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Wolves Fans' Verdict v Newcastle: Well done Willy!

By Joe Edwards | Wolves | Published:

Our fans have their say after Willy Boly's last-gasp header saw Wolves draw 1-1 with Newcastle.

Boly, centre, is congratulated by his team-mates (AMA)

Chris Hughes

What's your verdict on the match?

Welcome to another episode of The Late, Late Show with Nuno Espírito Santo as, for the 14th time this season, we bagged a goal after the 80th minute and for the 6th time after 90 minutes.

The club have posted a few videos from the Marbella training camp last week including one highlighting the exceptional work done by Antonio Dias in making this side unbelievably fit. It’s no coincidence that we’ve had far fewer injuries than under previous regimes and that we’re getting more late goals. Great credit to one of the lesser known members of the back room team for that.

The game felt very much like our defeat to Brighton at the Amex in October where we had a lot of the ball, a lot of efforts at goal, and a lot of corners while our opponents did little but sit in and try to frustrate us. For a while it felt like we were going to end up with an identical result. Again like our Brighton trip, the goal we conceded was more to do with our own failings than our opposition creating an opportunity.

Much has been said of Patricio’s kicking this season and he had another nightmare here, missing Doherty by a good 30 yards when kicking the ball straight out for a Newcastle throw-in. From the quickly-taken throw, Newcastle worked the ball over to Hayden on the right side of the box and Boly got nowhere near close enough to him to prevent a shot being taken. Still, it took a moment of wafer-wrist from Rui to allow the strike to beat him at the near post and the stopper will be angry with himself for conceding.

We’d had chances to score before and after that goal, with Doherty and Raúl heading wide from two and seven yards out respectively from our most gilt-edged chances, but it looked like we were going to end up with nothing to show for our dominance as we entered added-time still a goal behind.

However, cometh the hour (and 34 minutes, 33 seconds), cometh the man-mountain. We’d spent a good three minutes plunging our Big Willy into the box before he managed to grab the equalising goal that brought an eruption of joy around Molineux as another game came to a fantastic climax.

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The slightly contentious nature of the goal, with Boly’s challenge on Dubravka being questioned and the timing of the goal being a good while over the 4 minutes of added-time, made it even sweeter, as we had another sighting of the ‘Rafa rant’ on the touch line before he bemoaned the lack of understanding in the English game of protection for goalkeepers.

I’ll never tire of seeing Benitez boiling over and the extra time added over the four minutes was well-justified after the Geordies time-wasting with substitutions, feigning injury and even the fans keeping the ball in the away end after the 90 minutes had expired.

Who played well – and who didn't impress?

Strangely when considering our dominance of the stats in this game it felt like there were several below-par showings from us, such are the high standards we’ve set recently.

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Of those whose standards remained at a high level, Jonny and Jota were the pick. Jonny got forward well down the left and won a lot of tackles, particularly in the first-half, high up the pitch. Jota was our most dangerous outlet in the first-half and was direct with his running. He faded a little after the break, likely due to the repeated kickings he was getting from Newcastle players, before being withdrawn.

Adam Virgo

What's your verdict on the match?

Willy Boly has got the whole of Newcastle on strings once again.

Starting with that moment, it was never a foul because the keeper hasn’t jumped, if he was stronger and jumped up to claim it and then Boly’s arms were on him, it would have been given as a foul. Slowing replays down and showing images always make it look worse and how you want to see it but in real time, there’s hardly anything in it.

After recent performances and results I was hoping we would kick on with another three points but in the end a point was fair for both sides. We definitely did enough and created enough to warrant a goal though.

10 points from our last 12 is very good when you take it all into account and Newcastle are better than their league position suggests.

We looked decent for the first 20 minutes and as if we just needed a goal from the chances we were making but Newcastle were occasionally posing a threat on the attack.

It was always going to be a tight goal and the first goal was massive, if we’d have got it I think we would have gone on to win. Considering the circumstances then a point isn’t bad at all.

The time added on and when the goal scored was fair also. Their fans time wasted with the ball, Dubravka took an age on every goal kick and Benitez made a sub as soon as the time went up so that was another 45 seconds extra at least.

For their goal, poor from Patricio and Boly for letting Hayden get a yard on him. I think Rui has tried to read him going across so he’s stepped over and that’s then messed him up completely when the shot goes more near post. Unusual error from him.

It was just one of those games, everything seemed to go wrong in the final third like either the last pass or the finish. Felt like it was going to be a loss despite all our efforts but we don’t give up and that’s six goals after the 90th minute in all competitions now I believe, incredible stat.

Who played well – and who didn't impress?

Jonny deserves credit, he stopped them from having any real threat down his side. He got forward into some good positions on the flank but sometimes other players chose different options wrongly.

Defensively we didn’t do much wrong and it’s not as if Newcastle created a lot. Boly let Hayden have a yard which enabled him to get the shot off, although Patricio should have done a lot better. Big Willy made up for his slight error with his equaliser though.

The midfield trio wasn’t anywhere near its best as we’ve seen in recent weeks but it was difficult at times finding space to play into when Newcastle had a lot of bodies back.

Jota seemed to signal to come off due to a knock which isn’t great and I can’t see him being risked on Sunday due to it and with him having a few injuries this season. Not at his best either, maybe he wasn’t 100 per cent, we’ll never know but I thought he’d be the key to unlocking their defence.

Jimenez’s worst game for so long. He deserves lots of plaudits because he’s been fantastic for us this season and even yesterday he didn’t give up, just nothing came off for him. Felt like he just had one of those games which can happen to anyone.

Costa should never have been the first sub and his cameo proved that. Offered nothing once again and I can see him being sold in the summer, I love the guy but sadly he’s not good enough for where we want to be anymore.

With Costa and Cav being in the forward positions it meant Traore playing at wing back which shouldn’t have happened but in the end he got the assist for the goal. When he actually had the ball he was trying to make things happen and I believe he’s getting better the more he plays.

Onto Bristol City on Sunday anyway, big game in terms of a chance to progress to the Quarter Final of the FA Cup and they are unbeaten since November and on a very good run at the moment so it will not be easy.

Clive Smith

What's your verdict on the match?

We were far from our best, but a point was the least we deserved even if it was another late goal that secured it. We are seventh so we can afford to smile.

We had several attempts on goal but too few required their keeper to intervene. Meanwhile our passing was below par which didn't help. Newcastle had limited ambition but had done their homework. They restricted our 'out' ball to Doherty, were quick to close us down and packed their box when there was a hint of a cross going in.

With Doherty looking a threat in only a couple of attacking moves, most of our play went down the left with Boly pushing Otto well forward and Jota linking up. Boly was guilty of too many misplaced passes however so even that pattern of play was limited.

Jimenez, Jota and Otto could all have had more luck with attempts on goal as each rebound or deflection fell for Newcastle.

After the break we were still unable to raise our game despite plenty of possession and several corners. Too often we dwelt on the ball and wanted an extra touch – resulting in the opportunity usually having gone. At other times, the loose ball never seemed to fall for us.

Just before the hour mark, we went a goal behind, all from our own making. Patricio had needlessly kicked the ball into touch and that eventually led to a clever pass played into our box for their runner to put in a hard cross. Patricio failed to deal with it and the ball went off him into our net.

Jota, who had looked on fire in the opening thirty minutes had begun to fade and Dendoncker also looked off the pace. Both were replaced with twenty minutes to go. Fresh legs from Cavaleiro helped, but the same could not be said of Costa, who again struggled to find any form.

We continued to waste half chances in their box and had more shots blocked. Nuno' s last throw of the dice saw Traore play the last ten minutes. He had a blocked shot but was well marked, making it hard getting the ball to him.

As time had almost ran out, Jimenez challenged over by the corner flag. The ball was rotated to Traore who crossed from the byline right under the bar. It was their keeper's turn to be at fault as Boly helped us snatch a point at the death.

Another late goal. Credit to our fitness, our patience, our never say die attitude, and also the manager for using the substitutes to bring on fresh legs.

Who played well – and who didn't impress?

Not a game Patricio will want to look back on with much pleasure. Clearly to blame for the goal.

Otto was involved in plenty of good things throughout the whole game. Man of the match.

Doherty had far less space than usual and only a couple of times in each half did he manage to offer a goal threat.

Boly passed the ball poorly too often, but was excellent in the air and also made some good challenges. He tried to drive us forward when there was space ahead of him.

Coady had his hands full with Rondon around but he shepherded him away from goal and managed him well. He rarely played any long balls as we generally found it hard moving the ball forward quickly.

Bennett played mere safe short passes with the ball while he also defended well enough.

Neves gradually played deeper and deeper and failed to have as much impact as usual. Had more impact defensively than with our attack.

Moutinho worked tirelessly and was the pick of our midfield.

Dendoncker should have scored with a header. Not as good as in recent games he was often reluctant to play the ball forward and wasted a great chance to shoot in the first half.

Jimenez put in his usual impressive shift but was not as sharp in front of goal.

Jota started the game really well before fading dramatically.

From the bench Cavaleiro and Traore helped us apply pressure in the closing minutes. Costa took a knock that looked painful. Surprised that Nuno brought him on ahead of Traore.

Rob Cartwright

What's your verdict on the match?

We’re certainly getting good value for money at Molineux this season. An entertaining game where Wolves were not at their best, but had good passages of play and showed great resilience in getting the goal right at the end.

It was nothing more than they deserved, with over 20 attempts on goal and the lion's share of possession. The most frustrating aspect was that we didn’t create any danger from 13 corners, while Newcastle only managed one. A reflection of the balance of play.

We started the game well and were looking likely to score for the majority of the first half. Newcastle started to get more into the game during the final ten minutes and carried this ascendency into the second half, with Wolves looking disjointed and too many passes going astray.

They took the lead after about 10 minutes, with Patricio beaten at his near post. I’d expect him to do better. Newcastle can be well organised defensively and though we had plenty of time left, it was going to be a tough nut to crack.

With 20 minutes remaining, Nuno made changes. I was surprised Traore didn’t come on at this point. Although we were creating half chances, we were not opening up the Newcastle back line.

When he did come on, with only 10 minutes left, he did change the game in as much as we got the ball into their box quicker and more often. He had a couple of shots and more importantly got crosses in.

It was from one of these, deep into added time, that we equalised. Initially, I thought he had crossed the ball too high as it stayed in the air for some time. Boly who had stayed up front from the last corner, was able to make up 12 yards and beat their keeper and 3 defenders to the ball and head in.

With time almost up, we were relieved but it was a deserved equaliser.

Who played well – and who didn't impress?

A few below par performances last night. Surprisingly, Doherty looked to have run out of steam; no wonder given what he’s done over the last few weeks. Boly could have done better in the move for their goal, though he more than made up for it.

Otto had a very good first half, especially going forward, but we didn’t see much of him in the second. Jota started well but faded. Dendoncker looked good again and I was a bit surprised when he was subbed after 68 minutes. Jimenez worked tirelessly but didn’t get into any dangerous positions.

Traore did well, but only had 15 minutes or so. Man of the Match must be Moutinho who is enjoying more freedom playing alongside Dendoncker and showed a desire to tackle and win possession akin to Alex Rae of 2002/03.

Let’s hope we have saved plenty in the tank for the Cup!

Russ Evers (Hatherton Wolves)

What's your verdict on the match?

Another late goal which underlines the never say die attitude and the belief of the team despite a performance that seemed to lack the spark and final touch which has been with us for most of the season.

We created a few more than decent chances but the finish was not there but the corner tally of 14-1 tells a story in itself.

The goals will not be fondly remembered by either keeper but Dubravka seemed to be in the right place for 94 minutes whilst Rui was largely unemployed. Let's hope the running through treacle effect is over as the biggest game of the season – in my eyes anyway – thus far approaches.

Joe Edwards

By Joe Edwards
Multi-Media Sports Journalist - @JoeEdwards_Star

Sports reporter for the Express & Star and Shropshire Star.

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