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READ | A Learning Curve

PUBLISHED

10:16 29th March 2017

Scott Sellars reflects as his Under 23s side progress to the final of the Birmingham Senior Cup with a win on penalties against Sutton Coldfield Town.

Sellars was satisfied with his side’s success but admitted that the second half performance could have been more convincing.

Donovan Wilson opened the scoring in the 20th minute, as he rounded the Sutton ‘keeper and slotted into an empty net.

The tie looked to be sealed on the stroke of half time as Wilson produced a superb finish to score his second of the night.

Sutton fought back in the second half and scored two late goals to take the tie straight to a penalty shootout.

Calm and composed, the young Wolves scored four of their five penalties - a save from Rory Brown and a miss saw Sutton only score three spot-kicks which sent Wolves into the Birmingham Senior Cup final for the first time since 2004.

Sellars said, “In the first half, I thought we were excellent - we went two goals up and we were well in control at that stage,”

“We expected them to come out at us, they weren't going to be happy and they were always going to put us under a bit more pressure.

“We started the second half poorly which gave them some encouragement and from then on, it’s always difficult for a really young team.

“It’s a great learning curve for the boys - I said to them at half time, ‘that’s gone now, you’ve got to do the same again - you can’t expect it to happen, you've got to make it happen.’

“The things we did really well in the first half, such as winning the first ball and controlling the midfield, we didn't do in the second half and rightfully so, Sutton got back into the game.

“To be in the final is fantastic. I don't think the club’s been to a final for a lot of years, from the boys point of view, each stage of the competition has been great for them. 

“The most important thing in a semi-final is to win - from our point of view we want to win comfortably or at least in normal time. We’ll take it - the lads did the job on penalties, they were comfortable and composed so we’re happy.

The Under 23s squad was stretched last night as a number of players were unavailable due to being on international duty, injury or being out on-loan.

Sellars was impressed with how the younger players in the team performed but says that his side struggled to cope with the physicality of Sutton, particularly in the second half.

“They had to try and find a way to get at us and they went a little bit more direct. They went with two bigger, stronger boys up top in the second half - our lads have got to deal with that, if they're going to be a top centre-half, then you can’t expect just to have an easy afternoon and expect to chest it down and pass the ball all of the time.

“How the games are organised, it’s difficult - we’ve got lots of players away on international duty so that makes it really difficult.

“Dion Sanderson at right-back had a fantastic game - he was really aggressive on the front foot. As the youngest one out of the back four, he was the most aggressive and I thought he came out of the game looking really good.

“Brad (Carr) gave us a lot of energy and young Taylor (Perry) came on - he’s only 15!

“We certainly like to challenge the boys and try and make it uncomfortable - we want to help them in their pathway to getting there.

“What I like about getting to a final is that it gives us an extra game - I think the boys have learned massive amounts from this game and they’ll learn more in the final."

The final of the Birmingham Senior Cup will be played against Leamington FC - the venue and date is yet to be confirmed.

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