Manchester City 2 (Knight 63, Palmer 65 PEN) Wolves 0
Wolves under-18s fell to just their second defeat of the U18 Premier League North season despite a spirited performance against league leaders Manchester City.
Steve Davis’ young side knew they would have a tough test in front of them when they arrived at City’s Academy Stadium as they were forced into playing a makeshift back three which included two under-16s in Oliver Tipton and Kamran Kandola, who was making his debut for the under-18s.
With the first-half firmly in the balance, Wolves would have been pleased with the passage of play after both sides had chances to open the scoring.
However, it was the hosts who took the lead with 63 minutes on the clock when Ben Knight was able to get on the end of James Mcatee’s assist to put his team ahead.
Wolves were hit with more unfortune just two minutes later when they went 2-0 behind after Cole Palmer dispatched a penalty past Joe Young.
Despite a flurry of late changes by Davis in the hope of his players taking something from the game, it wasn’t to be for the young Wolves side. However, the team still sit third in the league table behind City and Liverpool.
Although his side might not have got the result they would have wanted, head coach Steve Davis was pleased with the performance on display by his young Wolves players.
“I was really pleased with us, in and out of possession,” Davis said. “I thought we could’ve been a little bit braver in possession as we were a little bit tentative when we tried to play out. We spoke at half-time about being braver and bolder to really take the game to Man City and I felt we did that in the second-half.
“But it was a difficult day for us, Kam Kandola made his debut for us at the back, coming in from the under-16s because Jack Scott has been off with concussion, so he has been away from the club going through the concussion protocol.
“Alongside ‘Tippo’, we had two 16s in the back three, and it was a big test for them, but they came through it really well and we were really pleased with them. We limited the amount of times we played out to help protect those two, but also because we knew the quality of opposition we were up against.
“I felt they handled it well. Out of possession we would press, we were very positive and had a go. We went there to put them under pressure, and I felt we did that, rather than sit back we took the game to them and it made for a really good game.
“It was a really high quality, technical and tactical game, it was just that little bit of extra quality in the final third came through for them in the end.
“Obviously, the result is disappointing, but the performance was really good and there was a lot of positives for us to take forward.”
Wolves are back at Compton Park following the international break when they take on fourth-place Everton who sit just one point behind Davis’ side. The match kicks off at 12pm on Saturday 19th October at the Sir Jack Hayward Training Ground sponsored by Fosun International.
19/10 Everton (H)
30/10 Chelsea (A)
02/11 Man United (A)
09/11 Derby County (A)
23/11 Blackburn Rovers (A)
Man City: Slicker, Odurah, Mbete (Robertson 46), Tarensi, Burns, Egan-Riley, Knight, Palmer, Edozie, Bobb (Wright-Phillips 68), Mcatee (McNeill 75).
Unused subs: Trafford, Sobowale.
Wolves: Young, Abbey, Estrada, Kandola, Tipton, Bueno, Cundle, Parker (Harkin 84), Campbell, Hodnett (Carty 71), Corbeanu (Bugarin 78).
Unused subs: Mabete, Sangare.