
Despite a couple of helping hands from Halsey though, a denied penalty and a perfectly good goal for the home side ruled out, We just scraped over the finishing line in the end though! More than a little of this was thanks to Tim Krul in the Newcastle goal, helped out with yet another potentially match saving blockage for Steven Taylor to add to his collection.
After the sides felt each other out in the opening period of the game, the first real chance went to Wolves after ten minutes when Matt Jarvis put in a decent cross to to Kevin Doyle right in the middle of the box. However his right footed volley was tipped away by Tim Krul. Doyle had another crack three minutes later after reciving a headed ball by Steven Fletcher. Once again, it was easily saved in the middle of the goal by Krul. Newcastle’s defence certainly didn’t look like an almost impregnible unit which had only let in three goals in the season at that point.
Give or take a wide shot across the goalmouth from Jonas Gutierrez, our first proper chance came when Cabaye put in a nice, highly flighted corner to Ba’s head in the 17th minute. It was at very close range, and as if that wasn’t enough, it seemed as if Hennessy was blinded somewhat by the glaring sun at Molineux. Hennessey was surrounded by a few bodies too, sadly for wolves, none had been marking the Senegalese striker. Though it was a good, powerful header from last week’s hat-trick hero, with all those factors he could hardly miss! And so it was that Newcastle took the lead. Wolves 0-1 Newcastle United
As I wrote earlier though, as the match progressed, it proved to be a very exciting and open game overall with pressure from both sides. It was around three minutes after the Ba goal that Krul performed the first in a series of excellent saves. In a typical “route one” move for which the Midlanders are so well known, Hennessy made a long punt right up the pitch from the Wolves goal to Steven Hunt who passed it to Kevin Doyle, who saw his shot take a wicked deflection which was only saved by a bit of inspired Dutch leg! It wasn’t over though as the ball rebounded, requiring an excellent block from Ryan Taylor
There was a fairly sustained of Newcastle United pressure after this though with some good moves from the Magpies. However it wasn’t until around ten minutes after the Krul save when a couple of excellent chances came our way, with Hennessey in the Wolves goal proving that he could put on a goalkeeping show too with a couple of excellent saves, the first being a low and fairly powerful drive from Tiote, with an even better reflex save coming after a close range shot from Gutierrez soon after that.
The excitement continued with cut and thrust on both sides of the pitch, eventually though, it was the brilliant Gutierrez who provided what was possibly the highlight of the match with an excellent solo goal in the 38th minute. After Wolves’ “Kelvin” Henry needlessly lost possession like a “Sunday League” player, Guti picked up the ball on the left flank. After evading two or three tackles with great aplomb, he then cut inside. He then capped things off with an excellent low finish stright into the corner of the net. Howay el galgo! wolves could have made it slightly harder for him than they did perhaps, nonetheless it was a truly great strike from the ponytailed maestro. Wolves 0-2 Newcastle United
To add insult to injury, Henry was booked shortly after that for making an indecent lunge at Cheick Tiote. Also, to add further insult to injury, Wolves had TWO penalty appeals turned down as the half time whistle loomed. The first was a definite one as Steven Taylor felled Wolves’ Jamie O’Hara about a yard inside the box. Bizarrely though, Halsey seemed to think that it happened outside the area and only awarded a free from the left hand side of the box rather than pointing to the spot. The second one a few minutes later wasn’t a penalty by any stretch of the imagination though. Shortly after that, it was time for the whistle. Half time: Wolves 0-2 Newcastle United
As the second half was just getting into it’s stride, saint turned into sinner as Gutierrez imagined for a moment that the was playing rugby for Argentina in the current world Cup rather than football for Newcastle with a ridiculous arms around the waist tackle which saw him rightly booked. It was so ridiculous it was actually funny! He soon gets back into saint mode again though and returns to putting in some good probing runs down the left flank.
Wolves were upping the pressure in the second half and a dangerous looping shot from O’Hara tests Krul, forcing another nice save from the flying Dutchman. Mick McCarthy decided that the time was right to ring the changes though. As the hour mark approached, Kelvin Henry and Steven Hunt were both pulled off by the bendy nosed supremo and replaced by Adlene Guedioura and Adam Hammill. Henry was pretty awful, and has been ever since his old enemy, Joey, restarted his ribbing campaign once again. He certainly looked like something approaching approching a Sunday League player in this match and his last one, and the manager who can smell ’round corners was right to pull him off, though possibly wrong to put him on in the first place, and make him captain!
Ba maybe Mr.Goals at the moment with four goals in the last two games, however his touch deserted him when his partner in crime, Leon Best, did some great work battling for the ball. When it broke nicely for Franco-Senegalese hitman with just Hennessey in the Wolves goal to beat, he dragged it wide when it may have been easier just to score. Ah well, can’t win ’em all.
Shortly after that came what was possibly the highlight of highlights in what was an excellent game for Tim Krul. This time it wasn’t just a great single save, but a great, instinctive double save, first from Steven Fletcher, then Adam Hammill on the rebound. Wolves seemed to be pressing more and more, and could even be said to be on top in these latter stages of the game as the Magpies tried to hold on to their lead. By this stage they must have been feeling that it just wasn’t their day however, but there was even more to come…
For they next twenty minutes they tried and tried. Then, at last after 87 minutes they finally got the goal they deserved when Hammill floated in a great high floating cross for Steven Fletcher to powerfully head the ball past a goalkeeper who had seemed almost invincible up to this point. Overall it was a move which was slightly reminiscent of Newcastle’s first goal. Wolves 1-2 Newcastle United
With Newcastle almost on the ropes as Wolves’ pressure continued, they had the ball in the back of the net once again in what looked like another perfectly good goal, only for one of the officials, this time the linesman to interceed on Newcastle United’s behalf. Close to the line, Wolves’ Matt Jarvis headed a looping ball right across the Newcastle box for Doyle to head home. However the linesman adjuged it to have crossed the dead ball line before it reached Doyle in a decision which wasn’t even marginal.
It just wasn’t their day at all.
Full time: Wolves 1-2 Newcastle United
Goals: Ba (17), Gutierrez (38), Fletcher (88)
Possession: Wolves 53.7%, Newcastle United 46.3%
Shots on target: Wolves 7, Newcastle United 5
Shots off target: Wolves 12, Newcastle United 5
Corners: Wolves 10, Newcastle United 5
Yellow cards: Wolves 1 (Henry 40), Newcastle United 2 (Gutierrez 52, Krul 90+2)
Red cards: None.
Post match interviews
Alan acknowledges that the Magpies had a “fortunate” victory.
Mick’s sick as a parrot with the referee, but acknowledges some poor defending and missed chances.