West Bromwich Albion 0
Wolves 1 (Reid 25)
Wolves edged their under 21s meeting with arch rivals West Bromwich Albion when the teams met at the Ricoh Arena with the only goal of a thoroughly entertaining contest coming in the 25th minute from Welsh striker Bradley Reid.
Albion chose to play at the venue to preserve their Hawthorns pitch and Wolves almost made a dream start with Reid hitting the post from close quarters after just 40 seconds following a low cross from Dominic Iorfa.
Wolves were looking sharp in the early stages and there was another chance for Reid after Robbie Parry robbed Donervorn Daniels and played a neat ball into the striker’s path. Reid took the ball into the box but his shot took a deflection and went behind for a corner.
Albion’s first real chance came in the 17th minute when Alex Jones ran into the box to connect with Aaron Birch’s chip. But Jon Flatt had spotted the danger and he was quickly off his line to block.
In the 25th minute Wolves moved into the lead. Jordan Cranston hit a lovely deep cross from the right and Reid ran in to power a header past Jack Rose in the Baggies goal.
Eusebio Bancessi then played the ball down the line to Iorfa who drilled in another dangerous low cross which was hacked clear by a defender.
Cranston delivered an almost identical cross that led to the goal but this time Rose managed to collect as Reid ran in.
A three man Albion build up involving Kemar Roofe, Birch and Alex Jones opened up an opportunity for Mani O’Sullivan whose shot was deflected into the side netting.
Two minutes before the break Bancessi’s pass to Reid split the Albion defence but the striker dragged his shot narrowly wide of the far post.
Half-Time: Albion 0 Wolves 1
Two minutes after the restart, Parry fed a pass to Reid who was preparing to shoot when Roofe ran in and booted the ball behind for a corner.
Rose pulled off a fine save as he parried Bancessi’s low drive and when Reid followed up his angled shot was deflected wide.
A surging run from Birch ended with the Albion man shooting narrowly wide from the edge of the box before Bancessi, who was suffering from a knock to the knee that he’s picked up in training, was replaced by Jim Kellerman.
Play was swinging from end to end and after Alex Jones glanced a header wide following a Roofe cross, Reid saw his shot rebound off a defender after Parry had played a free-kick into the box.
Flatt made a good save as he clung onto a low effort from O’Sullivan and then twice in a four minute spell Daniels was off target with headers from a corner and then a free-kick both of which were taken by Roofe.
In the 83rd minute Sam Whittall set up Parry who arrowed a shot that was destined for the net until Callum Jones threw himself in the way of the ball to block.
A poor clearance from Flatt went straight to Roofe but the keeper quickly atoned for his mistake by catching the winger’s attempted lob.
Kellerman headed into the side netting after connecting with a Whittall cross and, as the game moved into stoppage time, Roofe struck a 25-yard free-kick inches over the bar.
Albion: Rose, Atkinson (Donnellan 90+1), Gayle, Neil, Daniels (capt), C. Jones, Roofe, Birch (Francis 85), A. Jones, O’Sullivan (Ward 75), Nabi.
Unused subs: Palmer, Howkins.
Wolves: Flatt, Iorfa, Cranston, Jakobsson, Tank, Elokobi (capt), Bancessi (Kellerman 53), Kostrna, Reid, Whittall, Parry.
Unused subs: Torras, Keita, Hause, Erdei.
Referee: A. Hendley.