Wolves’ Development Coach Steve Weaver praised the club’s young guns for an impressive performance in winning at Everton to progress to the quarter finals of the Barclays Under-21 Premier League Cup.
In Friday night’s game played in windy conditions at Southport, Wolves twice came from behind against a highly-rated Everton side before running out 3-2 winners to book a place in the last eight.
Chris Long opened the scoring early on for the hosts before Eusebio Bancessi, pictured, equalised for Wolves, heading home from six yards after a fine run and cross from Dominic Iorfa.
Long added his second 11 minutes before the break but Wolves again restored parity, shortly after half time, as Zeli Ismail slid in following some good work from Robbie Parry.
And then, midway through the second half, Kristian Kostrna seized on some good work from Bradley Reid to fire home Wolves’ third goal from 25 yards.
There was time for keeper Jon Flatt to deny Long an equaliser and a hat trick, but in truth Wolves created just as many openings as Everton in the frenetic closing stages and ultimately held on to bok a place in the last eight.
“It was a game played in windy conditions which made it difficult for both sides,” said Weaver.
“Everton are a good side with good players who carried a danger and it is a group of players which they like.
“And it was a good game with both teams attacking each other.
“Having gone behind early on it was a case of the lads working their way into the game a little bit but after going behind again I was just keen for us to get to half time at only 2-1 down.
“I knew we were capable of scoring twice in the second half and told the lads at the break that was a cup tie and they could go out and have a real ‘go’ in the second half.
“That’s what they did, and Zeli got the equaliser before Kristian did really well to get the ball out of his feet and score with a really good strike.
“For the final 20 minutes they were attacking us and we were also counter-attacking them – it seemed like every time we cleared a corner we ended up with a chance from it at the other end.
“Both teams had some chances and the tackles were flying in but the lads stuck it out and showed real character.
“We were up against a good side and were behind twice but carried a good threat and the lads really got the bit between their teeth to win their tackles in the second half.
“It was a good win for us and now we’re into the quarter finals having come through two very different tests against Notts County and Everton.
“A cup run is great for the lads particularly as with the best will in the world it is always going to be difficult for us to win the Under-21 league with all the superpowers in there!”
*Click here to view some more detailed thoughts from Steve Weaver about this season’s Under-21 squad.
TEAM: Flatt, Iorfa, Ihiekwe, Tank, Cranston, Bancessi, Kostrna, Jakobsson (Kellerman 90), Parry, Ismail, Keita (Reid 58). SUBS: Dutton, Carter, Erdei.