Wolves 2 (Gorman 2, McAlinden 85)
Manchester City 1 (Scapuzzi 62)
Wolves will play in the top section of the Barclays Under 21s League when the second half of the campaign begins in the new year.
Needing a win from their final group match against Manchester City, it looked as if the chance was going to be snatched from underneath their noses when City were awarded a controversial stoppage time penalty. But Aljaz Cotman made a superb stop to earn him and his team-mates a place in the under 21s top flight.
It took Wolves just two minutes to move ahead as Johnny Gorman took advantage of a defensive slip before rounding the keeper and slotting home.
And it needed a good save from City keeper Richard Wright to prevent a second goal as he turned Sam Whittall’s header behind at the far post after Tim Jakobsson had lifted over a free-kick from the right.
In the 17th minute, Whittall went close once again with a shot from the 18-yard line that wasn’t far off the mark.
On 31 minutes a foul by Jakobsson on Alex Henshall in the Wolves ‘D’ presented City with a chance but when the free-kick was tapped to Marcos Lopes he hit a low shot straight to Cotman.
The home keeper then dived full length to turn aside an angled drive from Henshall but he wasn’t troubled when Luca Scapuzzi cut into the area and fired high over the bar.
In stoppage time Kristian Kostrna was fouled near the right hand corner of the City box. Jack Price’s free-kick wasn’t cleared and when the ball fell to Gorman he smashed a low shot against the outside of the post.
Half-Time: Wolves 1 City 0
There was a chance for Liam McAlinden in the early stages of the new half but he was hassled off the ball by two defenders as he chased Jakobsson’s through pass.
City threatened through Lopes who saw his header saved by Cotman, and then Lopes cut in from the left before firing wastefully high and wide.
But the visitors drew level in the 62nd minute through Scapuzzi who turned as he collected a short through pass and shot into the corner of the net from eight-yards out.
Within the space of a minute, there was a clear cut opportunity for both sides. Scapuzzi missed an absolute sitter as he somehow put the ball wide from in front of goal after full back Adam Drury had delivered a low cross.
Then Price took a pass from Jakobsson and raced into the City box before hitting a low shot inches wide of the far post.
Then the City goal somehow escaped after a terrific scramble in the six yard box, before substitute Dominic Dell connected with Robbie Parry’s centre, his shot lacking the power to beat Wright.
Five minutes from time McAlinden fired Wolves back into the lead after a great through ball from Price had opened up the City defence. McAlinden, the League’s leading scorer, kept his cool before netting his seventh of the season.
In the second minute of stoppage time, Kostrna’s challenge on City substitute Albert Rusnak resulted in the referee pointing to the spot. It seemed a perfectly fair tackle but justice was done when Cotman dived to his left to push the ball out.
In the dying seconds McAlinden burst through the middle but this time his low shot went narrowly wide before the final whistle saw Cotman mobbed by his jubilant team-mates.
Wolves: Cotman, Kostrna, Cranston, Whittall, Ihiekwe, Zubar, Parry, Jokobsson (Dell 72), McAlinden, Price, Gorman.
Unused subs: Tank, Flatt, Iorfa, Kellerman.
City: Wright, Drury, Leigh, Glendon, Plummer, Rekik, Henshall, Ntcham, Scapuzzi, Lopes, Mancini (Rusnak 68).
Unused subs: Byrne, Lawlor, Angel, Cole.
Booking: Rekik (40 – simulation).
Referee: S. Plane.