Oldham Athletic 0 Wolves 3

Following a third successive victory at a historically difficult venue to conquer, a hypothetical head-scratcher got me thinking…

McDonald Oldham

…If Brentford and Leyton Orient both pass the 100 point barrier and beat us to promotion, would this season be a failure?

After arguably our most encouraging victory of the campaign – against a team more competitive than most – we are on course for an incredible points haul of 95 come the end of the season, were we to keep this up.

However, Brentford and Leyton Orient are on course to rewrite history, with 102 and 101 points on the cards respectively if they carry on in such outrageous fashion.

It begs the question: Can we possibly criticise this rapidly evolving team if it misses out to a ‘once-in-a-million’ freak season?

In any other year, a 3-0 win at Boundary Park would be regarded as a promotion defining benchmark.

Just our luck that we can also view it as a play-off cementing result, when we’d doubtless be 20 points clear of some god forsaken side.

For now, such questions can wait as we bask in a feeling that has eluded us for so long.

This 17th success of the season owed much to a resolute defensive showing, a spritely attacking display and a virtuoso performance by match winner Kevin McDonald.

According to Radio WM, the Scot resembled that big kid in the under-12 school team, whose growth spurt made him virtually untouchable.

Where our number 11 stood head and shoulders above the rest, Jack Price sounded like the perfect foil for him once more.

And when Jacobs and sub Henry added gloss to the scoreline late on, Kenny Jackett can point to three goalscorers who he signed himself.

Photo0089_0011

Winning at a difficult away ground is one thing, but standing up to a pretty physical onslaught is quite another.

Unlike those miserable Solbakken and Saunders seasons, we all appear to be in this together.

Couple such team spirit with Kenny’s astute additions and the combination appears irresistible.

Whether it’s potent enough to provide a positive answer to that question I had will soon become clear.

Highlights

Oldham Athletic Vs Wolves Preview

Oldham away on a blustery Tuesday evening is the sort of fixture that can make or break a promotion-chasing season.

Oldham Wolves

Digging out a result, particularly a win, you feel would be significant over a team we’ve already played three times this season.

The league match at Molineux back in October turned into a routine win after their goalie spilled a cross onto the foot of James Henry. But the performance was less than convincing.

Wolves weren’t as fortunate in the FA Cup where Oldham deservedly progressed after dominating the replay.

Kenny Jackett has been able to mastermind a significant increase in performance levels since then, so this promises to be an interesting encounter.

Oldham

Performance of the weekend belonged to the Latics as they battled back from 3-0 and 4-2 down to beat Peterborough 5-4 on Saturday.

Lee Johnson’s men needed that boost after narrow back-to-back defeats against Walsall and Port Vale had threatened to drag them back into relegation strife.

Their home form reads won 5, drawn 3, lost 4, scored 16, conceded 15 – so very little to pick out of that other than to expect a tight game.

When you take out the 9 goals that were shared around at the weekend, you realise how difficult it’s been for teams to take anything from Boundary Park this season.

Wolves

Other than resting players, there’s no real reason to change Saturday’s team. I just wonder if Kenny Jackett might be thinking of handing Sako a start?

Wolves team for Oldham

It’s hard to foresee Griffiths or Doyle starting given that both are being heavily linked with the exit door. If both were to leave you wonder whether one striker (Leon Clarke) would be enough to fill the void.

A couple of interesting days lie ahead, which I’m sure we’ll all be reflecting on in May as being pivotal to our season.

The odds

Wolves are favourites for the win at 11/10. Oldham are 14/5 and the draw is 5/2.

If you fancy Nouha Dicko to carry on where he left off on Saturday you can get 5/1 on him opening the scoring. Kevin McDonald came close against Bristol City and he’s long overdue a goal. He’s at 12/1.

All odds are available here.

The gaffer

Predictions

It was points galore again in the PL as 54 people correctly thought we’d overcome Bristol City.

11 pundits also got the 3-1 scoreline to double up so well done to all of them.

Really stuck on the fence for this one. I don’t think Oldham will let us dictate the play as we’ve been able to do at home in recent weeks.

But we have the far superior quality, so on that basis I’ll back us to edge it.

2-1

Up The Wolves

Wolves 1 Oldham Athletic 2

So excruciatingly bad was this game of football that I created an ingenious new ‘Ebanks Name Game’ for me and Dad to play, in an attempt to avert our minds from it.

North bank vs Oldham

Before I muster up a match report, I will share the crazy little teaser with you all, as I’m that kind of guy.

The Ebanks Name Game is where you attach the ‘Ebanks’ moniker to another Wolves player who you think is most befitting of it, with the aim of making the player sound more desirable and technically gifted as a result.

I opted for Carl Ebanks Ikeme while Dad plumped for Danny Ebanks Batth. Both now sound more expensive and genetically compelling in our opinions.

Leigh Ebanks Griffiths is way too elaborate for a player who just wants to score, while Kevin Ebanks McDonald sounds too cumbersome and clunky, so they obviously wouldn’t work.

Suffice to say, my cousin – who decided to sit with us for the first time since I can ever remember – moved to another seat at half-time without so much of a goodbye.

Good on you Wolves. As if watching you play so terribly in freezing conditions was bad enough, my family are now going to think I’m a twat for inventing a game that was just meant to be a bit of fun.

And as for the game itself…

…If I must bring myself to offer some sort of insight, I would ask you to close your eyes and picture the Notts County JPT game. Multiply it by 10 in terms of ineptitude. Square the end result and you’re coming close to the spectacle on show.

Despite Ikeme’s fumble for the opener, he was still man-of-the-match as he made two terrific one-on-one saves. Stearman at least showed inclination, while McDonald was generally tidy.

The rest, without question, were terrible.

The only miracle was how Jack Price didn’t suffer a migraine from the experience – featuring a blinding pink ball that was clearly too effeminate for us to want to keep.

The ‘fundamentals’ that underpin an under-10s team, never mind a professional outfit, went inexplicably AWOL.

Batth looked uncharacteristically leaden footed and susceptible under the long ball, Golbourne was nothing short of hopeless on the left, while Griffiths’ usually sumptuous first touch was bloody terrible.

Meanwhile, Jake Cassidy looked worryingly out of his depth while George Elokobi underlined his ‘least technically gifted player in the history of Wolves FC’ with the worst first half showing I have ever, ever seen.

The crowd was an equally pitiful sight too, in a competition that much of our rich heritage was founded upon.

A competition that evoked an ‘It’s Ours’ high, Sir Billy smiling with Her Majesty in 1949 and Bill Slater on the shoulders of giants in 1960.

In today’s pseudo world we must call home, they may as well call it the Ebanks FA Cup and have done with it.