Wolves 2 Real Betis 3 (video highlights)

Chesterfield 1 Wolves 2

His palms were sweaty, knees weak, arms were heavy, there was vomit on the Proact Stadium carpet already.

Arthur leading out Wolves at Chesterfield

But my son was 20 minutes away from leading out the Wolves against Chesterfield as mascot, so he was understandably nervous!

Pre-season friendlies don’t usually provide too much of an insight into the season that lies in wait but thanks to the organisation of good friend Mark Davies, the kindness of Chesterfield FC and the youngsters at Kenny Jackett’s disposal, last night was different.

Smallmans on the pitch at Chesterfield

If I learned one thing from our 2-1 win in north Derbyshire, then it’s that however many misdemeanours the club has committed over the past 3 years, I still can’t help but love it.

Not when I look at my 5 year-old boy who was positively beaming at leading the team out with Sam Ricketts, irrespective of the magnitude of this particular fixture and the attendance of around 2,500.

Youth certainly wasn’t wasted on the young as far as Arthur was concerned, as he clapped the away fans as if he was one of the players in purple.

Nor for Kenny Jackett, who is now giving our young players the chances to impress that had never been available previously.

arthur and ben

Following in dad’s footsteps

Of the kids on show, Lee Evans and Zeli Ismail were particularly impressive in second half outings, while Leigh Griffiths looks every inch the striker we have been crying out for, for so long.

Playing on the shoulder of their last man, he was a constant nuisance and didn’t look too dissimilar to a fit and firing Kenny Miller of 2003 vintage.

But while there were many positives to the second half display, the first half still presented a number of questions, with Chesterfield looking the better side, exploiting our left back frailties to equalise through Drew Talbot.

With Sam Ricketts right back, George Elokobi was the man to struggle and with Sako offering no outlet in front of him whatsoever, he didn’t have an easy opening half.

David Edwards looked neat and tidy and opened the scoring, despite it looking to me as if Jake Cassidy had prodded home with the final touch.

In conclusion, this was a keenly contested run-out which offered some genuine signs of hope and progress. In the eyes of a five year-old boy, it was the game of the century, featuring the best side in the whole world who he is now in love with forever.

Video highlights

Barnsley 2 Wolves 2 (video highlights)