Wright bids a farewell to football in shot-shy friendly

DANIEL Wright made his last appearance in a Wolves shirt on Saturday as he led his former team onto the pitch before their 1-0 victory over Glenavon at Mourneview Park.

The goalkeeper, who had to quit full-time football last year due to a heart condition, was unable to play any large part in the game but did come back on to play the last seven minutes for the home side.

He didn’t have much to do though and made just one routine save from Wolves midfielder Nathan Rooney.

In truth neither goalkeeper had much to do with some lively attacking play from both sides failing to lead to any gilt-edged chances.

In fact Wolves could only find the net through a rather dubious penalty kick when, in the 49th minute, Kyle Neill was adjudged to have fouled in the box despite seeming to get the ball with his tackle. The impressive young striker Mama Dembele smashed the ball low into the bottom corner and it was to be the only goal of the game.

Glenavon had begun quite strongly and put together some pleasing attacking football with central midfielder Ryan Harpur pulling all the strings.

However, as Blues fans will have been used to in recent seasons, their side rarely looked like converting their good play into goals.

On four minutes, the best chance of the first-half fell to Tony Grant but he headed Kyle Neill’s pass over the bar before being clattered by Wolves’ keeper Daniel East.

The Blues only had one other attempt of the half and it was a rather ambitious 30 yard free-kick from Jay Magee which flew just wide of goal.

Wolves’ best and only chance of the first half came when Nathan Rooney’s powerful shot was well saved by Andy Plummer before the keeper easily claimed a weak rebound.

Unquestionably, the Blues had dominated until the break but the young Wolves team then made a few changes and looked a different animal in the second half.

Just four minutes after the restart they took the lead but the score could have been greater had the Wolves side found their shooting boots. The youth and exuberance began to show as they ran fearlessly at the Glenavon defence.

Well, fearlessly until it came to having a pop at goal when all their composure went out the window. First Andre Landell headed over from James Spray's cross and then David Davis fired his long range effort wide of goal.

The best attack of the game from the visitors came in injury time when Glenavon were caught on the break and a remarkable cross-field ball from Scott Malone set Mama Dembele free of the home side's defence. The young striker looked sure to score, or at least square the ball for Nathan Rooney to tap home.

Inexplicably, Dembele lost his cool and chipped the ball between the far post and his team-mate where it harmlessly bobbled out for a goal kick.

Glenavon did manage to force a few chances of their own and had Tony Grant been just a couple of inches taller, he would no doubt have nodded the tricky Trevor Molloy's left-wing cross into the net. Brendan Shannon and Stuart King tried their luck from outside the box but both efforts were easily gathered by the Wolves stopper.

So the English side came out narrowly on top of the close affair but there wasn't much to choose between the sides, surely an encouraging fact for Marty Quinn's men considering that this Wolves team easily dispatched Lisburn Distillery 4-1 last week.

Mama Dembele and 18 year-old defender Jamie Reckord were the pick of the bunch for the touring team with Northern Ireland international John Gorman failing to really impact the game. For the home side, Ryan Harpur bossed the midfield whilst Trevor Molloy's experience helped him to get the better of his youthful opponents on the left wing.

Glenavon: Plummer (Wright 83), Shannon, McDonagh, Magee (Haughey 61), Neill (Turkington 70), Costello, Harpur (Johnston 61), Harper (Walsh 61), Molloy (King 70), Miskimmin, Grant

Wolves starting XI: Wright, Denleavy, Reckord, Ebanks-Landell, Batth, Harris, Landell, Rooney, Spray, Dembele, Gorman.

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