Wolves 3 (Whittall 27, McAlinden 38, 67)
Chelsea 2 (Feruz 29, 52)
An excellent game of football ended with the Wolves under 21s coming out on top against a determined Chelsea side who twice pulled level before succumbing to a superb diving header from Liam McAlinden.
As a bonus, as well as the win, Wayne Hennessey played for 45 trouble free minutes as he made his comeback from long tern injury.
There was an early chance for the visitors when Billy Clifford met Todd Kane’s cross but he headed straight at Hennessey. Then Islam Feruz hit a powerful drive that flew just inches over the Welsh keeper’s bar.
Wolves’ first threat came from Johnny Gorman who collected a centre from Jack Price and, from an angle, drilled a shot over the far upright.
The duo combined again in the 11th minute and, from virtually the same position, Gorman hit a low shot a yard wide of the far post.
McAlinden failed to make proper contact with a header after a well struck cross from Zeli Ismail but it was Chelsea that were a couple of inches away from going ahead in the 22nd minute when Feruz made contact with Patrick Bamford’s cross to prod the ball against the underside of the bar with Hennessey appearing to get a touch.
Hennessey then held a low 20 yard drive from Billy Clifford and, for Wolves, Ismail’s shot was deflected into the side netting after a centre from Price. From the resultant corner, Wolves moved into a 27th minute lead. Ismail’s flag-kick wasn’t cleared and when the ball fell to Sam Whittall, he rammed it home from eight yards.
It took Chelsea less than two minutes to draw level with Feruz converting from close range after a low cross from Adam Nditi.
But Nditi turned from hero to villain in the 38th minute as his underhit backpass was intercepted by McAlinden who flicked the ball past Chelsea keeper Mitchell Beeney and into the empty net.
Half-Time: Wolves 2 Chelsea 1
As had been pre-planned, Aaron McCarey
took over from Hennessey at the start of the second half.
The opening stages saw Chelsea piling on the pressure and they drew level once more as Feruz hit his second goal of the night – an angled drive that went in off the post after he had taken a pass from Billy Clifford.
The other Clifford in the Chelsea team, Conor, hit a low shot narrowly wide before Billy (no relation) had an effort deflected into the path of Lewis Baker who fired over with the goal at his mercy.
Wolves began to regain their momentum and they went ahead for the third time in the 67th minute as McAlinden, with a diving header, scored the goal of the night after a fine cross from Jordan Cranston.
The action was non-stop as the game approached its conclusion and McCarey pulled off excellent saves from Feruz and Conor Clifford in the closing minutes whilst Ismail tormented the Chelsea defence whenever he got close to their area.
The win took Wolves to within three points of group leaders Liverpool and seven points clear of third placed Manchester City.
Wolves: Hennessey, Ihiekwe (capt), Cranston, Whittall, Ebanks Landell, Tank, Kostrna, Price (Dell 89), McAlinden, Ismail, Gorman (Jakobsson 71).
Unused subs: Iorfa, Parry.
Chelsea: Beeney, Kane (capt), Christensen, Ake, Nditi (Deen-Conteh 85), Saville, Baker, C. Clifford (Ince 89), Feruz, B. Clifford, Bamford (Masonda 76).
Unused subs: Killip, Davey.
Referee: S. Barrow.