Visits to Chesterfield have been frequent in the last few years, all in the early tenure of previous Wolves managers.
Mad Mick came to the old Saltergate ground and lost a penalty shoot out in a league cup game, and at the new Proact Stadium in KJ’s first preseason there was a friendly against Paul Cook’s side.
Last night was a step into the unknown as the EFL Checkatrade Trophy provided an untried format for both sides.
However a sparse crowd of some 980 home supporters and 120 hardy Wolves fans were treated to a really good game of football.
The pivotal moment of the game came in the 29th minute when Ethan Ebanks-Landell was dismissed for a two footed tackle.
Both ball and player were missed by the challenge, but the intent was enough to convince the ref. He could have, and should have stayed on his feet and the rush of blood was to make the game very difficult for the young Wolves side thereafter.
By then a good Wolves goal was disallowed for offside, and from a corner kick to the back post, the big home defenders out-jumped Flatt and the ball fell kindly to Sylvan Ebanks-Blake to tap in from two yards.
Funnily enough, before the game I was enjoying hospitality in the Vice President’s Lounge and the Chesterfield Deputy Chairman asked if we were interested in having SEB back for free.
One of the home sides higher earners, the former Wolves man is not their most popular player. He missed a free header and several other chances during the game, so I can possibly understand why.
I’d been looking forward to seeing this young Wolves side play, having read good reports from Stuwolf and others, and I certainly wasn’t disappointed.
The captain was exceptional, frequently drawing applause from the home side as he went past players at will.
For me the whole side played very well, with the left back and left winger also very good. In fact the young lads rarely looked like they were a man short, their work rate, appetite for the game and sheer footballing ability were a joy to behold, I`m sure there are some future stars in that group.
Wolves scored a deserved equaliser, were unfortunate with Chesterfield’s second which took a wicked deflection off a defender and arched over our keeper, and then we sent the keeper the wrong way with a penalty but the ball cannoned back off the post, and a deserved point was lost.
Two matches left in the group, so plenty to play for, the club needs to practice taking penalties, as the last three we’ve missed.
Otherwise a very enjoyable and creditable performance against the odds.