Wolves 0 Newcastle United 1 (White 11’)
By George Coombes
Wolves Under 18s fell to a 1-0 defeat at Compton Park against Newcastle United, in what was a frustrating afternoon for Darren Ryan’s side in the Premier League Under-18 North.
Joe White’s first-half penalty was enough to condemn Wolves to an unlucky defeat. Ryan’s side enjoyed attacking pressure throughout and saw Owen Otasowie miss a second-half penalty.
It was Wolves who started the brighter in the opening stages. Aaron Crabtree directed a header from a corner marginally wide, before Theo Corbenau’s first-time effort was well saved by goalkeeper Daniel Langley.
However, it was the visitors who grabbed the opener against the run of play after eleven minutes: White converted from the penalty spot after Taylor Townsend was adjudged to have handballed in Wolves’ penalty area.
Wolves had a huge opportunity to draw level moments before the break: Kevin Berkoe burst forward into the Newcastle penalty area and found Corbenau with a cut-back, but he fired over from close-range.
Further frustration was piled on the hosts as the second period got underway: Owen Otasowie won a penalty for Wolves after he was fouled by Langley in the Newcastle goal, but the ‘keeper saved his spot-kick.
Two minutes later, Otasowie’s was given a red card for a late challenge to give the home side a mountain to climb going into the final stages.
The ten men of Wolves battled strong as the half progressed despite their numerical disadvantage, and were inches away from an equaliser late on when Terry Taylor cannoned a volley off the crossbar in the final moments.
MOMENT OF THE MATCH:
Terry Taylor’s stunning late volleyed effort, which smashed the crossbar, was Wolves’ highlight. The fabulous strike almost culminated in what would have been a much-deserved equaliser, but the striker’s misfortune reaffirmed it wasn’t his side’s day.
Manager Darren Ryan was positive about his side post-match despite the defeat.
He said: “I was really pleased with the performance. Yes, the result was frustrating but when you look at your objectives as an under 18’s team and as the Academy I think we achieved everything.
“The only missing thing was not scoring, but this happens in football. I’ve just spoken to them and told them this won’t be the first, nor last, a performance so good doesn’t result in a win.
“We’ve put a lot of crosses in and not been on the end of it. This is where we need to improve: we have to be more clinical in the final third.”
Next up for Wolves is a midweek friendly against Bolton Wanderers before their next league game, against Stoke City on home soil looking to avenge a defeat away in Staffordshire in the return fixture back in September of last year.
02/03 – Stoke (H)
16/03 – Middlesbrough (A)
23/03 – Everton (H)
30/03 – Manchester United (H)
6/04 – Liverpool (A)
Wolves (3-4-3) Pardington, Crabtree, Otasowie, Richards; Berkoe (O’Sullivan 74’), Parker (Estrada 61’), Taylor, Thompson; Corbenau (Abbey 67’), Townsend, Cundle
Unused: Smith, Joseph.
Newcastle United (4-4-2): Langley, Rounsfell, Gamblin, Joyce, Swales, Allan, De Bolle (Brannen 18’), Anderson, Stephenson, White, Scott
Unused: Carlyon, Brown, Gilchrist.