Wolves 1 (Carty 7) Derby County 1 (Ebosele 78 pen)
Wolves under-18s were held to a 1-1 draw by Derby County after conceding a late penalty at the Sir Jack Hayward Training Ground.
Wolves’ bright start reaped its rewards when Conor Carty rounded off a clinical counter-attack, just seven minutes in, but Festy Ebosele was on hand for Derby to ensure that the spoils were shared, converting a second-half spot kick.
After various ventures into the Derby third early on, visiting midfielder Liam Thompson lost possession which allowed Wolves to break, with Carty calmly slotting the ball home from the edge of the 18-yard box.
Then, Wolves had a fine chance to double their lead after 20 minutes when Jed Abbey fed a menacing cross towards the path of Theo Corbeanu, but the forward’s effort flew just wide of the target.
The high-tempo nature of the game did not dwindle in the second-half, with Derby player Eiran Cashin receiving a straight red card in the 57th minute for a late challenge on Corbeanu.
Luke Cundle came close to increasing the home side’s lead with a dangerous free-kick on the hour mark, which produced a good save from Derby goalkeeper Harry Halwax. Corbeanu continued to hassle the away side’s back line shortly after, with a driven strike cleared on the edge of the six-yard box.
Despite a flurry of chances, the visitors were granted an avenue back into the game 77 minutes in when striker Ebosele attempted to round Joe Young in the Wolves box, resulting in referee Mark Pearson pointing to the spot. Ebosele converted the subsequent penalty, equalising in the process.
Wolves came close to regaining the lead in the dying moments of the game with Ty Barnett producing a fierce volley, but the shot was unfortunately blocked by teammate Tyler Roberts.
Elite development coach Darren Ryan was on hand to give his verdict on the match, hailing the squad’s mentality despite being held to a draw.
He said: “When you reflect on the game, we had enough opportunities to win the match, but at 1-0 the opposition have always got a chance, which they got through a penalty.
“It’s disappointing because we dominated, but pleasing at the same time, because we were dominated by the same side (Derby) earlier on in the season. It just goes to show the desire and attitude of the lads, we’re really pleased with their performance today.
“How we responded when we conceded was excellent, we had a lot of chances and on another day, they go in.”
Wolves return to the Sir Jack Hayward Training Ground next weekend for a huge clash against Manchester City on Saturday 14th March, before heading down to Merseyside the following week to face Everton on 21st March.
Ahead of next week’s clash against City under-18s, Ryan stated that it will be a tough but welcome challenge after a positive performance against Derby: “We always look forward to the Man City games, and next week will be a good experience for the young lads against a strong side. It will no doubt improve their development.”
14/03 Manchester City (H)
21/03 Everton (A)
24/03 Sunderland (H)
08/04 Liverpool (A)
18/04 Newcastle United (H)
Wolves: Young, Scott, (Barnett 80), Lonwijk, Tipton, Hubner, Abbey, Corbeanu (Roberts 85), Cundle (Kandola 71), Hesketh, Hodnett, Carty
Unused subs: O’Shaughnessy, Harkin.
Derby County: Halwax, Charles, Solomon, Cashin, Bardell, L. Thompson, (S. Thompson 45), Grewal-Pollard (Aghatise 45), Matthews, Rogers (Jinkinson 70), Cybulski, Ebosele.
Unused subs: Foster-Theniger.
By Jack Shannon