Wolves rounded off their pre-season preparations with a 1-1 draw against Farense. The hosts took the lead just five minutes into the game, a direct free-kick from Christian Ponde beating the dive of Jackson Smith. Wolves did manage to level the game after half-time, with Hee Chan Hwang converting a penalty won by Chem Campbell. Neither side were able to take control of the game in the later stages, with Bruno Lage giving opportunities to many of Wolves’ Under 21 squad.
Smith was called into action early in the game, but could not keep out Ponde’s free-kick. His confidence did not seem to be affected, acting as a commanding figure throughout. A strong one-handed save late on would prove to be his highlight, completing a successful pre-season for the goalkeeper.
Mosquera was played at right back by Lage, not for the first time this pre-season. The Colombian struggled outside of his more natural central role, sometimes getting caught out by Farense’s attack. If beaten, Mosquera did at times have the pace to recover. Wolves will be hoping Nelson Semedo can soon return, allowing Mosquera to play more minutes in the centre.
Picking up an early yellow card, Coady did concede the free-kick which Farense scored from, although it was arguably Willy Boly who put the Englishman in danger. Despite this, if the same challenge was made in a competitive game, Coady may have been sent for an early shower. The Wolves captain did recover well and played neat football for the remainder of the game.
As mentioned before, Boly was the man arguably at fault for the host’s opener. The Ivorian international did improve during the game, stepping into midfield with the ball on a couple of occasions. With Boly already Lage’s fourth choice centre half, he may be looking nervously over his shoulder at the development of both Mosquera and Toti Gomes.
If Toti Gomes is to push Boly for his spot in the first team squad, he will hope to play more minutes at centre half as opposed to left back. Similarly to Mosquera, Gomes struggled in a more unfamiliar position. In attack, Gomes seemed reluctant to cross the ball, instead looking at options from midfield. Lage substituted Gomes at half time.
A key part of James Collins’ Under 23 squad last campaign, Joe Hodge has impressed in pre-season. Taking on the role of Ruben Neves is no mean feat, but the youngster can hold his head high after last night’s performance. Linking defence and midfield with short, sharp passes as well as breaking down opposition attacks, Hodge may benefit from a loan spell away from Molineux in the near future.
With it looking more likely with each passing day that Ronan will remain in Wolves’ squad this season, the 24-year-old put in another admirable performance. A sweeping pass from deep early in the second half released Campbell, winning the penalty that pulled Wolves level. With a severe lack of squad depth, Ronan looks set to join Luke Cundle as Wolves’ back-up midfielders.
Cundle started the match in a midfield three, before moving into the attack at half time. He looked to move Wolves’ attack along at a quicker intensity, playing a similar role to that of Joao Moutinho. Although a loan move would also benefit Cundle this season, Lage cannot afford to lose another midfielder from his squad.
Campbell got his chance to impress after just a handful of minutes against Sporting on Saturday. The 19-year-old looked like a bright spark in Wolves’ attack, winning the penalty after already beating one man in the build up. Campbell should have got his name on the scoresheet early in the game, putting a golden chance wide of an empty net. A good start to the season for James Collins’ side could see Campbell knocking on the door of the first team.
Hee Chan Hwang
Hwang scored his first goal of pre-season, calmly slotting away his chance from the spot. In the opening stages of the second half, he did have two opportunities to drag Wolves level, failing to convert either chance. Before his substitution, Hwang was deployed through the middle, auditioning to fill the void that injury to Raul Jimenez has left.
Hugo Bueno started the game in the front three, before moving to left back in the second half. While looking competent in attack, Bueno impressed at full back, with his overlapping runs a key to his game. A delightful cross just evaded Hwang, preventing the Spaniard from what would have been a fantastic assist.
Griffiths replaced Toti at half time, leading to a reshuffle from Lage. He slotted into the base of a midfield three, sitting just in front of Coady and Boly. Griffiths fell victim to the lethargic nature of the game, leading him to play safe passes when in possession.
Birtwistle, the first ever Singaporean to have a Premier League contract, played on the right wing, more advanced than his usual right wing-back slot. He managed to provide fans with a glimpse of his pace when going forwards, creating a some good opportunities that the attackers failed to capitalise on. It was certainly a promising performance from the youngster.
Tipton is usually deployed as a centre half, but was used at right back. Similarly to Mosquera and Gomes, it was clear to see the this was not Tipton’s natural position, although the youngster did remain calm both with and without the ball.
Harkin was introduced to the action with 20 minutes left in the game, but failed to make a significant impact. Another victim of the slow pace of play and Wolves’ lack of attacking threat towards the end, Harkin spent most of his minutes out of possession.
Nathan Fraser is one of Wolves’ brightest talents, although he did not have enough time on the pitch to showcase his talent.
Hodnett also entered the action late in the game, and therefore could not stamp his authority on the game.
Other subs: James Storer