Cold comfort for Wolves fans after FA Cup exit - analysis and pictures

Perhaps the missing thousands knew something the rest of us didn’t.

Just 4,226 – Wolves’ lowest home gate in the FA Cup since 1895 – braved the freezing temperatures and ignored England v Germany on the box to watch this.

And at the end of it, the only relief was that it was all over and that Wolves have saved their poorest performances this season for the cups.

Last night’s surrender to a far superior, slicker Oldham was as deserved as it was limp.

It’s not even the end of November and Wolves are out of all three cup competitions. So there can be no excuses for Kenny Jackett and his players not concentrating on promotion.

But had they played in League One as they did here, Wolves would already be out of the race. They have now exited the Cup at the first hurdle for the third season in a row.

Leigh Griffiths’s 11th goal of the season, with almost the last kick, ended the game on a brighter note.

But Jackett’s side were second best from the off and never looked like recovering as strikes by Danny Philliskirk and substitute Adam Rooney secured Oldham a second round tie at home to League Two Mansfield.

Oldham started the better and were denied in the seventh minute when keeper Carl Ikeme foiled Philliskirk with a superb block after makeshift right-back Korey Smith split the home defence.

Jackett described Wolves as “wooden” and, without their usual penetration from the full-backs – Ethan Ebanks-Landell and George Elokobi offered next to nothing going forward – they fashioned their only chance of the first half when man of the match Kevin McDonald’s blistering angled volley was acrobatically tipped around the post by Mark Oxley in the 14th minute.

Wolves’ struggles were typified by the uncomfortable Elokobi, who was booked for the free-kick that led to Oldham taking a 20th-minute lead.

The powerful left-back was caught the wrong side of the lively Jonson Clarke-Harris and pushed him to the ground.

From the resulting free-kick, Clarke-Harris’s well-struck curling effort seemed to be well held by Ikeme only for the keeper to drop it under no pressure and see Philliskirk prod home the loose ball.

Referee Keith Stroud initially appeared to whistle for a Wolves free-kick, then looked up to see his assistant flagging for the goal and seemed to change his mind.

Oldham went close to extending their lead seven minutes from the break when James Tarkowski headed inches over from Anton Rodgers’ corner.

Booed off at the break, Wolves made two changes at half-time as Jackett sent on Sam Ricketts and Zeli Ismail for the ineffective Ebanks-Landell and Elokobi. But the move failed to pay dividends as Oldham continued to look the more dangerous side.

The impressive Clarke-Harris somehow squeezed in a 48th-minute shot across Ricketts which brought a good reflex save from Ikeme.

The keeper then made a superb stop in the 51st minute, blocking with his legs to deny Philliskirk from point-blank range after the striker had exchanged passes with Clarke-Harris and run into the box.

Wolves, through the never-say-die Griffiths, finally bared their teeth as the hour approached.

The Scot got a lucky bounce as he beat two defenders in the 54th minute but could only shoot straight at Oxley. Three minutes later he dug out a rising effort on the turn that flashed a foot over after peeling away at the far post when Ismail’s cross was cleared.

Wolves struggled to maintain the initiative, however, and if they thought their worries had ended with the substitution of the livewire Clarke-Harris for Rooney, they were sadly mistaken.

Sigurdarson blazed well over after wriggling into a good position 22 yards out, but Oldham returned fire in clinical fashion. First Philliskirk smacked a shot against the post with Ikeme beaten, then Oldham deservedly made it 2-0 in stunning style in the 73rd minute.

Rooney hit a superb angled strike from the right of the box into the far bottom corner after fellow sub Sidney Schmeltz broke down the right and switched play.

Substitute Lee Evans forced a save as Wolves showed some urgency and Griffiths hit the post in the third minute of added time before halving the deficit a minute later when he stabbed home Scott Golbourne’s cross. But it was too little, too late and the hosts got what they deserved – nothing.

Comments for: "Cold comfort for Wolves fans after FA Cup exit - analysis and pictures"

priorybaggie

I bet Steve Bruce is having a quiet chuckle.

BANGKOK WOLF

Big George is never going to run up and down the wings as he's just heavy.

Love to see him as a centre half.

No one would run past him as it's a long way round him.

bilodave

I'd love to see him on his way out to be honest.

Shalom

I know about winning matches and winning mentalities BUT we can now concentrate on the league.

Ronnie Allen

Best start in 768 years mind.

kevin.brownhill.754

Cracking start mate. Do we really need the Pukka Pie Plate in the trophy cabinet? I think not. Focus first and foremost is getting promoted. Cup runs and competitions are of secondary value and should be discounted. Move up. Move on.

Anyone fancy a pie ? ......

HumbersideWolf

kevin.brownhill.754

If cup runs and competitions should be discounted, why bother to enter them in the first place? Is League One football so exciting that we can just dismiss the FA Cup?

Razor

A certain manager called Clough once said "football is a simple game, complicated by coaches". A fact that seems lost at times with KJ. He picks a 6'2" centre half a right-back and a heavy-weight boxer at left back and then wonders why the fullbacks didn't get forward. He went on to comment that it looked like we had 4 centre-halves out there!! Well guess what - we did! - he picked 'em for Pete's sake!. (Please don't anyone tell me that Elokobi is a full-back - I debate if he's even a footballer). Why can't Foley get a game if you want a full-back who will get forward and be creative? Baffles the hell out of me. Then he complains about lack of contribution from the "wingers". Little surprising is it, when one winger was a 6'2" striker and the other was a left-back !!!!! If you pick people out of position then at best they will 'do a job' - they won't naturally do the things that would be expected of a specialist in that position. Come on Kenny - stop messing about with the team - it is complicating our simple game!

BANGKOK WOLF

Tyson Fury needs a new opponent now Haye is not fit.

I'd pay to see that at the Molineux.

kenco

I bet Anelka is still looking for his shooting boots....

On the other hand why does jackett change the team so much?

i thought he would of gone with siggy and griffiths up front with ismail down the wing...also it is dissappointing that our more experienced midfielders arent showing there worth as fair play to price and evans they have made them work and are a big factor in where we find ourselves... UTW

len

kj please stop tinkering with team we all can see we are so poor midfield is crap hope you can evans/davis/elokobi/cassady/ sorry not ready you must use lone market for a hard fighter someone to close other teams down and get stuckin if we wont to sty top, ahiding is just round the corner

HSK

Knocked out of a hat-trick of cup competitions

That's what happens when a manager shows total disregard to team selections!

MikeT

There was a time when Wolves were synonomous with Cup exploits. Sadly those days are long past.

2013 has seen the worst set of Cup results in the Clubs' history - Luton / Morecombe / Notts Co / Oldham

No doubt many saw this result coming and preferred to stay in the warm and watch another inept team - England.

How can this squad notch up 39 points from 16 games and play so badly in Cup games?

Does it show how important Doyle, Sako and Doherty are to the squad?

Automatic promotion is a must as play offs require "cup tie success" which we do not have.

Albrightondek

I made two mistakes last night: going to the match, and buying a cup of instant coffee for £2.10 at halftime that was almost as dire as the game. I really must start questioning my own decision making on such matters in the future.

For the first time for as long as I can remember, I walked out before the final whistle. It was that bad. The last thing I want to hear or read today, is some player(s) saying they let the fans down and mumbling some pathetic apology. It would only add insult to injury.

It maybe a little unfair to single out individuals for criticism as none of the players distinguished themselves last night. But I think that George Elokobi's Molineux career looks to be drawing to a close. A nice guy, passionate about the club, but I'm afraid that last night he showed up his inadequancies - both defensively and going forward. The wonder was he lasted until halftime.

Ebanks-Landell can have some excuse because, just like Stearman, he's not a true fullback. Both of them are centre backs. Golbourne is a decent enough attacking fullback, but not in my opinion, a conventional left winger.

Neither Cassidy or Sigurdarson provided much threat, albeit that the latter was playing mainly on the right wing. Though it must be said that there was'nt much for them to feed on.

I think that Jackett must shoulder part of the blame for picking a side which seemed dysfunctual and lacking motivation. Hopefully this will be rectified on Saturday.

Wolves performance was as dismal as the weather. Blatant display from an inferior team who showed....

nowt!

It is plain as the nose on yer face that KJ and WWFC are not interested in any cup competitions. The tinkerman is swiftly becoming his name now and I think the tide is now turning against his decisions.

How we are top is a bit of a mystery. We are riding our luck and with better teams coming up we may be found out. As much as George is a nice bloke he has never really cut it even though he needs matches. We

are just bimbling along and not winning convincingly. Thank god for Griffiths!

The team coming together, will only be believed for so long. Everyone can see that the midfield is dysfunctional yet whatever is being done is clearly not enough. However we are top......for the time being

and lets enjoy it, because we may not be come May 2014!

UTW

Razor

It gives me no pleasure at all to say that I made the right decision for once and stayed in (with a decent brew). I just saw this coming. Got to agree with you regarding the Tinkerman (see my earlier post). I also think that the constant tinkering with the centre of midfield isn't helping any one of the lads to get a level of consistency - we don't even keep the same line-up for two games. It's no surprise that our best department is the defence and it's the one area where we haven't chopped & changed all season.

Silver Wolf

I wonder if they drew lots to see who had to play on such a cold night? The team looked so woefully unbalanced it could hardly have been expected to function like a well-oiled machine. It wouldn't have been surprising to have seen two goalkeepers in the Wolves side with one making out to be a striker.

If O'Hara is less match fit than The Cube he must need assistance getting to and from the bathroom.

Rhys.wwfc

And rant of the day goes too, no name!

Introduce yourself you fraud!

How dare you use 'UTW' after your pathetic post, have a nice day.

mcvitiespace

UTW. He may have used it as an acronym for Useless Totally Woeful.

honved1954

@NONAME - How can he be a real "tinker man" He don't have the quality players to be able to tinker anything......

Captain Sensible

Just before kick off there were two sets of goals at the South Bank. Maybe we should ask for them to be left there during the match. It may encourage our forwards to shoot!