For only the second time this season, the Wolves Under 21s failed to find the net as they played out a goalless draw with Middlesbrough at The Bucks Head.
After a mundane opening to the game, Kristian Kostrna received a rebuke from the referee after tripping Luke Williams 20-yards out. Williams took the free-kick himself and although his effort went through the defensive wall, Aaron McCarey
was well positioned to save.
Lewis Sirrell screwed a shot wide as Boro made the early running although there was a shortage of goal attempts. The nearest thing in the opening 15 minutes came when Jordan Cranston’ s clearing header from a Williams corner flew uncomfortably close to the far post as it went behind.
Matthew Dolan was booked for an untidy tackle on Zeli Ismail as Boro continued to enjoy the majority of the possession and Ryan Brobbel wasn’t far off with a long range effort.
Ismail beat two men as cut in from the right but his drive was blocked and seconds later Williams tried a cross-shot that McCarey cut out at his near post.
In the 34th minute Johnny Gorman raced into the Boro box but his short, driven centre was booted over his own bar by Christian Burgess.
Ronald Zubar went into the book for pulling back Brobbel and Dolan hit the resultant free-kick into the defensive wall.
In stoppage time Brobbel was inches away with a low shot from the edge of the box before Frank Nouble hit Wolves’ only on target shot of the half – a curling effort from 25-yards that was touched over by Connor Ripley.
Half-Time: Wolves 0 Boro 0
There seemed to be more of a purpose to the home team’s play after the break but even though the game was played at a lively pace, there was still little to trouble either keeper.
McCarey did have to adjust his positioning when a shot from Brobbel took a hefty deflection, then Tim Jakobsson hit a first time effort straight at Ripley after Nouble’s cross had been half cleared.
After 71 minutes, Nouble ran onto substitute Sam Whittall’s through ball but Ripley was quickly off his line to block at close quarters. The striker threatened again two minutes later, with a shot that skidded across the saturated surface to the keeper, after Jack Price pulled the ball back to him.
Robbie Parry, who had replaced Kostrna, was soon involved sending over a cross that was punched away by Ripley. The ball fell to Liam McAlinden who looked on to break the deadlock but, at close range, Ripley made another good save.
In the 89th minute, Boro substitute Jake Fowler somehow missed with the goal at his mercy and, with the last kick of the five added minutes of stoppage time. McAlinden was thwarted by Ripley once again.
Wolves: McCarey, Kostrna (Parry 78),Cranston, Jakobsson, Ihiekwe (capt), Zubar, Ismail, Price, McAlinden, Nouble (Kellerman 85), Gorman (Whittall 61).
Unused subs: Tank.
Booking: Zubar (43 – foul).
Boro: Ripley, Bennett, Weldon, Dolan (capt), Burgess, Oliver, Williams (Warnett 31), Brobbel, Waters (Fowler 68), Kneeshaw (Edwards 45), Sirrell.
Unused subs: Rivers, Bland.
Booking: Dolan (22 – foul)
Referee: G. Stretton.