Wolves fell to their second Premier League 2 defeat in succession as Aston Villa shaded a fairly even contest between the West Midlands rivals at Walsall’s Bescott Stadium.
A Cameron Archer goal just after half-time proved to be the difference between the two evenly matched sides, which also saw Dion Sanderson rattle the upright for Wolves in the first period.
Wolves started the stronger of the two sides, with Ryan Giles peppering the Aston Villa area with a succession of dangerous corners, but unfortunately for his side, none of them caused the home defence enough of a threat.
The visitors had several opportunities to take the lead just after the 15-minute mark, when the ball bounced around the penalty area, but neither Niall Ennis nor Austin Samuels could get a decent enough contact on their efforts towards goal.
Wolves came the closest to opening the scoring on 25 minutes when Sanderson clipped the right post after getting his toe on the end of an Elliot Watt corner when he was closely marked at the back post.
But from that effort, Villa went straight down the other end of the pitch and Wolves had goalkeeper Andreas Sondergaard to thank for first making a save to deny Indiana Vassilev, before making himself big as Jacob Ramsey fired over from a matter of yards off the rebound.
Villa had the ball in the back of the net shortly before half-time when Vasilev lifted the ball over Sondergaard after good work by the Villa forward line, but the assistant referee’s flag was up.
The home side started the second-half as they finished the first and should have been ahead two minutes into the second period when Archer slammed his effort from inside the area against the underside of the crossbar, but somehow the ball stayed out. Ed Francis had moments earlier made a vital block on the goalline.
Villa did however take the lead just five minutes later when Archer was played in on goal by a cute through ball from Tyler Wright which went between the legs of Jacob Ramsey and Archer placed his shot beyond Sondergaard.
As the home side continued their onslaught, they had the ball in the back of the net for the third time in the evening, but Tyreik Wright was in an offside position as he headed Lewis Brunt’s effort past a diving Sondergaard.
Wolves had a spell where they were back on the front foot, but despite Giles continuing to pepper the Aston Villa box with crosses and corners, it was Villa who continued to be the more threatening side, as Sondergaard was called upon once again to push away a curling effort from Wright.
As head coach Rob Edwards rang the changes, neither team were able to get a hold of the game as the second half drew to a close, with Villa coming the closest to extending their lead when Ramsey fired his effort wide of the post.
The under-23s are back in Premier League 2 action on Monday as they return to Molineux for a crucial clash with another Midland rival, this time in the shape of Stoke City.
15/4 Stoke City (H)
26/4 Manchester United (A)
Wolves: Sondergaard, Buur, Sanderson, Francis, Richards, Giles, Watt, Diallo, Goncalves, Ennis (Alves 81), Samuels (Kitolano 69).
Unused subs: Pardington, Molberg, Heredia.
Villa: Sinisalo, Walker, Rowe, Bazeley-Graham (Bridge 46), Revan, Clarke, Wright, Brunt, Archer, Ramsey, Vassilev (Pressley 60).
Unused subs: Lomax, Odutayo, Knibbs.