Wolves 2 (Abbey 42, Corbeanu 74) Crystal Palace 1 (Gordon 70)
Wolves under-18s survived a scare to take their place in the fifth round of the FA Youth Cup after a tight 2-1 victory over Crystal Palace at Molineux.
After Wolves took a deserved first-half lead through Jed Abbey, John-Kymani Gordon’s equaliser was a blow to a gold and black team which dominated much of the game. However, Theo Corbeanu’s peach of a strike from 20-yards out was enough to set up a clash with Chelsea in the next round.
Wolves made a quick start to proceedings and could have taken the lead inside the opening minute when Chem Campbell latched onto a 50-yard pass over the top by Lewis Richards, but he couldn’t lift his shot over the head of Palace keeper Jacob Russell.
Conor Carty then came inches away from netting the opening goal when he tapped a Corbeanu cross wide of the post from a matter of yards out, before Cundle attempted a looping header, but Russell was quick to react.
Russell was called into action once again midway through the first-half when he got down well to his left to palm away Richards’ stinging shot from 30-yards. Minutes later, Campbell fired high over the crossbar from a tight angle on the left after escaping his markers.
With Wolves dominating possession and littering Russell’s goal with chances, the deadlock was finally broken just minutes before half-time.
Hugo Bueno was found by a beautifully timed through ball by Todd Parker and after racing to the byline, Bueno crossed to the far post where the ball was met by Abbey, who lashed a volley into the back of the net from close range.
Palace were almost the architects of their own downfall 15 minutes into the second-half when Russell played the ball straight to Carty on the edge of his own area. The Wolves forward found fellow frontman Corbeanu, but the Palace keeper made up for his own error by palming away the Canadian’s goalbound effort.
Despite their dominance in the tie, Wolves fell behind with 20 minutes of the contest remaining, when substitute Gordon wriggled free down the left and after turning inside, fired a low effort into the bottom right corner of Joe Young’s goal.
Palace were only on level terms for just four minutes as Wolves regained the lead through Corbeanu. Following good play by the home side after a corner was cleared, the ball was played into the feet of Carty by Cundle, who laid a pass 20 yards out from goal to Corbeanu who fired a glorious first-time left-footed effort past Russell.
Moments later, Campbell’s goalbound strike was batted clear by the visiting keeper, before a Carty shot from inside the area following good work by Corbeanu and Campbell was well saved by Russell, as Wolves kept their pressure on to seal passage into the fifth round of the FA Youth Cup.
The under-18s head on the road at the beginning of next month when they take on Liverpool in the U18 Premier League North on Saturday 1st February.
01/02 Liverpool (A)
15/02 Sunderland (H)
22/02 Middlesbrough (H)
29/02 West Bromwich Albion (A)
14/03 Manchester City (A)
Wolves: Young, Abbey, Estrada, Marques, Richards, Bueno, Parker, Cundle, Corbeanu (Hesketh 88), Campbell, Carty.
Unused subs: Smith, Birtwistle, Kandola, Hodnett, Harkin, Sangare.
Palace: Jacob Russell, Thistleton, Adaramola, Jude Russell, Boateng, Chamberlain, Steele, Addy (Ajayi 86), Aveiro (Mooney 82), Keutcha (Gordon 60), Street.
Unused subs: Whitworth, Wright, Smith, Siddik.