Crawley Town 2 Wolves 1 - match report

Wolves produced their worst performance for some time as their 10-match unbeaten run ended to a spirited Crawley.

Wolves head coach Kenny Jackett
Wolves head coach Kenny Jackett

James Henry (25) put Kenny Jackett’s side with his eighth goal of the season but Billy Clarke levelled a minute later and Matt Tubbs (31) lobbed the winner in front of a record League crowd of 5,680 crowd at Broadfields Stadium.

Although early substitute Leon Clarke and Henry went desperately close on 40 minutes and Bakary Sako forced a superb save after the break, Wolves never scaled the heights of their recent performances against a Crawley team that never gave them a moment’s peace on a bobbly pitch that made both teams play it longer.

Head coach Jackett made the one expected change to the team that drew 0-0 against Shrewsbury on Saturday.

Captain Sam Ricketts returned to the side at right-back for Ethan Ebanks-Landell, who failed to make the 18.

Wolves kicked off but Crawley made the better start, and Danny Batth had to make a smart block to deny Josh Simpson after keeper Paul Jones’s giant kick saw Adam Drury take the ball around Carl Ikeme and driven wide before pulling the ball back after four minutes.

Wolves struggled to get their passing game going on a difficult, bobbly pitch and were careless at times in possession, limiting their attempts to build attacks.

Ikeme was in action again, although this time in freakish circumstances when Tubbs’s mis-hit cross needed to be tipped over from just under the bar in the 16th minute.

Wolves’ first attempt on goal came three minutes later but it was a woeful shot from Sako that trickled comfortably wide of Paul Jones’s left-hand post from 25 yards.

But the visitors stunned Crawley with a somewhat speculative goal when Henry unleashed a fierce, angled drive from out on the right.

Jones should have dived, but instead went for it with his feet and ended up sliding it into the top corner of the net as Wolves took an undeserved lead.

Crawley however, were level within 60 seconds as unusually woeful defending from Wolves saw the home side work the ball from their left to right, and after Danny Batth blocked Tubbs’s shot, Billy Clarke was unmarked to sidefoot the ball home at the far post.

Five minutes later, Crawley went ahead as Wolves stood square and Tubbs sprinted through them before lobbing Ikeme.

Wolves were at sixes and sevens, showing none of the composure that has characterised their record-breaking winning run.

Jackett’s response was to make an early change which saw Michael Jacobs replaced by Clarke and a switch from 4-2-3-1 to 4-4-2, with Clarke joining Nouha Dicko up front.

Within three minutes, the switch almost paid off when Wolves were guilty of stunning double miss.

A long pass from Ricketts saw Jones rooted to his line and Clarke latched onto it, but he could only spear straight at the keeper.

The rebound fell to Henry, who hooked over with Jones committed.

Wolves showed a welcome urgency at the start of the second half, but it wasn’t matched by a fluency in their passing as to a man, they continually struggled to keep possession.

But they managed to create the first chance of the half in the 50th minute when Dicko and Sako worked an opening for Henry, whose first-time drive was superbly tipped wide by Jones.

It took another 20 minutes for the next opening, but it was one worth waiting for as Sako’s blistering angled drive was met by a flying save from Jones at his near post from a loose ball after Golbourne ran into trouble.

In a desperate attempt to inject some fresh invention into his team, Jackett made a double substitution in the 74th minute.

But instead of lifting Wolves, it was Crawley who threatened as Josh Simpson’s backheel from Billy Clarke’s cross drifted inches wide of the far post on 77.

Wolves threw Batth up front in the latter stages as they strove desperately for an equaliser, but Crawley stood firm and the visitors failed to create another opening on a disappointing night.

Comments for: "Crawley Town 2 Wolves 1 - match report"

Chillo Wolf

Worried now!

tipton wolf

Know what your saying chillo but if we win game in hand we will be 6 clear of orient...

Le Match

Don't panic don't panic as Corporal Jones used to use in Dads Army. I do not understand why your worried as KJ's team has been easily the best team in the league over the last 2 months. They are still in a very good position for automatic promotion. This is not the time to panic but keep doing the things we have been doing as a team because this is only one loss in 11 games even Barcelona would be happy with that STAT !!

mebabiz

Would hate to have you sat next to me if we were top of the Premiership.

tipton wolf

Gutted ! Lose at Sheffield and could be panic time...

kenco

Out of darkness cometh light.

However jackett needed to rest players tonight and give others a chance Jacobs shouldn't of started Evans should. Clarke instead of dicko. Used the wingers first half then brought on elokobi and Doherty to close out the match. The worst thing is we are actually solid at the back and in central midfield. Maybe time to get some wingers and a striker to support this strong first 11 on loan!!! UTW RealitycheckindeedWOLVESAYEWE

Bleydh

Can't believe I'm reading this. Get some wingers???? What are Henry, Jacobs, Sako? Striker?? We've just got Dicko and Clarke!!!!! Who do you support?

richierooster69

After 9 wins on the bounce, losing is really hard to take. Feels very strange!!! A glorious chance to put daylight between us and 3rd, but not taken.

Saturday is a must not lose game now for sure. We need to get back on the bike and move forwards very quickly.

One defect doesn't damage us too badly but no more please boys!!!

Jackett the Hat

They wanted it more Ritchie, the bumpy pitch was a leveller, but the fact is they worked harder and out fought us . But like you say, it don't break the season and it's still in our own hands.

WBA

Tbh the wolves should not be in that league but you always get the feelin that they are gonna bottle it.

Like i say ya should be easily in the top half of championship the fans and the stadium

Corfuwolves

Makes Saturday interesting against the 'in form' team!

tipton wolf

Saw sheff u last night nothing special..hope they got there minds on the fa cup semi game

Jack the Hat

tipton,

I thought the same of wolves over the last two games, they aren't looking so pretty are they. Lets hope Shef Utd don't get too complacent and spoil the contest. I remember our " Battle of Bramall lane ", they kicked us off the park. Their club motto must be " Take no prisoners ".

BOING~~~~BOING~~~~J♣H.

rushall wolves

If this prompts another Big Debate from E & S, I am gonna switch to the Birmingham Mail!

Kev in Mallorca

rushall

So it ay just us that think it's a load of ollocks then?

Adeu

Jack the Hat

rushall,

Not to worry, if it is a big debate wolves are out of contention.

BOING~~~~BOING~~~~J♣H.

Bruce, Trinidad

Yes well said rushall can the E&S refrain from articles from the players about how they are sick at the dip in form and will put it right next game. Save the action for "on the pitch" and then boast after a good win. However still a favourite for automatic promotion, but Brentford and Orient both looking good. Must avoid the playoffs; we could easily lose a tough away tie and then struggle to get a win at home.

Crawley town...Crawley town beat us ! It just won't sink in !

nik.hare1

tesco alert, one win in 9, yow con talk cor yow?

Jack the Hat

nik.hare1,

See you on the light side tomorrow, when you come over to try and ease your pain with your regular dose of >

" Knock the BAGGIES ".

Crawley, Crawley.

BOING~~~~BOING~~~~J♣H.

nik.hare1

and when was the last time i did that jack?

and your on the wolves page because?

mind you it is hard to pass the time when you've only got day time t.v. untill you collect your pension and then its off to the vine for a few and back home to your p.c.........utw

BeeCee

Are you for real Cap man? Methinks not. You can't be an adult using playground comments. GROW UP for god's sake!!!!!!

Wednesbury wolves

Shocking!!!! Why o why did u take off Jacobs jackett and replace him with the lazy Clarke, I suggest in morning he goes into moxey's office and request a striker on loan, on Saturday the shrews wanted it more than us tonight crawley wanted it more than us, there's just no urgency and quality, I'm just hoping now Sheffield utd have 1 eye on there cup game, where's our quality on the bench, big big game now on Saturday, and a terrible journey home now back to wednesbury, supporters fantastic yet again, couldn't say that about the team. Yes we're top but after last 5 halves, we have looked a very mediocre team. Sort it jackett, start by never playing Clarke again!!! Gutted absolutely gutted

Timmiswolf

Agreed. I think KJ hit the panic button too soon. Taking Jacobs off and then hitting long, hopeful balls up to Clarke played into Crawley's hands. It was a very poor pitch - which must go some way to explaining why McDonald and Price struggled to keep possession/dominate - but route one to a lethargic Clarke and someone of Dicko's stature surely wasn't the answer. Let's hope KJ can sort it out before Saturday. Very, very disappointing tonight and a wasted opportunity. COYW.

tipton wolf

Just hate it when we lose to small clubs like this..just feel embarrassed..

tipton,

You must be a strong fellow, carrying that big head around.

BOING~~~~BOING~~~~J♣H.

Jack the Hat

Somebody has chopped mine off!.

BOING~~~~BOING~~~~J♣H.

Johnwolf

Maybe if jackett stopped bumming up the opposition and concentrate on his own team we might do better.

He got it wrong taking Jacobs off and was McAlindon only brought back to be a bench warmer!

To lose to a team like crawley is has bad as losing to chorley, never mind this crap about being in the same league, the facts are if we want promotion then we have to beat the crawleys of this league.

We need a result on Saturday because otherwise all the good work achieved by winning 9 on the bounce will be lost.

Not panicking just yet but I can't help thinking back to a few year's ago when we were way out in front of the unmentionables and we all know what happened then.

Difference is we ain't got the same points gap

Johnwolf

Looking at the attendance 5; 680 and 2,000 of them wolves fans - says it all really!

More like a home match and yet we can't beat a bum team like crawlies.

Kev in Mallorca

Sorry to all propa supporters but to all you little wags who have bin 'avin a little bit of fun over on a Premiership site, WOOPP'S!!!

Adeu

nik.hare1

what the villa site?

Kev in Mallorca

Worro nik, fancy seeing you on here?

Jack the Hat

Oh dear, oh dear, looks like the bubbles bosted and the wheels on the wagon have come adrift. Mighty Crawley have little wolves jangling their nerves, ah well, it is that time of the season. I still believe wolves can make the playoffs. Shakin' all over.

Gorra loff ay ya.

BOING~~~~BOING~~~~J♣H.

richierooster69

Turkey.

nik.hare1

9 weeks you've waited jack to say that!!!!! 9 bloody weeks, yes you have got to loff or else yow wud cry especially after your one win in 9!!! apologies in advance to normal fans. utw

Jack the Hat

nik.hare1,

You don't know what normal is. We know what we are.

Gorra loff ay ya.

BOING~~~~BOING~~~~J♣H.

Johnwolf

Bit like QPR in the league cup then.

mrgrumpywolf

just what was expected hype a bound!!!

calm your passion as they say

loose pressure off

the carlisle game

regroup and go again

so who said the fat bird could get,

let alone sing

it an`t over yet

The Flying Winger

As I said last week we need to change, shake the system up before we become predictable to teams fighting for survival who may be sussing our tactics.

Tonight is a timely reminder how difficult the run in is going to be, we must not lose ground or the hard work that has been achieved.

We start again next game.

Ye Olde South Bank

Similar to the Shrewsbury game in that it was another frustrating experience. If you take into consideration the no-show second period against Swindon, that's a run of two and a half games where Wolves have failed to find their touch. Hardly a crisis, of course, and it's no time to panic, but it is a tad concerning given the previous outstanding form. Has fatigue set in? Have the oppo finally rumbled us? Or is it simply the Laws of Averages coming into play? Maybe a bit of all of them? Whatever it is, we may well find out at Bramall Lane.

Much respect to our travelling fans, tonight. Had there been the option, I'd have voted for you guys as the 'Stars of the match'.

Gerry Mannion

We have all supported Wolves long enough to know that they never do things the easy way. We will get there; it is not so much fun if is too easy!

nik.hare1

awfull result, just as the games at home to walsall,mk dons and the away defeats at gillingham and peterboro, we have no choice but to bounce back and get the4 wins we need from the remaining 10 games.

of course you will have the swivel eyed loonies popping up with doom and gloom and the odd naughty baggie(see above)

taking the proverbial. as an optomist, i myself can only see wwfc promoted with brentford. utw.

Jack the Hat

nik.hare1,

I do believe wolves mojo has stopped working. Watch what you are looking at with those swivel eyes eh, obviously they can't see below.

Gorra loff ay ya.

BOING~~~~BOING~~~~J♣H.

wolfo

nice to see you showing support for wolves so late at night, gold and black at heart i guess? or nothing better to do? how sad

Kev in Mallorca

nik

Better to be a naughty Baggies on here than a demented Dingle on the site you spend most of your time.

nik.hare1

demented? nah mate,you get that on most fan sites(man utd,liverpool,spurs,arsenal,etc.)

i only comment on the premiership pages, when an article like the anelka one goes viral, or to support , wonoh, cr78 and others against the doom and gloom merchants and the agitators(jth)

Buckswolf

JIWAL is off the bench and has his tracksuit off……. ;-) UTW

wolvesmatt

Hardly time for panic stations we are still top of the league and in a very strong position. What does concern me tho and has done for a while is our lack of genuine attacking options. our starting eleven of late look fine but there will always be injuries, suspensions and lack of form and players will need to be rested on occasions. After Clarkes early introduction it was evident we didn't have too many other options. Edwards is ok but it takes him a while to get going after he's had a spell out of the team, Evans is ok and a very good prospect but a bit hit and miss at the moment. I cant think of anyone else at the club other than the untried(un-trusted) McAlinden. If the loan market is still a viable option the we should act soon and get in either another striker or attacking midfielder/winger (preferably both)

Bleydh

What about Sigardson and Pzesko?

wolfo

disappointing again, how many times this season have we messed up on the chance to capitalize on our games in hand? or playing and beating teams around us. knew crawley would be our bogey team and beat us just knew it. glad the match was re-arranged as we wouldnt of won ten in a row. they would of done us a month ago.

come on boys!!!!! poor result wake up, lets get back on track. if we cant build a points cushion it will come back to haunt us!

CalgaryWolf

Like I've said before, shut up boys stop talking until the job is done. All I've I heard is Wolves this Wolves that, 100 points etc. We keep talking ourselves up then shoot ourselves in the foot. It's not panic time but just concentrate on football and leave all the BS to E&S!

woolfie4371

Two games & two very poor performances. That's twice Crawley have outplayed us , anyone remember the home game they were the better team. I'm not panicking yet but we have some tricky games coming up. We need to get back to winning ways ASAP, We don't want complacency coming into our minds.

AucklandKiwiWolf

Let us hope that it is a minor hitch and we get back on track immediately.However like many Wolves fans there is the fear that we've been along this road a couple of times previously.ie.1997 & 2002.Sheffield United are the form team so this is a big test for Wolves to rise to the occasion and get back on course.

thedoog

Sucker punch , inexperience. Teams as with Shrewsbury now know how to play us , high octane 90 minutes and we can't cope. Took Jacobs off too early for me. Clarke doesn't seem to fit in. Come on jackett you've got to lift them for Saturday. Sure you will.

Dougan is king

Buckswolf

You're right Doog but the pitch last night was really unplayable for passing football. McDonald must have given the ball away more times last night than the rest of the season put together - the ball was sticking in the sand and bobbling which made passing almost impossible. To be fair to Crawley they adapted better and realised that if they got tight they had a chance of nicking the ball away from us after our first touch - which they did regularly. KJ realised that too and that's why he bought Clarke on and we went long. In my opinion, though, we then took all of the variety out of our game with pretty much everything hit long to Clarke who, like Saturday, should really have scored with his first touch after coming on. To be fair also Crawley are a decent side, well organised with some good players. As is usual these days our forwards took a kicking with no protection from and inexperienced ref - Dicko in particular got a serious beating from their CB but to his credit got on with the game. Bring on SU! UTW!

Marlow Wolf

I am really disappointed............last two games gave us the chance to create some real space at the top.

It feels like we are back to where we were, unable to handle hard-working sides with hunger. This is the Third Tier, that is all most sides can offer, yet here we are in March unable tactically, to manage these sort of games.

Saturday will be very challenging, against PNE, SU defended really well. I never thought we would get more than a point in this fixture..............................but I did expect 6 from the last 2 games!!

If we do go up.............we will need a huge injection of better quality players.

tesswoody

Went to the match last night. A very poor and disappointing performance from the Wolves.

Crawley are a good team. They were good back in August when we played at the Mol and under John Gregory have improved. They came out of the trap so fast last night! Wolves couldn't catch their breath!

Henry got frustrated. sako was hot and cold again. Drives me barmy !

Clarke... handled the ball more than the goalkeepers ! He worries me ! ?

Edwards calmed things down and tried to keep the ball on the floor. So many long balls to Nouha. Missed every time !

Come on Wolves we need to re group and focus on the run in.

If we were in the playoffs and had to play Crawley Town... I would be worried.

Please allay my fears. UTW.

mebabiz

How long before someone demands O'Hara back in the team??

nik.hare1

on another subject, wish F.I.F.A. would bring in legislation to cap ticket prices to £20.00 per seat. so the people who used to go to matches can start going again, but stopped due to financial priorities.

good luck to the lads on saturday.

Buckswolf

Don't think even Sepp Blater can implement pricing controls on seat prices in the UK nik. Take your point though - last night was like sitting in a B&Q gazebo on a windy bank holiday - and £26 for the privilege.

Lobo para siempre

Can't believe some of the above comments (and I don't mean Jack the Hat). One defeat and the doubters are out again. Look at the table. The occasional defeat is inevitable, especially on a dodgy pitch which doesn't suit a footballing team.

We don't need more wingers - or whingers.

UTW.

Bazwolf

If we have 4 wingers in our line up, why do we intruct them to tuck in and vacant the wings, leaving Goldbourne and Ricketts to hopefully exploit this wide space? They did not do this at Crawley. Surely, even for short periods we should pull those wingers wide and even rotate wings to confuse the opposition. Why buy Clarke and not have enough wing play to serve him? This was a BAD performance from a team who could not cope with an "up and at 'em" Crawley. They will blow it if we have to go to the Play Offs. It will feel like a booby prize. Need to get back to basics quickly