|Date||27 January 2018|
|Result||W 5 - 1|
Finding out at 11.00am on a Saturday that you are now the 3rd team Captain for the rest of the season, you have lost your keeper to the 1st's and have the 6th team's “shot stopper” (I use the term loosely) in his place and you only have ten players to go away to Stone to play Market Drayton would prove too much for many. However, Roger Cooper is made of sterner stuff!
Unleashing his legendary diplomatic skills, within minutes he persuaded John Murray that going to Stone for a 3.00pm start was infinitely preferable to a nice home game for the 4th’s. Not content with this, he also identified via Facebook that one Haydn Rowlands (who has been in hockey’s version of long term storage) for a few years now was paying a short visit to Wolverhampton and would be unlikely to quickly think up a convincing reason as to why he wouldn’t love a run out on a bracing North Staffordshire afternoon. The result- a full team with a sub, pitch side for 2.30pm – now that’s captaincy! (OK Richard Cartwright may have had something to do with John's inclusion, but cut me a little artistic licence here!)
When I say “pitch”, it is fair to say that there appeared to be more sand (and mucky sand at that) on it than Sword beach on D-Day, but as they say, it is the same for both sides and battle commenced with what looked from first impressions to be two relatively well balanced sides.
In fact, the first half was probably one of the best performances the team has put in this season (or possibly longer). Old Wulfs totally dominated play for the first twenty five minutes and never gave Market Drayton any time to settle or build their game. The result was four good goals for no reply – in summary;
Goal 1 After 5 minutes a delightful through ball from Andy Cooper jnr for Gary O’Sullivan to take round their keeper.
Goal 2 Good play from Simon Evans down the right found Gary to scramble home for his second.
Goal 3 A quick ball from the back to Cooper jnr who smashed it through for Haydn to finish.
Goal 4 A run from Simon down the right flank and a final cross to the back post for James Dunn to smash home
This almost felt too easy and the resulting confidence probably meant we did not take as much notice as we should have done of the mounting pressure that Market Drayton began to put on our defence during the last 10 minutes of the half. Anyway, half-time and comfortably winning 4-0.
The second half was a very different affair. As we began to tire, Market Drayton continued to build upon their good work just before the end of the first half and deservedly pulled one back early on with a well worked breakaway that caught us napping. We tightened up after this reminder that the game was not over and defended stoically for the rest of the game, but never managed to dominate in the way we had in the first half. We added a fifth goal towards the end of the game with Simon getting a goal of his own, but 1-1 in the second half was a fair reflection of both sides’ performances.
A good game, a good win and largely played in very good spirit. Thanks to both John and Haydn for playing at such short notice and a good all-round team performance means no specific MOTM.
Well done everyone!