Wolves (Tipton 29, Hodnett 44, Harkin 77) 3 Derby County 0
Wolves under-18s cruised to victory against Derby County thanks to goals from Oliver Tipton, Jack Hodnett and Lee Harkin.
Steve Davis’ side got the ball rolling when they were awarded a penalty in the 28th minute, after Tyler Roberts was brought down in the box, following a spill by the Rams’ goalkeeper. Captain Tipton stepped up and scored from the spot to make it 1-0 to the home side.
Shortly after, Roberts had the chance to double the Wolves lead when he cut onto his left foot and let rip from distance, however, unfortunately for the striker, his effort was saved.
It was Roberts again on the brink of half-time searching for a second goal, this time his effort was hit straight at Alfie Roberts, who parried it away.
Davis’ side finally gained the two-goal advantage they deserved in the 44th minute when Harry Birtwistle’s lobbed pass found Hodnett, who struck from outside the box and into the back of the net.
In the second-half, there were few goal scoring opportunities from either side, however, Joe O’Shaugnessy produced a fantastic save on the hour-mark to keep his side two goals to the good.
With just a quarter of an hour to play, Birtwistle started causing major issues down the right-hand side, as space was starting to appear, and it was his solo run which resulted in a third for the home side, as Harkin’s first-time shot beat the keeper.
The impressive performance from Wolves meant they handed Derby their first loss of the season, and Wolves’ third so far.
Manager Steve Davis was in high spirits after watching his side overcome Derby, saying: “I’m pleased. Pleased for the lads, I thought we were in control for the majority of the game. I thought they (Derby) had the better of the first 20 minutes or so.
“We had to change a bit, we went to a 3-4-3 and the extra midfield player elped us deal with their wide threat, then after that we gained control and created chances.
“The second-half was just about managing the game which I thought we did very well at, apart from a ten-minute spell. Apart from that, I thought we were well worth the three points.”
Davis’ side went into the half-time break two goals up, which allowed him to instruct his side to manage the game.
Of the team talk, he said: “[We told them to] just keep their heads and keep playing. We wanted to take our form at the end of the first-half into the second. We managed the 2-0 very well and the game plan was just about taking a chance to kill the game.
“I thought the defence were good. They (Derby) could have had a couple, mainly due to our own mistakes. It’s our first clean sheet of the season, credit to the back five and the keeper for that.”
Looking ahead, Davis’ attention now turns to a clash with Leeds on 24th October. He said: “We’ll just keep working with the players, working on things to make us better. I thought the shape was good today, we looked hard to beat. We’ll keep working and trying to improve the players individually and collectively. That’s what we did this week and it’s what we do next week.”
(24/10) Leeds United (A)
(7/11) Liverpool (H)
(21/11) Sunderland (A)
(28/11) Middlesbrough (H)
(12/12) Manchester United (H)
Wolves: O’Shaugnessy, Birtwistle, Mabete, Tipton, Hubner, Lembikisa, Hesketh, Ojinnaka (Scicluna 49), Roberts, Hodnett, Harkin (Forrester 82).
Unused subs: Kandola, Brown, Farmer.
Derby: Roberts, Bardell, Grewal-Pollard, Williams, Christie, Jinkinson, Borkovic (Kelly 22), Aghatise, Rogers, Gordon, Thompson.
Unused subs: Brailsford, Randle, Aideyan, Sebagabo.
By Brad Cox