Memory Match: Wolves 5 Dynamo Tbilisi 5

Floodlit Goal Fest Highlighted Epic Week

George Showell retrieves the ball from Wolves net in the opening two minutes.

We all know that Stan Cullis’s Wolves possessed the happy knack of cutting loose in Molineux’s floodlit friendlies.

What isn’t quite as well remembered is how the opposition occasionally used to reply in the same goal-scoring way.

There have been precious few 5-5 draws in Wolves’ history and this one on November 10, 1960 was spectacular by anyone’s standards.

Cullis’s side were trailing within two minutes to a goal by Russian international Meshki and were at one stage 5-2 behind to a side who had been thrashed 5-0 at Sheffield Wednesday three nights earlier.

Ted Farmer equalised and Wolves’ tails were up following victories in their previous three games but their fortunes nosedived sufficiently for it to be 3-1 to the Georgian side at the interval.

Bobby Mason pulled one back but the arrears had stretched to three before Cliff Durandt, having gone on as a half-time substitute for Norman Deeley, inspired the fightback.

There were still only 12 minutes left and, in a rousing finale, Farmer took advantage of a mistake to make it 5-4 before Jimmy Murray levelled with a looping header in the 88th minute.

Phil Morgan’s match report in the Express & Star referred to the 35,000 crowd whipping themselves up into a frenzy and we should remember that neither national pride nor the Iron Manager allowed the players to treat such games as the friendlies they are recorded as.

Although Molineux had laid down the welcome mat for more famous overseas visitors than this, the volume was apparently turned right up in the dying moments.

And the roof may have come off but for Farmer finding his luck out with an angled shot in the last few seconds.

Another indication of the importance attached to these fixtures is that Cullis overlooked any temptation to rest players and instead named the same side as the one he had fielded in the previous three matches.

And all this despite facing League champions Burnley less than 48 hours later in a Turf Moor clash Wolves led 2-0 after nine minutes, only to end up on the end of a 5-3 defeat.

This was a high-scoring week in every sense of the words, with the club kicking it off with a 5-3 win at Molineux against Nottingham Forest, who they had succeeded a few months earlier as FA Cup holders.

Tbilisi’s visit to Wolverhampton wasn’t just about what was seen on the pitch, exciting though that was.

Cliff Durandt is foiled by the Tbilisi keeper during Wolves’ second-half onslaught.

Their players and officials were also guests at a banquet on the Tuesday and at a reception at the Town Hall the following lunchtime.

Wolves line-up: Malcolm FINLAYSON, Eddie STUART, George SHOWELL, Eddie CLAMP, Bill SLATER, Ron FLOWERS, Bobby MASON, Jimmy MURRAY, Ted FARMER, Peter BROADBENT, Norman DEELEY (Cliff DURANDT, half-time).

Thomas Publications
www.footiepix.co.uk