Stoke City Under 18s 3 (Porter 52’, Mills 88’, Jennings 90+2’) Wolves Under 18s 1 (Thompson 31’)
Wolves Under 18s lose late on in the U18 Premier League, falling to a 3-1 defeat against Stoke City on Saturday morning.
Wolves opened the scoring through Callum Thompson’s well-taken finish.
The home side responded early in the second-half, who levelled the score through an Adam Porter penalty after Dion Sanderson had brought down Joel Mvovi.
Stoke, then, scored two goals late on through Jordan Mills and James Jennings to seal the win.
It was a desperately unlucky result for Darren Ryan’s men, as his side had controlled the game for large periods.
Ryan made three changes to the side that beat Newcastle last time out, as Aaron Crabtree, Dion Sanderson and Todd Parker replaced Ray O’Sullivan, Kaden May and Kieran Feeney.
It was a fairly-matched first ten minutes, as both teams eased their way into the game. The first opening of the match fell to Callum Thompson, who almost found himself through on goal, but Stoke goalkeeper Josef Bursik rushed out his goal to clear the danger. Stoke then had a chance to open the scoring after James Jennings was put through one-on-one with Andreas Sondergard, but the Wolves goalkeeper did excellently to tip the shot over the bar.
Wolves then started to control the game, passing the ball well and playing through the Stoke press. The breakthrough came after a long pass from the Wolves backline, which fell nicely into the path of Thompson on the right-hand side. He took the ball in his stride and used his pace to go clear of his marker, before confidently slotting the ball into the bottom left corner.
Thompson could have had a second just minutes later, after finding himself in a very similar goalscoring position, but he was hauled down by Stoke defender Scott Wara on the edge of the penalty area, who then found himself booked.
HT - Stoke City 0-1 Wolves
Wolves nearly doubled their lead just moments into the second period, after Thompson found himself in a good position on the right-hand side of the box, after being played in by Perry, but his shot went just wide.
Stoke started to push forward and found their equaliser seven minutes into the second-half, when Dion Sanderson brought down Stoke winger Joel Mvovi after a mazy run. Adam Porter stepped up and placed it behind Sondergard to level the score.
Darren Ryan’s side responded well, creating two good chances in quick succession. First, Taylor Perry drove at the heart of the Stoke defence before setting up Thompson on the right, who produced a cross-come-shot that was saved by Bursik. Then it was Thompson again who drove at the home team's defence, he beat a few defenders before squaring to Townsend, who controlled the ball and scooped his shot just over.
Wolves seemed to lose a bit of momentum in the final twenty minutes, with Stoke now the side in the ascendancy. The home side nearly took the lead ten minutes from time after Ethan Stanton got to the byline and sent a pass across the face of the Wolves goal, but no Stoke attackers were able to take advantage.
Just two minutes from time Stoke took the lead, with full-back Jordan Mills cutting inside and curling the ball into the far corner. The home side doubled their lead in the final moments, as James Jennings found the net after a cut-back from Pat Jarrett.
FT - Stoke City 3-1 Wolves
Darren Ryan was left disappointed with his team’s second-half performance, and believes his young players need to develop a winning mentality.
Speaking after the game, he said “I thought first-half we were excellent and deserved our lead.
“But then second-half they changed it a little bit and they matched us up a bit.
“To concede to a penalty like that knocked the lads a little bit and we didn’t get back into our stride.
“I thought they out-worked us and out-fought us in the second-half and that’s why they got the result.
“I’m just disappointed with our second-half performance.
“We’ve got to start having a winning mentality and winning games when we’re dominating.
“It’s been the story of our season, we’ve dominated a lot of games and come away with draws or losses.
“At some stage in their career they will play in the first-team, and it’s about winning football matches.
“They're developing the technical and tactical side, but now they have to get into that winning mentality."
Despite the result, Ryan was pleased with how well his young team controlled the game in the first-half and paid credit to how they’ve developed over the season.
“That’s been us since the young players have come in.
“We’ve worked on it and it’s how we want to play.
“To be fair, I give them massive credit because even with Stoke pressing us, they never changed and they never went to go long.
“Some of the football at times was really good, there are positives to take from the game.
“We want to play the Wolves philosophy.
“For how good they were first-half, they weren’t as good in the second-half and they will learn from that.
“The majority of the season they’ve developed as people, as individuals and as a team.
“The young players that have come up, they’ve added to the group and been really good."
Wolves: Sondergard, Lattie, Richards (Boreso 76’), Crabtree, Sanderson, Taylor, Cundle (Hodnett 86’), Parker, Townsend (Forrester 80’), Perry, Thompson.
Unused subs: O’Sullivan, Abbey.