Date: 11th December 2016 at 3:54pm
Written by:

Molineux has seen its share of dull and sometimes goalless draws in the last 18 months but this was a game that could hardly have been more different with 8 goals, plenty of goalmouth incidents and twists and turns right through into injury time at the end of the game.

The first surprise of the day came when the teams were announced and it became apparent that the club’s two senior goalkeepers Ikeme and Lonergan were both unfit and that it would be academy keeper Harry Burgoyne between the sticks. Hause came in for Stearman who could not play against his parent club in an otherwise unchanged team after last week’s win at QPR;

Burgoyne
Iorfa, Batth, Hause, Doherty
Saiss, Coady
Costa, Edwards, Cavaleiro
Dicko

Fulham have established themselves in recent weeks as a good passing team that score plenty of goals and this was looking like an open game from the word go with the visitors having most of the game. But it was Wolves who came close to scoring first when a low cross from Dicko was just touched away from Cavaleiro by a defender. Fulham then had a shot just wide of the scrambling Burgoyne’s post before a Cavaleiro cross found the head of Batth who directed it just wide. Fulham were on top generally though with Fredericks shooting just wide but Cavaleiro having his brightest game in a Wolves shirt was impressing going forward and with his defensive work.

Wolves broke the deadlock from an unlikely source with Hause getting his first goal for the club, heading in a Costa corner. And it was so close to being two when a short back pass put the Fulham keeper under pressure and he spilled the ball presenting Dicko with an open goal from a narrow angle but he was unable to turn it in. And that was to prove costly as almost immediately Fulham were level. A cross from the left was pulled back to Johansen unmarked on the edge of the box and he laahed home into the roof of the net giving Burgoyne no chance.

Cavaleiro had a half chance to restore Wolves lead but Fulham were shortly to go ahead. A cross from the right saw Ayite steal in behind Iorfa and head in. And it looked like game over when Fulham picked out an unmarked Cairney on the edge of the box and he hammered it in on the volley for an excellent goal.

Wolves started the second half positively and when Edwards headed the ball across goal Doherty prodded the ball goalwards but it was cleared off the line. Lambert made a positive substitution to replace Saiss with Bodvarsson as Wolves committed to attack. But Wolves were only kept in the game by a tremendous double save by Burgoyne. That proved to be a turning point in the game as Wolves got back into it when a Coady cross was headed on by Dicko, and Doherty turned the ball in. And soon after it was 3-3 as Doherty slid a through ball into Cavaleiro who strode through the Fulham defence and produced an excellent finish.

Fulham then started to dominate again for ten minutes but as we approached the final minutes Wolves were looking the more likely winners and they completed a remarkable come back when Edwards shot into the roof of the net from what looked an impossible angle. Only a couple of minutes of injury time for Wolves to hold out for a fabulous win but they couldn’t do so. A cross from the left was headed back across goal and Ayite scored from close range.

Burgoyne 7 – did well after being thrown in at the deep end and kept Wolves in it with his fine double save in the second half
Iorfa 4 – not sure he has had a worse game for the club. A couple of decent attacking foray but defensively he was poor and his touch let him down on numerous occasions
Batth 7 – certainly the best of the defenders but that wasn’t difficult on the day
Hause 5 – scored his first for the club but never looked secure defenseively
Doherty 6 – scored one and made one but didn’t have a good game defensively
Saiss 5 – looks good on the ball at times but never got a grip on the midfield against a far superior passing team
Coady 5 – another who wasn’t able to stop Fulham calling the tune in the centre of the park
Costa 6 – had some good moments without being at his best
Edwards 6 – yet another goal and a good one at that. Not a player that is going to dominate a game but cant be a midfield player better in the division at drifting into goalscoring positions in the opposition area
Cavaleiro 8 – by far his best game for the club so far and that record fee will start to look like money well spent if he can produce performances like this regularly. Did some good work defensively, a constant threat going forward on the left and took his goal with aplomb
Dicko 6 – worked his socks off up front but missed a good chance to make it 2-0 and a goal would work wonders for his confidence
Bodvarsson made a difference as a sub but Price and Teixeira made little impact as late introductions

So a thoroughly entertaining and open game where Wolves created more chances than in any game in the last 18 months. Real encouragement in the performance of Cavaleiro and in the way the team refused to lay down when the match looked beyond them. But in the end a couple of points slipped away after a poor defensive performance proved their undoing.