Town waste penalty in Wolves defeat
THE Wolves motto printed onto the match day tickets is Out of darkness - cometh light.For Mick McCarthy's side there does appear to be light on the horizon, although there is still a long way to go.
By Derek Davis
THE Wolves motto printed onto the match day tickets is Out of darkness - cometh light.
For Mick McCarthy's side there does appear to be light on the horizon, although there is still a long way to go.
For Ipswich the darkness looks far denser and the glimmer of light offered on Saturday was snuffed out in the Black Country.
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Town were looking for their first victory at Wolves in 10 visits and a gap of 15 years but never showed enough grit and determination to snatch it from a hungry Wolves side that epitomised their manager.
The Blues missed a penalty and had what looked like a perfectly good Dean Bowditch goal disallowed but in reality, never had the better of a Wolves side down to 10 men after 35 minutes.
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Town struggled in the first half and only when Darren Currie eventually came on did they show real attacking impetus.
Magilton, who beat McCarthy in the race for the Town manager's job, set his stall out not to lose the game with intentions clearly signalled by dropping Currie from the starting line up and fielding a defensively-minded midfield.
Currie is out of contract at the end of the season will be available on a free transfer unless Town tie him up to a new deal.
There has been interest in Currie, who was by far Town's leading goal-maker last season and among the leading assists in the Championship, despite his side finishing a woeful 15th.
Sito was chosen ahead of Fabian Wilnis at right back with the Dutchman faulted for both goals in Saturday's 2-1 home defeat by Crystal Palace. Wolves handed home debuts to six players including former Blue Jamie Clapham who chose Molineux rather than a return to Portman Road for domestic reasons, after his release by Birmingham City.
The tactic resulted in Town managing just three first half crosses with two coming from Jamie Peters but nowhere near a Blue short.
The Canadian used the pace he is gifted with but never had the nous or strength to get the better of wily old lee Naylor.
On the other flank Matt Richards was uses for set pieces but after curling an early free kick just over the bar, wasted a corner. Even worse he missed his first ever penalty after Joe Craddock had brought down Nicky Forster.
It was by far the Blues best chance to score after an impotent first 45 minutes and while they had the ball in the net in the second half it was only after Currie went on as substitute that they sustained pressure.
Only Gavin Williams had tested keeper Matt Murray before that while Town's defence was having another busy night.
Town were given a boost on 35 minutes when Carl Cort was sent off for pushing a hand into Williams' face right in front of the referee in an innocuous tussle for the ball which boiled over unnecessarily.
Those two decisions ensured referee Trevor Kettle was given a hard time by the Wolves fans for the rest of the night although his assistant eased the pressure when he ruled Bowditch offside even though he knocked in when the ball came back to him from the post following Williams' 30 yard effort.
It looked a strange decision and even Wolves fans were baffled, although relieved.
The Wolves went ahead when Jay Bothroyd relished in the open space after getting a ball in by Rohan rickets and struck a beautiful low 30-yard drive into the corner of the net.
The recent signing from Charlton had already served warning to the fragile looking Blues defence when turned easily away from Naylor but his shot was weak and Supple was down to it.
A mistake by skipper Jason de Vos allowed Carl Cort in behind but Ricketts blasted his pull back over the bar.
Ricketts also played a ball in for Jamie Clapham but Shane Supple took ball and team mate Sito.
Although Town pushed Wolves back for the final minutes, with Currie creating more havoc on those final minutes than the rest of the side had managed all game.
No wonder Magilton was seething after the game blaming a collective failing, while McCarthy was singing the praises of his side's gutsy, and winning display.