Five talking points from Wolves 4 Fulham 4

Sport | Published:

Wolves and Fulham shared a point apiece after a remarkable game at Molineux.

Paul Lambert's team were 3-1 down and recovered to lead 4-3 but blew it in injury time.

It was one of the most entertaining matches seen at Molineux in recent years.

But was it a point gained or two points dropped? Wolves correspondent Tim Spiers picks out five talking points.

Molineux madness

David Edwards scored his fourth goal in five games

Just the 46 shots in this one. Plus eight goals, an endless succession of chances, some great football, a stirring comeback and plenty of late drama. What a match.

At half time you feared for Wolves. The way they were defending - and the way Fulham were burying their chances - made you wonder if a rout was on the cards.

But full credit to Lambert's team - they steamrollered the Cottagers in a fantastic 25-minute spell while hanging on for dear life at the other end.


That comeback showed real character.

And the moment when David Edwards made it 4-3 sparked the most incredible scenes at Molineux, the kind that remind us why we love the game.

The place probably hasn't felt like that since the Leeds 4-3 game more than 18 months ago. The celebrations were spine-tingling. What a damn shame it wasn't the winning goal.

Defensive woes


Wolves left the field dejected after conceding a fourth goal

The point may have ended Wolves' run of four successive home defeats but elsewhere Rotherham's victory over QPR means Wolves now possess the worst home record in the Championship.

Only Barnsley (19) have conceded more than Wolves' 18 goals at Molineux.

Owing to the back five having an average age of 22, it was no surprise that Wolves struggled defensively, although the two centre halves and the goalkeeper behind them weren't to blame.

Tom Cairney's wonderstrike couldn't be accounted for but otherwise Wolves yet again didn't help themselves - Ivan Cavaleiro did nothing to stop Ryan Fredericks cutting the ball back for Fuham's first, Dominic Iorfa was caught in no man's land for Floyd Ayite's headed second and then no one has attacked the ball in the box for that last-gasp equaliser.

Richard Stearman's experience was missed. Paul Lambert was unfortunate in that after an improved defensive display at QPR he had to make two changes to his back five.

The sooner January comes along, the better, as far as Wolves' defensive fragility is concerned.

Striking wrong note

Despite the scoreline there's a gripe up front too. Yes Wolves scored four times, but again their strikers couldn't make in onto the scoresheet.

The last time a striker scored a goal for Wolves the date was August 20, the location St Andrew's, when Jon Dadi Bodvarsson and Joe Mason netted in a 3-1 win.

Bodvarsson has since gone 16 appearances without a goal, while Mason went eight without scoring before picking up the hernia injury that has seen him sidelined for almost two months now.

Nouha Dicko last scored in August 2015. This was his ninth appearance since making his comeback from injury and boy does he need a goal.

He's certainly contributing to his team's attacking efforts - chasing and harassing defenders, linking up nicely with the two wide men and generally making a nuisance of himself. But he's desperate to score, just as much as the fans are desperate for him to score.

The way he scuffed that shot after Fulham keeper Button had spilled the ball with the scoreline at 1-0 showed he's lacking a clinical touch. For Wolves' sake let's hope he rediscovers it soon. When he does there won't be a more popular goalscorer.

For now Wolves are relying on others to score their goals, usually Edwards and Helder Costa.

In fact this game was the first since the September 27 defeat at Wigan when someone other than Edwards and Costa have found the net.

Cavaleiro's goal was the particularly impressive and capped off the Portuguese winger's best performance in a Wolves shirt so far. His work ethic was far better than in recent weeks and he was a menace down that left flank.

He looks set for a run in the team now, giving him the perfect opportunity to show just why Wolves broke their transfer record to sign him from Monaco.

Boos for Lambert's sub[figure title="AMA383675 (1)" align="right" url="/?attachment_id=1403545" id="1403545" size="100"]

While Bodvarsson's goal drought continued, it was his introduction (and the change of shape it led to) on 59 minutes with Wolves then 3-1 down which sparked the dramatic comeback - 15 minutes later the scores were level.

However the boos for that substitution, which saw Romain Saiss withdrawn, were puzzling. The supporters presumably wanted Conor Coady (who set up a goal six minutes later) or David Edwards (who scored Wolves' fourth) withdrawn instead.

However Saiss, the most defensive of the three, was sacrificed, which in itself wasn't a big shock seen as he'd exerted little influence on proceedings up to that point.

In truth any of the trio could have been withdrawn after being outplayed by Fulham's slick passing midfield, with Kevin McDonald inevitably at the heart of proceedings as well as the excellent Stefan Johansen and Tom Cairney.

To boo the new boss' call was harsh. Lambert has only been in charge for four games but endured plenty of criticism after the Sheffield Wednesday defeat and there was no patience for his substitution here.

If he was called Paulo Lamberto it no doubt would have been perceived as a bold attacking move and a moment of tactical genius.

Handy Harry

Talk about a baptism of fire for Harry Burgoyne.

Last season the teenager was turning out for Lowestoft Town in the National League North. Yesterday he was played in front of 19,010 at Molineux, facing a team that had scored five goals a week earlier who would rain in 26 shots on his goal.

Wolves have a fine recent tradition of producing first-team goalkeepers from their academy, with Matt Murray, Wayne Hennessey and Carl Ikeme all serving the club with distinction.

Burgoyne is the latest in that line and on this showing he could have a long first-team career ahead of him.

He handled the pressure with aplomb and made a superb double save with the score at 3-1, as well as several other solid stops.

None of the goals could be attributed to mistakes on his part and there was nothing at all wrong with his kicking.

How heartwarming it was to hear the South Bank singing his name on a number of occasions. Carl Ikeme will more than likely reclaim the jersey, possibly as early as Tuesday, but Lambert knows he can count on Burgoyne should he need him.

A word for Jon Flatt though who has been third choice this season but paid for the unsatisfactory manner in which he's been carted around travelling with the first-team squad this season but still playing next-to-no Under-23s football, meaning Burgoyne got the nod because he was more 'match-ready', especially after his Checkatrade Trophy exploits on Monday.

It was harsh on Flatt, but Burgoyne took his chance. Who'd be goalkeeper eh?


Top Stories


More from the Express & Star

UK & International News