Doncaster 2 Wolves 2

A thoroughly enjoyable trip to the Keepmoat Stadium was meant to remind me what a unique competition the FA Cup is.

In many ways, it did. But for all the entertainment on show you couldn’t help but think of the Premier League and the need to stay in it, for the sake of fixtures like this.

For a brief moment I’d forgotten what an away proposition like Doncaster really represents, but it soon came flooding back.

A cramped pitch, a committed home team and a tough task in breaking Donny down as they worked their backsides off from the first whistle to the last.

Sharp scores without Keogh's help? Unbelievable!

Pretty much like every other team in the Championship, which reminded me how damn difficult it is to get out of that wretched, God forsaken league from Satan.

The thought kept nagging away as I tried – and failed – to forget the very bloody thing I drove half the length of the country to get away from (with my good friends Paul and Dale!).

On the evidence of this game, the magic of the FA Cup is a bit like our nation’s grit supplies.

Everyone would like a sprinkling as it works wonders! But maybe it is used in the areas that need it most (like Stevenage), so it runs out elsewhere.

The game itself was always competitive and occasionally captivating as we kept the hosts quiet for most of the first half.

Milijas – the only Wolves player to find clarity in so much congestion – scored an absolute belter which was worth the admission fee alone.

It really did whistle into the top corner of the net, even if it looked a bit more central on the TV.

But within minutes we were 2-1 behind as Billy Sharp levelled and James Hayter added another.

Sharp’s goal was a throwback to our famous number nine, twisting and burying a belter from 20 yards which Hahnemann had no chance. Worth a punt?!

The second was sadly down to Richard Stearman, who is taking his new found ‘enigma’ tag a bit too seriously.

Under no pressure, with the whole of the pitch to look towards, a simple ball to new boy Doherty was too much for him. He smacked the ball behind the full back out for a throw which we didn’t defend.

George tried to clear his lines, the ball went back in, and Hayter obliged.

The second half was equally absorbing and we actually looked the better team. All the action was at our end of the pitch and when we won the penalty – which Hunt then scored – there was surely only one winner.

That was however, until Big George got his marching orders for a late aerial challenge on Coppinger.

From our vantage point the red card looked extremely harsh, while John Oster’s (or whoever the gutless moron was) revolting verbal assault on George was bang out of order, as he lay polaxed on the floor.

After George departed, we then had to hang on for the last 15 minutes, with Doherty producing an outstanding block at the death when Doncaster looked set to score.

In the context of the game, the sending off was a shame. In the context of the Premier League, it’s a real sickener as Stephen Ward will probably deputise in his absence for 3 games.

So that was that. A great game of football, a couple of great goals, a sending off, and my last bloody thought is about the Premier League. Doh!

Doncaster Vs Wolves Preview

After the sensational midweek triumph over Chelsea, Wolves take a break from Premier League action tomorrow with a tricky third round FA Cup tie at Doncaster.

With Mick certain to make wholesale changes to the team, it’s a great chance for players to stake their claim for a place or regain fitness following injury.

Wolves beat Doncaster 1-0 on the final day of their Championship winning season

But whoever starts, it’s going to be a hard slog at the Keepmoat Stadium against a Doncaster side with a strong home record. Despite their midtable position, they’ve lost just once on their own stomping ground and have six wins and four draws to their name.

They’ve got some decent players too in the likes of James Coppinger, Billy Sharp and James Hayter, who are all footballers capable of putting us to the sword. Former Wolves man George Friend is also likely to feature so it will be interesting to see how he plays, considering we barely saw him turn out in a gold shirt.

I’ve also been informed by a clutch of Donny fans that young full-back Joe Mills makes some excellent attacking runs from defence, but he’s on loan from Southampton so it’s still unclear whether he’ll even be allowed to play.

For Wolves, I suspect only a small clutch of the players who turned Chelsea over will feature tomorrow. It doesn’t look like Craddock is quite yet ready for a game, but Karl Henry might make a return. I’d wager the team will be something like:

Hahnemann

Ward
Batth
Stearman
Zubar

Jarvis
Jones
Milijas
Henry

Doyle
SEB

With the likes of Craddock, Mouyokolo and Mancienne out injured, we don’t have the luxury of changing the lot, but maybe that will open the door for youngsters like Danny Batth, Matt Doherty and Sam Winnall to get some time on the pitch.

I’ll openly admit here and now that I’d take a defeat tomorrow in exchange for a result at Man City next weekend. That isn’t to say I wouldn’t welcome a cup run, I just prioritise Premier League survival.

One thing I certainly don’t want is a repeat of last season’s humiliation to Crystal Palace. The less about that the better.

We’re definitely long overdue a decent performance in the cup, but it’ll be hard for Mick to get the players up for this game in the middle of a grueling run of fixtures. Therefore, I’m going for a draw.

2-2.

If you’re going to the Keepmoat Stadium tomorrow, have a great time, get behind the lads and let’s hope for another morale boosting victory.

Up The Wolves.


* There’s no Prediction League points available this weekend by the way. This is purely for fun. Normal service will be resumed next weekend.