Wolves 2 (Esen 15, Roberts 80) Leeds 1 (Bradbury 10)
Tyler Roberts’ late strike completed an impressive comeback as Wolves under-18s beat Leeds United 2-1 at the Sir Jack Hayward Training Ground in the U18 Premier League North.
The visitors had taken the lead inside the first ten minutes, despite a fast start from Steve Davis’ side, as Lui Bradbury tucked away the rebound after Luca Thomas’ header came back off the post.
Wolves responded well and equalised shortly after as Josh Esen broke clear of the Leeds defence. The new recruit found himself with plenty of time and space to confidently place the ball into the bottom corner and level the score.
After half-time, the chances continued to arrive for both teams and the game looked open, but with only ten minutes left, and legs beginning to tire, Wolves finally took advantage.
Esen raced down the line and cut the ball back to the onrushing Roberts, whose strike was too strong for goalkeeper Harry Christy and the captain wheeled away in celebration.
Leeds would then pile on the pressure late on to try and grab a point, and Palmi Arinbjornsson made a superb save to prevent Bradbury from claiming his second as the game entered the final five minutes.
Substitute Jay Buchan then hit the bar before Connor Ferguson missed the target from close range with the last kick, leaving Wolves delighted as they secured the three points.
REACTION | STEVE DAVIS
On the game
“I thought it was a great game. Good game for the spectator to watch, anyone who was here would’ve really enjoyed it. End to end, lots of chances, so it was a really good spectacle.”
On the quick response to falling behind
“It’s always good to come back when you go a goal behind you always look for character and fight and I think we had that in abundance today.”
On beating second placed Leeds
“They’ve had a good start, they’ve got some good kids, talented boys. So, we knew we’d have to work hard and match their work ethic because their work ethic is incredible. I knew before the game we’d have to be strong and powerful and aggressive, and I thought we showed that again in abundance. We were only going to beat Leeds as a team today and I thought we did that.”
The under-18s will now face Manchester United in back-to-back fixtures as they travel to the AON Training Centre two weeks in a row. The first will be in the U18 Premier League Cup on 16th October and the next will be a league game on 23rd October.
16/10 Manchester United (A) U18PLC
23/10 Manchester United (A)
26/10 Birmingham City (A) U17PLC
30/10 Burnley (H)
6/11 Derby County (H)
Wolves: Arinbjornsson, Kaleta, Keto-Diyawa, Ojinnaka, Hubner (Ashworth, 46), Mabete, Roberts, Francis-Burrell, Fraser (Reynolds, 34), Esen, McLeod.
Unused subs: Amos, Shahar, Carson.
Leeds: Christy, Littlewood, Ferguson, Ferguson, Mullen, Debako (Cline, 76), Bradbury, Coleman, Thomas, Gray (Buchan, 58), Carole.
Unused subs: Brook, Godden, Douglas.