|Date||14 January 2017|
|Venue||Wolverhampton Grammar School|
|Result||D 2 - 2|
|Scorers||Matthew Griffiths (1)|
With a new year comes the return of the hockey season, the first game up a local derby against fellow promotion hopefuls Wolverhampton.
Both teams knew the importance of this match in the promotion race and so both wanted an early goal. The game started at a frenetic pace with errors on the ball appearing in both teams. Old Wulfs got the first goal in the game after a period of sustained pressure. Birch on his return after breaking his thumb 8 weeks ago drilled the ball into the bottom corner for a deserved 1-0 lead. Wolverhampton reacted and applied the pressure and won a short corner out of sheer persistence. The resulting corner was scored as the Old Wulfs post man went walkabouts. Undeterred Old Wulfs continued to press and won a series of short corners. After several attempts and a combination of good saves by the Wolverhampton keeper and last ditch defending Old Wulfs found the break through. Birch's initial effort was stopped by a body on the line, however Griff reacted quickest and poached the rebound in, a somewhat scrappy goal but deserved on the balance of play. 2-1 to Old Wulfs at half time.
The second half began at a slower pace with both teams showing signs of fatigue. However Old Wulfs continued to move the ball around and create chances. Litchy winning the ball in the opposition 25 played in Sam. Sam sold a dummy to the keeper who lay down expecting the shot, a goal seemed inevitable... However Sam went for a strike and sliced the ball wide. Following this miss a defensive error gifted Wolverhampton an equalising goal 2-2. Old Wulfs continued to press and created more chances but were unable to find the break through. With Old Wulfs pushing forward for the win space opened up in the midfield and allowed several counter attacking chances for Wolverhampton. A combination of solid defensive challenges and superb saves by Colin kept Old Wulfs level in the game.
The game finished 2-2 with Old Wulfs knowing they should have walked away from the game with all 3 points, after creating plenty of chances and having much more of the possession. A lot of positives, but work still to do to see out games.
Nationwide Platforms man of the match: Matthew Litchfield