By Ryan Plant
Wolves Under-18s manager Darren Ryan said that a poor start cost his side dearly in Saturday’s 1-0 loss to Stoke City at Compton Park.
The Potters took the lead inside the first ten minutes thanks to attacking midfielder Venancio de Silva.
His tap-in was one of only a handful of shots on target that the visitors registered; it was their best sight of goal until Jordan Greenidge forced a good save from Harry Beasley deep into injury-time as Wolves pressed for an equaliser.
Ryan said: “After a lethargic start, for 75 minutes I thought we absolutely dominated the game.”
Wolves’ last league outing was a dramatic 5-5 draw against Derby County at the Rams’ Moor Farm Football Academy. The hosts were 2-0 ahead within ten minutes, leaving Ryan keen to stress the importance of preparation.
He said: “We did not look right in the warm-up for this game against Stoke, if I am being brutally honest. We have spoken about that because I think it carried over into the early parts of the game.
“The biggest disappointment, for me, is that we are conceding early goals.”
Opportunities to score came and went for Austin Samuels, Dan McKenna and Joel Whittingham as Wolves searched for a goal. Brad Carr was very unlucky to see his spectacular, curling effort from the edge of the area bounce away off the crossbar in the second half.
Ryan said: “I think on Stoke’s part you could call it a smash and grab kind of game. We controlled most of the match and created numerous chances.
“They were not just half chances, either. There were some very good chances.”
Wolves have failed to win any of their last six matches, leaving them ninth in the Premier League U18 North table - their last victory came against Stoke in the Premier League Cup in September.
However, with a favourable goal-difference compared to teams close by, and games in hand over much of the league, there is an opportunity to climb the rankings starting with a trip away to Everton on the 9th December.
First, Manchester United visit Compton Park on Saturday for a Premier League Cup tie.