Pitch invasions can't take away Wolves' emphatic victory over Rotherham - match analysis

On a day when Molineux drew its biggest crowd for 33 years, Wolves gave the promotion party setting a scoreline from yesteryear.

Nouha Dicko scores his second of the game
Nouha Dicko scores his second of the game

6-4? They don’t have games like that any more do they?

Well, yes they do – and not even three pitch invasions, the threat of an abandonment from the officials and the prospect of an FA carpeting for the club could lessen the sheer joy and excitement prompted by the game of the season for Wolves fans.

A strange, sometimes breathtaking, sometimes bemusing, runaway train of a game it was too, featuring two hat-tricks and five goals in the last 10 minutes.

The entertainment was as plentiful as the goals supply and fully indebted, it must be said, to the challenge presented by a splendid Rotherham outfit who would not lie down.

They will probably feel they have been mugged by a family member. Back in December, an on-loan Nouha Dicko scored two goals for Rotherham against Wolves in a 3-3 draw to confirm Kenny Jackett’s already fermenting proposal to sign the striker when the transfer market re-opened.

Yesterday, Dicko scored his first hat-trick for Wolves, a feat mirrored by Rotherham’s Kieran Agard as the two teams took the tally of goals from their two games to 16. If Rotherham join Wolves in the Championship via the play-offs, it might just be worth grabbing a ticket.

Amid this extraordinary flurry of goals, it was the first of the season for Sam Ricketts which deserved top billing and, restoring his team’s lead at 5-4 after Rotherham had clawed back a 4-2 deficit to reach 4-4, triggered the South Bank spill over which took the shine off a memorable day.

The exuberance was understandable but not the repeat performances which came in the moments which followed, prompting the threat from referee Fred Graham to abandon the whole darn shooting match – and what a perfectly apt metaphor – should there be a repeat.

This was no way for the club and the huge majority of supporters to enjoy the rewards of reaching the targeted 30,000 attendance – 30,110 to be precise – as Wolves seek a grand conclusion to a winning season. But if anything this was a game which reminded Kenny Jackett and his players that they are far from the finished article.

Rotherham’s high-pressing game repeatedly knocked Wolves out of their stride and gave them an uneasy passage to three points which nevertheless move them ever closer to the League One title.

The Championship beckons but here was a valuable reminder that so does a lot more work to meet its greater demands.

What League One has found from the outset, however, is that Wolves have match-winning qualities which have rarely been repelled, and so it was yesterday in a game of almost ridiculous excess.

A recap? OK, deep breath everyone...here we go.

Fourteen minutes gone and Wolves are under their first pressure of the game having watched Dave Edwards just fail to give them a first-attack lead from a header supplied by Michael Jacobs’ free-kick.

Agard stoops to conquer the meanest defence in the Football League with a back-post header from a Rotherham corner Michael O’Connor somehow snakes through Carl Ikeme’s congested six-yard line. Game on. Good – it’s a Wolves team that hasn’t been tested enough lately and this can only do them good.

And by half-time, their response has been emphatic. So much so that the game seemed won at 3-1. Rotherham’s lead only lasted six minutes before Edwards and Bakary Sako combined to bring Dicko his first, a sliding finish to the Frenchman’s cross which spoke of all his qualities – strength, sharpness and a determined hunger for the target.

Two more in three minutes followed. A sweeping Jacobs pass found Ricketts who picked out a strangely-unmarked Dicko for the second before Wolves’ other consistently excellent full-back Scott Golbourne became provider for Edwards and an equally simple third.

But Rotherham showed no interest in the role of accommodating guests at another club’s party.

They had Wolves repeatedly back-pedalling into their final third and thoroughly deserved a second goal just after the hour to keep alive a contest which now moved from absorbing to thrilling.

Two previous Wolves break-outs had seen first Dicko denied by Adam Collin before Ricketts gave us a prelude of what was to come with an extraordinary solo run and shot which struck the woodwork.

Molineux was now throbbing and thought for the second time the game was up in the 80th minute when James Henry’s searching pass was collected by Edwards who calmly picked out Dicko for the hat-trick goal.

But four more goals were still to come. On a fine day for full-backs, Rotherham’s James Tavernier set up Joe Skarz for a volleyed finish and then, unbelievably, Agard for his own hat-trick.

This was now crazy – 4-4 and Molineux about to go off the scale.

Ricketts, charging forward straight from the restart, followed his own pass to the indefatigable Edwards who touched a return into his captain’s path. From 25 yards, and without breaking stride, Ricketts clipped as sweet a strike as he could have known in his career to regain the lead.

That sparked pitch invasion No.1 and, when Wolves broke away for Jacobs to hit the side-netting before Dicko’s power gave Kevin McDonald the sixth, two more followed.

They were scenes which rightly earned the scowls of the rest of the crowd but might, sadly, deliver an unpleasant after-shock. This thundering chunk of old-fashioned football does not deserve such a legacy.

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Comments for: "Pitch invasions can't take away Wolves' emphatic victory over Rotherham - match analysis"


Dont have games like that? Wasnt there a 5.5 draw at the Hawthorns v Man utd last season? I must be mistaken...

Old Wulfrunian

In case you hadn't noticed the sentence you refer to in the article was a question, not a statement. You can usually tell by the '?' at the end.

Nice try, but no cigar.


Last season, um............


The pitch invasions were seemingly done by pure excitement, but did bring the feeling of an anti-climax to a fantastic game.


That's tosh. Absolute rubbish, rovi.osinborn.

The pitch invasion has nothing to do with pure excitment.

The pitch invasion is due to a substantial minority of moronic louts who were determined to cavort about like imbecilic monkeys irrespective of the potential abandonment of the game, the possible docking of points from the club which could result in not winning the title or even being denied promotion, the certain heavy fine for the club and the spoiling of the game for 90% of those attending.

They are all selfish morons who deserve to be banned from ever entering Molineux again.


Crazy game, it could have finished 9-6


Wolves shade the possession stats 56%-44%, but the chances stats are very much in Rotherham's favour (Shots 13-19 Shots On target 7-10 Corners 2-10) suggesting Wolves' lethal finishing proved decisive, and thoroughly justifying the changes made in the strikers in the January window. The Nouha Dicko signing has been crucial. Well done the management team.


It is a good job that Rotherham were late starters!


Who gets to keep the ball on an occasion like this Dicko or Agard?


Only words to describe yesterdays match was UNBELIEVABLE, would I really get a ticket on the morning of the match, answer yes thanks to Peter at London Wolves, even swapped seats around so i could sit on the end of the isle because of my knee. Now to the match, even before Rotherham scored , Wolves were looking toothless, seemed to have no idea on how to get forward, and midfield were giving the ball away and it wasnt long before Rotherham took the lead. This kicked Wolves in to life and before you knew it we were 3-1 up and the half time whistle was blown. Second half started and before you knew it Rotherham had reduced the arrears. But Diko restored our cushion and most inside Molineaux thought the points were in the bag , But Rotherham had Ideas and in the 88th minute they had scored the equaliser and both set of fans must of thought that was it. UNBELIAVABLY the game was far from over and Ricketts who had earlier been unlucky of not to have scored earlier after and amazing run, curled in a beauty to regain the lead, and after the Idiots who were determined to ruin the party had bee cleared from the pitch the game restarted and after a Rotherham attack had been repelled , Wolves broke despite the attention of two defenders, Diko managed to fend them off and square for Mc Donald to seal victory, UNBELIAVABLE, and still the IDIOTS spilled on to the pitch and tried to ruin the party. I have supported Wolves since 1969, as an eight year old, wasnt allowed to go to games till 77-78 when I discovered London Wolves. This game was the most UNBELIEVABLE I have ever been too, never seen 10 goals in the one game, had nearly everything bar sending off or a penalty. Dodgy refereeing,terrible defending , some quality goals and saves.


Exuberance, exhilaration and, above all, passion for the club - glad you had a great day out at the Mol, Karlwolves. Years from now you will remember this game. UTW


LONDON WOLVES LONDON WOLVES LONDON WOLVES.......So Proud. Peter does everything for the members to get to see The Wolves.


jacket to sign callum Wilson from Coventry for 3mil


Reported it yesterday len but no one picked up on it. Apparently terms have been agreed & it will be completed in the summer.


What a shame after an incredible game the pointless pitch invasion and not just once,but lets look forward ,are this squad of players capable of a repeat or playoff place in the championship next season? Who would you be happy for us to sign? and who should be released? I would be interested to view your comments!! I,ve followed Wolves since the mid.1950,sand I,ve been thrilled by this last season,well doneeveryone connected with WOLVES.


A good report. I have followed the Wolves since 1959/60, going to the Mol many, many times, seeing many high score wins and defeats. This one was a surprise for the modern game, but important and exciting. More please, in the Championship, hopefully against the Baggies.

wakefield wolf

Many posts on utube describe the pitch invaders as fans. Well in IMO they'd have been better staying in the pub to get more practice in how to drink without it affecting their brain cells. So sad that their actions ruined the fantastic game that 99% of true fans had been witness to, lets hope that their actions dont cost us points, and that they are made responsible for paying the inevitable fine.

Thanks go to the team , and manager for making the 4 hour 30 minute journey to the Mol fantastically worthwhile.


Jack the Hat

From the light side:

By all accounts Rotherham were robbed. At least four pitch invasions, pitch encroachment. The match should have been abandoned, what was the match official thinking of ?. Rotherham should be notifying the F.A. about that farce of a match and referee. The pitch invasions would have thrown any side out of their stride and what of player safety?. Now expect dumb Dog-Heads to come on here and shout the odds as everything was okay.



Now you have had chance to read all the posts, you will see that the majority of WOLVES FANS have voiced their disapproval against the minority that invaded the pitch.

If you had been at the game, you would have also heard the majority of WOLVES FANS shouting their disapproval (albeit an expletive) against the minority.

In the past Jack you've made me smile with some of your sarcastic posts, but calling WOLVES FANS "dumb Dog-Heads" well, I guess you've shown your true self as very bitter and twisted.

I guess we can put it down the frustration you must be feeling with your team having such a very poor season.


Pulex Irritans

A very exciting game and thrilling to watch, yes, but Jackett made it more so by changing Evans for Henry at half-time. That weakend our defence and Rotherham were invited back into the game by controlling the midfield. Jackett should have made a straight swop between Evans and Price instead. But no sweat as we won it in the end anyway.



Title first tomorrow, then the 100 next Saturday at Coventry.

Noodle Vague

the pitch invaders were very naughty boys and girls probably, but the match was in no way a classic, the team were mentally on holiday for the most part and apart from the goals and Sam Ricketts showboating there was precious little in the way of football. nice to see Jody and Roger Milla at half time tho, and this was the funniest game i've ever attended


"Emphatic"???? Two goals in injury time!!!

Farmer Ted

Yes, emphatic.

Problem is that injury time has a totally different meaning at the HawHawthornes.

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