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Tommy Doyle’s strike for the ages earns 10-man Wolves replay against Brentford

Tommy Doyle of Wolverhampton Wanderers celebrates after scoring his team's equaliser in the FA Cup Third Round match at Brentford
Tommy Doyle celebrates his superb equaliser - Getty Images/Jack Thomas

Tommy Doyle’s strike for the ages typified 10-man Wolves’ defiance at the Brentford Community Stadium and sent them off for a week’s training in Abu Dhabi with a replay in mind.

Gary O’Neil’s side were reduced to 10 men after just nine minutes when Joao Gomes was dismissed in what appeared to be their latest injustice this season. Gomes snaked out a leg to try and hook the ball away from Christian Norgaard in a tackle. His right foot caught the Brentford midfielder just above the ankle, an injury which forced Norgaard to be replaced, but barely warranted the red card brandished by referee Tony Harrington.

O’Neil said: “It was a tough evening that has turned into a positive one and I’m really pleased with the performance. It would be very easy for the players to have let this one go, but there was none of that.

“I know Joao very well. He didn’t mean it to land like that on Norgaard’s leg and I hope Norgaard is OK.”

If Wolves were shocked, they have become almost numbed into emotional immunity this season. Their 4-1 victory over Brentford at the same venue nine days earlier also hardened their belief.

They were gifted an early chance when Brentford goalkeeper Thomas Strakosha cleared straight to the feet of Matheus Cunha, who then dallied just long enough to see Strakosha make amends.

Wolves defender Toti almost sliced a Mads Roerslev cross into his own net, before Brentford took a 41st-minute lead. A Mathias Jensen free-kick caused confusion between two his team-mates, Mathias Jorgensen and Nathan Collins, but the ball fell fortuitously to Neal Maupay who squeezed home his shot.

That goal ought to have sent Brentford, who have never been beyond the quarter-finals, cantering towards the fourth round. Instead, the ebbing belief in west London that has accompanied Thomas Frank’s side on their slide down the Premier League table was seized upon by a confident Wolves team in spite of their numerical inferiority.

Their equaliser was technicolour confirmation with Doyle taking aim following a free-kick and arrowing his strike into the far corner.

He might have repeated the feat minutes later, but this time his shot struck Jensen flush in the face and poleaxed the midfielder.

A disappointed Frank said: “Yes, it feels like a missed opportunity. We can only blame ourselves today for a lack of quality all over the pitch.”

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