Wolves Away Lost 3 – 1
‘Unspoilt by Progress’ used to be the motto of Wolverhampton brewer Banks’s, one that can also describe this delightfully unglamourous place, even if the home team’s stadium has now been stripped of all that once made it attractive – rather like its team under Bruno Lage, and Ralph tried to counter a stingy defence by sticking with the same personnel and set up as last time out. It seems to suit the team, especially Perraud, but can expose Tella to more defensive duties than you’d like – Walker-Peters was available, and might have been a better option. What ensued was the sort of game where you’d expect Saints to take the lead but throw it away, but here we got our mistake in first, Tella losing position and the ball eventually being cleared desperately for a corner. Had Aȉt-Nouri tried to gop for the ball as Bednarek tackled instead of pulling out, or had we had a more experienced referee and VAR official pairing, that may have been the end of it, but no, VAR found reason to doubt Mr. Salisbury’s decision, and he was persuaded to change his mind, awarding a penalty that Jiménez scored. Southampton had their chances to level the game, and came close when Salisu was denied by Sá, the defender maybe needing a more decisive close range header; Tella also wasted a chance that may or may not have been offside. That we could be coming so near was encouraging, but going two down was fatal: Forster’s positioning from Aȉt-Nouri’s free kick caught him out and Kilman’s header came back off the post for Coady to score, despite the presence of Jiménez who may or may not have been offside – VAR decided he either wasn’t, or he didn’t interfere. I’m not sure the manager’s substitutions were doing much to rescue a point, but we were within touching distance after Ward-Prowse thumped in an awesome free kick on 84 minutes. That unlikely point might well have been gained when Perraud planted a header against the bar, but Traoré sealed the game in added time as Lyanco inexplicably stopped playing. The stats flatter Saints, but they do show that we were close to something: 57% possession, 13 shots (10 on target), 10 corners.
LSSC Man of the Match: James Ward-Prowse, courtesy of the Chairman’s casting vote after a tie with Romeu as the LSSC travellers initially failed to reach a decision.