Aston Villa 2 (Donacien 13, Stieber 48)
A lack of composure in front of goal proved costly to the Wolves under 21s as they fell to a 2-0 defeat against Aston Villa at the Bucks Head. With a little more coolness in the Villa area could have earned at least a point for Steve Weaver’s men.
Kristian Kostrna was inches away from giving Wanderers a first minute lead with a 20-yard drive that flew past the post. Seconds later Villa keeper Brad Watkins dived to hold on to an angled effort from Zeli Ismail.
Calum Robinson shot over the bar from outside the area with Villa’s first attempt on goal, and then Wayne Hennessey needed to have his wits about him as he took a tremendous 30-yard volley from Lewis Kinsella.
Michael Drennan just failed to get his foot to a low cross from Robinson before the visitors moved into a 13th minute lead. Andras Stieber played a short corner to Robinson and his cross was guided into the corner of the net by the head of central defender Janoi Donacien.
From the first whistle the game had been played at a lively pace but after Villa’s goal there was a dearth of clear cut opportunities for either side.
There was a nasty but accidental collision between George Elokobi and Graham Burke that left both players in need of treatment. Thankfully, both were able to continue.
Some clever footwork by Ismail saw him taking the ball between two defenders before hitting a shot that was blocked by Brad Lewis.
Jake Cassidy jinked his way to the bye-line but the striker’s pull back went to a defender before, a minute later, he raced into the box and thumped a shot narrowly over the near angle.
There was a cg
Chance for Wolves just before the break when a great ball from Eusebio Bancessi released Jordan Cranston on the overlap. His low cross was cut out at the near post by Lewis with Cassidy waiting behind him needing just a touch had the ball come through.
Half-Time: Wolves 0 Villa 1
An early curled shot from Robinson after the restart was easily dealt with by Hennessey, and a Cranston cross was cleared before Cassidy could work a shooting position for himself.
Villa went further ahead in the 48th minute as Stieber ran unchecked from just inside his own half into the Wolves box before burying a low shot past Hennessey.
As Wolves fought to get back into the game, Ismail won possession and held off two challenges on a run to the edge of the box but he was dispossessed by Gary Gardner as he was about to shoot.
Then Eusebio nodded a Kostrna centre back into the six-yard box where Elokobi’s got in a header that was going wide. Cassidy stretched to divert the ball but it went over the bar.
Ismail planted a shot wide of the far post and Hennessey was called into action as he made a fine save from Robinson’s angled shot.
From a Kostrna corner, Eusebio headed against the bar and when the Villa defence filed to clear the ball it was Elokobi that hit a tremendous cross-shot that flew across the face of goal.
There was a brief skirmish involving several players after Villa skipper Daniel Johnson had tried to hold up a Kostrna free-kick. Order was soon restored and both players were rebuked by the referee who didn’t produce any cards.
Hennessey made another good stop, this time from Stieber who had got on the end of Drennan’s low cross.
In the final minutes there were a plethora of chances for Wolves but none were taken. Eusebio headed over after a Cassidy cross, Ismail saw his shot superbly saved by Watkins, Elokobi was too high after a Kostrna corner and, in stoppage time, it was Eusebio again that lifted the ball high over the bar.
Wolves: Hennessey, Foley, Cranston, Davis, Elokobi, Ihiekwe (capt), Bancessi, Whittall (Jakobsson 80), Cassidy (Reid 62), Ismail, Kostrna.
Unused subs: Tank, Flatt, Iorfa.
Villa: Watkins, Webb, Kinsella, Lewis, Donacien, Gardner (Bateman 62), Stieber, Burke, Drennan, Johnson (capt), Robinson.
Unused subs: Grant, O’Brien, T. Strain, R. Strain.
Referee: J. Brooks.