Simply not good enough. You can say that about this performance, and for the majority of this miserable, soul-destroying season. Even after taking a shock lead, you were never really convinced that we were good enough to keep a clean sheet, but to concede just seconds after scoring was downright sloppy, and indicative of the defensive problems that have punctuated our campaign. Norwich subsequently completed the turnaround to inflict a fourth successive league defeat on a Wolves side that look irreversibly doomed. In the post match interview, caretaker boss Terry Connor spoke of the belief he had in the players to rescue this dire situation. In reality, he looked a visibly defeated man.
Wolves at least showed positive attacking intent by deciding to start Kevin Doyle in attack with Steven Fletcher, as opposed to a right wing role he‘d recently become accustomed to. It was he who had the first chance of the game following a free-kick from the re-called Michael Kightly, though the Irishman could only head narrowly wide.
The livewire Kightly was the visitors most potent threat, and his fine run led to the opening goal on 25 minutes. After outstripping left-back Simon Lappin, the winger’s cross was delicately knocked by Doyle into the path of the oncoming Matt Jarvis, who converted clinically past John Ruddy from 15 yards. Yet the lead lasted all of 85 seconds, the Wolves defence caught flat-footed as Simeon Jackson lifted a fine ball over the top to strike partner Grant Holt, who was played onside by Sebastian Bassong. With only Wayne Hennessey to beat, the Canaries No.9 stylishly chipped the keeper before heading home from just 2 yards out.
Norwich were now the better side, if not overly troubling Hennessey’s goal. Yet on the stroke of half-time, they were awarded a spot-kick after a goalbound Wes Hoolahan effort appeared to strike the arm of midfielder Eggert Jonsson. It was a blatant penalty, and Holt stepped up to hammer past Hennessey for his second of the afternoon.
Despite trailing, Wolves started the second half in lifeless fashion, as Norwich looked more likely to extend their lead. Jonny Howson, who had been impressive, was a whisker away from adding a third, his shot from inside the area just clearing Hennessey’s bar.
Just after the hour mark, Wolves replaced the ineffective Jonsson with Nenad Milijas, as well as sending on Sylvan Ebanks-Blake for the tiring Doyle, but still it was the hosts who were creating the chances, full-back Zak Whitbread firing just wide from long distance on 68 after a Hoolahan corner had only been half-cleared by Bassong. Wolves were struggling; Kightly had faded after a decent first half showing; whereas there was no threat whatsoever from midfield. As the clock ticked down, Jarvis began to see the majority of the ball, though his crosses were being well blocked by the Norwich defence.
With just 5 minutes remaining, Holt blotted his copybook by picking up a second yellow card after hacking down Kightly from behind. But despite late pressure, from Jarvis in particular, Norwich proceeded to see the game out to earn the three points that all but seals their place in next season’s Premier League.
Unfortunately, Wolves won’t be joining them.