In the last minute of play, Jones won another attacking free kick as he put his body on the line on the edge of the Wolves penalty area, as Fabio Silva’s boot connected with his head. Agonisingly, Bruno Fernandes’s subsequent shot was saved by Jose Sa.
Despite the defeat, completing the 90 minutes was perhaps a landmark moment in the career of Jones, having overcome so many setbacks to at last return to the Reds’ starting XI.
Speaking on MUTV after the match, former centre-back David May declared his admiration for Phil’s display. “Considering the amount of time he’s been out with injuries, I thought he was absolutely brilliant. He did ever so well. If there’s any positives out of tonight, that’s certainly a positive. I thought he was fantastic.”
May’s fellow pundit, ex-United Women goalkeeper Siobhan Chamberlain added: “Looking at the pressure he would have been under mentally, for him to go out there and put in a good performance like the one he did… even at the very last minute, to be up there and winning the free-kick that could have got his team a point, it’s full credit to him as an individual. For how he’s conducted himself over this period and how he’s managed to produce this performance on the pitch.”