Shaw punishes woeful Wolves

Wolverhampton Wanderers 0 Gillingham 1
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The Independent Football

Not even the Wolves manager, Dave Jones, felt able to defend his players after an FA Cup third-round submission which he described as "one of the worst" displays he had witnessed since taking over at Molineux this time last year.

Jones saw his side booed off the pitch after being deservedly knocked out by their First Division rivals Gillingham on Saturday. A tremendous 52nd-minute goal by Paul Shaw saw the visitors through and the winning margin would have been greater but for three fine saves by the Wolves goalkeeper Michael Oakes.

"That was us at our worst," Jones admitted afterwards. "We have got to work harder and be braver. We know we have the ability. We are just not stringing it together.

"This ranks as one of the worst performances I have seen from us. I can't remember us having a shot in the first half. We were very negative in the first half and played safety football.

"There are a lot of good players here but we never sustained any pressure or played at a high tempo. We are firing on only one cylinder. There are no distractions now and no places to hide. We are in a great position in the league but it is going to take a big effort to get where we want to go."

Jones' side did not manage a single on-target effort in the first half despite having plenty of possession and they improved only marginally in the second period.

The goal that made it a miserable 50th match in charge for Jones came following a 52nd-minute corner on the left by David Perpetuini. Wolves only half cleared and Shaw struck with a tremendous 25-yard shot which flew past the diving Oakes.

The equaliser might have come four minutes later when Alex Rae netted after the former Wolves goalkeeper Vince Bartram had saved superbly from Colin Cameron. But a linesman's flag cut short the former Sunderland midfielder's celebrations.

The Gillingham manager, Andy Hessenthaler, admitted his club badly needed a good Cup run. "If we get a decent draw, it would help us bring in a new player or two because there's no money to spend at the moment," he said. "I am quite jealous when I come to somewhere like Wolves but they will be in the shake-up at the end of the season. We were the underdogs. It was just that they have been a bit nervy at home recently.

"I think we deserved to win," Hessenthaler added. "It was a great team performance. We created some good chances and the keeper made some terrific saves. Defensively, we were magnificent and I am glad to be in the next round."

Goal: Shaw 53 (0-1).

Wolverhampton Wanderers (4-4-2): Oakes; Muscat (Roussel, 67), Butler, Pollet, Camara; Newton, Rae, Cameron, Kennedy; Blake (Miller, 30), Sturridge. Substitutes not used: Robinson, Naylor, Murray.

Gillingham (4-4-2): Bartram; Nosworthy, Hope, Ashby, Browning; Perpetuini, Smith, Osborn, King; Onuora (Ipoua, 78), Shaw (Gooden, 75). Substitutes not used: Patterson, Butters, Saunders.

Referee: M Jones (Chester).

Booking: Wolves: Newton.

Man of the match: Oakes.

Attendances: 15,271.