|Date||16 May 2017|
|Venue||Wolverhampton Grammar School|
|Result||D 3 - 3|
Old Wulfs kicked off their summer league campaign with a home tie against Wolverhampton Khalsa.
There were a fair few familiar faces in the opposition’s line up, with plenty of ex-Wulfs as well as a current one in Kam Maan. The home team had almost a bare eleven, with Simon Palmer playing the first half an hour, before having to shoot off to fulfil fatherly duties.
Wulfs started the game on the front foot, putting plenty of pressure on Khalsa’s ‘mature’ back line, causing them to make errors. A couple of chances came and went but the home side took the lead first. Callum Nightingale found himself in space in the attacking third and found Ashworth to the left of the D. A good supporting run from Shave meant that all of a sudden there was a two-on-one situation, so Ashworth duly squared to Shave who put the ball into an empty net.
From there the game became more even with chances falling to both teams. It wasn’t long, however, before Old Wulfs managed to extend their lead. A penalty corner was won, and Shave was over the ball to take a shot at goal. Although his effort was somewhat miscued, it looped up over the goalkeeper and was heading in on its own, only for Humpherson to ‘make sure’ by batting it over the line, and see the half out at 2-0.
After the break, Old Wulfs continued their good play, passing quickly from midfield and again finding themselves with men over in the final third. Some neat passing inside the opposition D culminated in Ashworth receiving the ball on the penalty spot with time to reverse into the bottom corner.
After going 3-0 down, there was a clear shift in Khalsa’s tactics as they began to press much higher and continually overloaded the Wulfs D. Their attacking play was impressive, however this was equalled by a string of excellent saves from Pearson who managed to keep them out for a large portion of the second half. For all his good work though, the goal was coming, and with about 20 minutes left to go, Khalsa made the breakthrough.
From here, it was really one-way traffic, with Wulfs sitting deep and allowing them to continue piling men forward. The away side’s second goal soon followed after a period of sustained pressure, leaving about 10 minutes to see the game out. However, despite some heroic defending from Wulfs (including Dave Cartwright getting a fat lip for his troubles) it always looked as though Khalsa would get the equaliser. Five minutes from time, it happened with another overload inside the Wulfs D.
The welcome sound of the final whistle then came as the game ended in a highly competitive 3-3 draw.
Man of the Match – Colin Pearson