It wasn’t the 200th Wolves league appearance which skipper for the day Stephen Ward would have been hoping for at Vicarage Road – as for the second successive Saturday refereeing controversy through up a major talking point.
Against Brighton seven days previously it was Ward on the end of a hugely contentious handball decision a minute from full time, after which Wolves were still able to claim a point thanks to Roger Johnson.
But at Watford it was too steep a mountain to climb after Christophe Berra bizarrely saw red after a tussle with Troy Deeney, at the end of which the Hornets striker got in a decent shot which Carl Ikeme saved.
Watford led shortly afterwards before Bakary Sako equalised after half time, but Deeney’s winner saw the points stay at Vicarage Road to stretch Wolves’ run without a victory to seven games.
“Yet again things haven’t gone our way and we are fighting uphill battles every time we step onto the pitch,” said Ward.
“It was disappointing that when we did get back into it we didn’t hold on.
“There was a bit of luck with our goal which we probably needed the way we were battling with ten men.
“We conceded after a set piece which is particularly disappointing because we work very hard on those.
“It would have been a great point had we nicked it having gone down to ten men so early.
“But again we go away with nothing.
“The fans were great again and it’s unfortunate that we seem to finding things hard.
“But with one man less it is always hard whoever you are playing against because you have to do that extra bit of work and they can use the extra man.
“In fairness to their manager he pushed them forward which pinned us back when they had that extra man.
“They went three up top in the second half which forced our hand a little bit.
“We tried everything and the boss changed it which got us back into the game but then we conceded again.
“We thought last week might be a turning point given the way we stuck in there with ten men and came back from their dubious penalty with a minute to go.
“But unfortunately today we found ourselves a man light again.”
And Ward’s view on the Berra controversy?
“It wasn’t a sending off,” he said.
“The ref said he played advantage to give him the chance to try and score so I don’t see how that works and you can have it two ways.
“You either play the advantage and if gets his chance or you blow up.
“To let him advance and get his shot in as he did – and then send Christophe off – is hard to take.
“It’s tough for referees and he’ll say is it the letter of the law but we are disappointed with the decision.
“It’s a tough one for him to make but it’s one which changed the game.
“I wouldn’t hold it against him – it’s just one of those things.”
On an individual level Ward is now heading into a third century of Wolves appearances, hoping for a few more better afternoons still to come.
“My 200th appearance is immaterial to be honest – the game was the most important thing,” he said.
“But it is great for me to get that milestone.
“I’ve been here a long time now but didn’t realise it was coming until I was told.
“Hopefully I can build on that now – I don’t want to rest on that number, I want to keep playing.”