Wolves U21s played out a hard-fought goalless draw with Scunthorpe United in their opening fixture of the 2018/19 Checkatrade Trophy
The home side then went on to earn a bonus point after winning the subsequent penalty shoot-out 4-2.
Niall Ennis released Benny Ashley-Seal in behind the hosts’ back line inside the opening minute but Ashley-Seal was penalised for a foul as he muscled the ball away from his marker.
The first attempt on goal came from Ryan Giles, the wing-back intercepted a crossfield ball on the edge of his own box before showing great pace to run the length of the pitch and fire over the Scunthorpe crossbar from 18 yards.
Rob Edwards’ side went close again a matter of minutes later as Andrew Harris-Sealy turned quickly on the edge of the box but, again, the effort was just too high and missed over.
Giles continued to find space down the Wolves left flank and, on 15 minutes, whipped a wonderful low ball across the face of the home side’s goal but neither Ashley-Seal nor Harris Sealy could get a decisive touch to turn the ball home.
The game settled after a quick opening and chances became few and far between as both sides looked to control possession of the ball.
Scunthorpe United skipper, Cameron Burgess, was the next with a sight of goal, he met Josh Morris’ corner in the middle of the Wolves box but his headed effort was blocked and the visitors did enough to clear the danger.
The hosts were then presented with another chance from a set-piece as Morris stepped up to take an Iron free-kick 25-yards from the Wolves goal. He curled an effort around the wall but it was comfortable for Will Norris who saved and held the shot.
The last real opportunity of the half fell to Wolves after the away side pressed and won the ball high up the pitch, Ashley-Seal was released into the box and the striker shaped onto his left foot before seeing a fierce shot blocked at close range.
Half time | Scunthorpe United 0-0 Wolves
It was a balanced opening to the second half as the sides looked to establish a foothold in the game again. It took until the 52nd minute for either team to create an opening, with Wolves the first to knock on the door.
Ashley-Seal broke through the hosts’ back line and cut back onto his left before seeing a shot well-saved by Jon Flatt in the Scunthorpe goal, the ball then fell to Ennis on the other side of the box but his follow-up effort was also saved by the former Wolves ‘keeper.
Norris was the next goalkeeper to be tested as Ryan Colclough looked to re-direct a headed Scunthorpe United effort from a corner in front of the Wolves goal, but the stopper was equal to it and held the ball.
Giles was brought down on the edge of the Scunthorpe box as he broke clear from midfield and Wolves were awarded with a free-kick 20 yards out. Pedro Goncalves stepped up to take the set-piece but his curling shot missed narrowly over the crossbar.
The away side continued to take the game to Scunthorpe and came close again in the 73rd minute, Giles flashed a low shot across goal and saw his effort cleared off the line by Iron skipper Burgess.
Ennis was next with a sight of the hosts’ goal, he chased down a long clearance from Cameron John before shaping onto his left and firing just over .
Norris kept the game at 0-0 with a fantastic fingertip save in the final minutes, he got up to push Burgess’ looping headed effort over the bar after the defender was picked out from an Iron corner.
The full time whistle blew and the game went to penalties to decide which of the two teams would earn a bonus point from the cup tie.
Ennis and Max Kilman both converted their spot kicks but Goncalves missed over the crossbar and Sadou Diallo saw his penalty saved meaning Wolves U21s fell to a 4-2 shoot-out defeat.
Full time | Scunthorpe United 0-0 Wolves
Scunthorpe United | Flatt, Clarke (Perch 45’), Borthwick-Jackson, Lund, Horsfield, Humphrys (Wootton 73’), Morris (Hornshaw 75’), Dales, Goode, Burgess (c), Colclough.
Unused Subs | Alnwick, Lewis, Butroid.
Wolves | Norris; Buur, Molberg, Kilman, John, Giles; Diallo, Goncalves, Harris-Sealy (Alves 87’), Ashley-Seal, Ennis (c).
Unused subs | Beasley, Crabtree, Perry, Samuels, O’Sullivan, Thompson.
Referee | Thomas Bramall.
Attendance | 874