If you’re looking for a positive, look no further than Benik Afobe.
Our number 10 exudes class in his every involvement. Whether he’s dropping deep to instigate the attack or darting in behind to win (and then score) the decisive penalty, he consistently looks like being the difference maker.
It’s not just his ability either, it’s the confidence and application he shows every time he steps out onto the pitch. If he stays fit, he’s going places regardless of whether Wolves tag along for the ride.
Hardly surprising that Kenny Jackett chose to wrap his star man (and skipper for the evening) in cotton wool for the last 25 minutes and give Adam Le Fondre his Molineux debut.
Unfortunately for the on loan Cardiff man, the game had descended into a scrappy end to end affair by that point meaning he had nothing more than long old hoofs down the line to feed off in a short cameo.
If most people were surprised Le Fondre didn’t start, every single one of the 10,000 spectators inside the ground were flabbergasted to see Matt Doherty deployed on the right wing. Suffice to say that little experiment didn’t really work out.
Down the opposite flank, Sheyi Ojo showed signs of promise with a few rapid bursts of acceleration and the odd nifty piece of skill. However, despite a smart cross for Dicko’s equaliser, his final ball too often looked questionable.
The same accusation could be leveled at Wolves as a whole, who flattered to deceive for much of the game with neat spells of possession too often failing to produce a meaningful attack.
But despite going behind to a sloppy opener, they did maintain a level of control to proceedings after Nouha Dicko smartly turned home Ojo’s cross to level the score.
It was only in the final knockings, where the game became stretched and both sides were guilty of ridiculous individual mistakes, where Newport threatened to take the tie into extra time.
A few smart saves from Emiliano Martinez kept them at bay and the on loan Arsenal keeper looked reliable throughout, save for a horribly misplaced pass that required urgent intervention from Jack Price to prevent Newport a clear run on goal. Hopefully that was a one off blip.
Did we really learn anything tonight?
Well, I now know conclusively that Matt Doherty isn’t the like-for-like Bakary Sako replacement we’ve all been craving.
I can also confirm we’re heavily reliant on Benik Afobe and that without Richard Stearman at the back, we lack leadership.
But we knew all that right?
And who cares anyway? We’re through and that’s all I’m really bothered about.
Bring on round two. Haven’t said that for a while.