Under 21s suffer narrow defeat
Wolves 1 (McAlinden-pen 68)
Derby County 2 (Guy 15, Hanson 85)
A late Derby goal condemned the Wolves under 21s to an undeserved defeat when they met the table topping Rams at the Bucks Head on Sunday afternoon.
A third minute 25-yard free-kick from Jim Kellermann struck the defensive wall and bounced behind for a corner taken by Will Randall with the ball landing on the roof of the net from the flag-kick.
Derby’s first corner, also an inswinging one, was taken by visiting skipper Jamie Hanson and keeper Aaron McCarey had to arch himself backwards to punch the ball away otherwise it was going to go straight in.
Randall held off three challenges as he cut in from the left and worked a shooting position for himself but his final shot, from the edge of the ‘D’ flew over the angle.
Ryan Rainey’s run on goal was halted when he was shoved in the back by Hanson who was promptly booked. Rainey took the free- kick and the ball skimmed the top of the net as it went over.
Wolves had enjoyed the majority of the attacking play but it was Derby that took the lead in the 15th minute when Alfie Santos laid the ball into the path of Callum Guy who found the net from 10-yards.
Jack Price forced County keeper Jon Mitchell into a diving save with a 20-yard drive whilst the visitors were close to a second when Timi Elsnik headed over from close in following another Hanson corner.
Liam McAlinden was too high from distance and then, after Nathan Byrne saw his shot go behind off a defender, McAlinden was called upon to take three corners in quick succession but none offered anything by way of reward for Wanderers.
As the game entered first-half stoppage time, Rainey was wide from the edge of the box with a low effort.
Half-Time: Wolves 0 Rams 1
Ashley Carter needed attention after a late challenge from Ivan Calero who, a few minutes later, appealed unsuccessfully for a penalty after he went down under a tackle from Aaron Simpson.
After Guy had been booked for upending Price, Wolves drew level in the 68th minute from the spot. Randall ran into the Derby box and he went down after being surrounded by three Derby defenders.
In a tangle of legs it was unclear who actually committed the foul, but the referee was right up with play and he had no hesitation in awarding the penalty which was rolled into the net by McAinden.
Price was the next man to see the yellow card after he clipped Derby substitute Shaq McDonald.
Declan Weeks was sent on in place of Kellerman before Wolves put the Derby defence under some heavy pressure. Simpson ran into the box and hit a hard low cross that Jake Buxton cleared at the near post.
Byrne’s corner wasn’t properly cleared and when the winger regained possession, he fired over a cross that flew through the six-yard box just needing a touch.
But it was County that got the winning goal in the 85th minute when Charles Vernam squared the ball to Hanson who made no mistake from near the penalty spot.
Wolves threw everything forward in the hope of getting a late leveller but Derby almost got a third on the break in stoppage time when McDonald ran clear before shooting wide when he only had McCarey between him and the goal.
Wolves: McCarey, Simpson (Wilson 88), Deslandes, Price, Upton, Carter (capt), Byrne, Kellermann (Weeks 78), McAlinden, Rainey, Randall (Randall 81).
Unused subs: Odofin, Collins.
Booking: Price (73 – foul).
Rams: Mitchell, Ssewankambo, MacDonald, Hanson (capt), Buxton, Koblenz, Santos (Stabana 83), Guy, Vernam, Elsnik (McDonald 64), Calero.
Unused subs: Cover, Ravas, Babos.
Bookings: Hanson (13 – foul), Guy (65 – foul), Calero (90+2 – foul).
Referee: B. Cooke.