Wolves 1 (Tipton 27) 3 Everton (Cannon 45, Garcia 46, Lawrence 88)
Wolves under-18s were beaten 3-1 by Everton in their final home game of the U18 Premier League North season at New Bucks Head Stadium on Saturday.
Oliver Tipton’s deflected effort gave Wolves the lead before goals either side of half-time from Tom Cannon and Rafa Garcia completed the turnaround for Everton. Substitute Emilio Lawrence then fired in a late third to secure a comeback win for the visitors.
The game began slowly and after ten minutes of both sides working each other out, Owen Farmer would be the first to have a strike at goal, but the number nine’s effort from the edge of the area floated over the bar.
The deadlock was then broken around half an hour into the game as Jack Hodnett stood over a free kick on the edge of the box. He laid the ball to captain Tipton whose long range strike deflected into the back of the net.
Only one minute later, Wolves almost doubled their lead through Lee Harkin. He burst clear through the Everton midfield but couldn’t keep his strike on target.
The remainder of the first-half was cagey and neither side were able to fashion many chances, until on the stroke of half-time, when Everton levelled.
Dan Lowey found Sean McAllister with a cross-field ball and he drilled a dangerous low cross towards Cannon at the back post, who finished well to bring his side back into the game.
Instantly after the break, the visitors scored their second. A long ball over the top found Garcia after a bounce evaded Palmi Arinbjornsson and the striker tapped in off the post.
Everton then sealed the points with two minutes to go as substitute Lawrence fired a left-footed shot past Arinbjornsson into the top corner.
Assistant coach, James McPike felt the boys started the better side and were dominant in possession for large periods of the first half.
He said: “I think the boys started right at it and on the front foot. They were getting success with the press and were securing it when they won it back but it's hard to do that for the whole game, especially with the young side we have. But with their effort and endeavour, they really had a good go in the first-half."
On the opening goal and second-half
Tipton's first-half goal came from a set piece which McPike put down to the fantastic training sessions with coach Chris Dixon.
“We’ve been doing a lot of work on the set pieces with Chris and that’s come straight off the training ground and he was very, very happy with it,” McPike said.
McPike admits the side could have dealt with Everton's pressure better, however, he is proud of the players - especially the youngsters who stepped in for the injured.
“We could have dealt with the pressure a bit better but we had some great spells of play even under the press so with a young side it's fantastic for them,” McPike said.
On the younger players stepping up
He continued and said: “It's been a fantastic experience for all of our young boys. We finished the game with five under-16s on the pitch. It's been a season of great opportunity for all our younger boys with everything going on. We've had lots and lots of injuries, eight or nine, which has been difficult to manage as they’ve been some of our older more experienced players.
“The younger boys have had some bravery and confidence to play. They’ve played some good football first-half here but just generally, I think finishing around fourth and sixth is a fantastic achievement considering some of the setbacks we've had and the kind of year it's been with Covid. It's been a difficult year for everybody so I think they've really stood up to challenge and had a good go,” he added.
On looking forward to the Newcastle game
“I think it's just like any game, it's just to compete, it's to not be afraid and I think they’ll finish the season ready to start next season young, at it and aggressive. The experience for the younger boys has been the key thing. It'll be a tough game they're very competitive and organised defensively.”
As for the injury list, it looks like it will be more of the same with some of the older players expected to still be out injured.
“Tyler Roberts is starting some running now which is nice to see. We've still got a couple of long-termers like Dexter and Ty Barnett. For Justin Hubner and Kam Kandola, it's probably just being more cautious with them now.”
08/05 Newcastle United (A)
Wolves: Arinbjornsson, Birtwistle, Mabete, Tipton (C), Ojinnaka, Keto, Harkin, Rees (Benn 64’), Farmer, Hodnet, Francis-Burrell
Unused substitutes: Storer, Gilbert, Diomande
Everton: Luc Leban, Quintyne, Lowey, Kristenson, Campbell, Metcaife, McCallister, Jagne, Cannon (Lawrence 69’), Garcia (Ebere 69’), Barker (Manafa 84’)
Unused substitutes: Stewart, Tierney
By Jack Johnson & Brad Cox