Collins Goal Seals Friendly Win
AFC Telford United 0
Wolves 1 (Collins 75)
Wolves Under-23s made it a hat-trick of friendly wins in eight days thanks to a narrow victory over neighbours AFC Telford at the New Bucks Head.
But Scott Sellars’ team were made to fight all the way by a determined Telford side managed by former Wolves caretaker manager and first team coach, Rob Edwards.
The home side enjoyed most of the attacking play in the opening ten minutes without actually creating a chance. The first opportunity went the way of Wolves thanks to the persistence of Jordan Graham.
He dispossessed a defender and delivered a low cross to Niall Ennis who, with his back to goal, tried a clever back heel which was blocked.
Dan Armstrong went close in the 13th minute when he beat the offside flag and found himself totally unmarked in the home area with just Sheridan Martinez to beat.
But the winger seemed to have a little too much time and when he finally got a shot away the keeper had narrowed the angle and was able to block.
In a rare Telford attempt at goal, Will March hit a low shot from 20-yards that went straight to Harry Beasley in the Wanderers goal. At the other end Graham’s attempt after a jinking run had the sting taken out of it when the ball struck a defender allowing Martinez a comfortable save.
On 31 minutes, Telford broke following an Armstrong corner with Anthony Dwyer running half the length of the pitch before hitting a rising drive that was turned over by Beasley.
Moments later Graham lifted a free-kick into the home area and Nazon’s header had ‘goal’ written all over it until Martinez pulled off a tremendous reflex save.
The Haiti international striker then held his head in frustration after a mazy run that saw him beating the challenges of two defenders as he ran into the area. But, having done all the hard work, he then ‘topped’ his shot and Martinez saved easily.
In first half stoppage time, Wolves had an amazing escape after Zak Lilly found himself alone and onside in the Wolves half after chasing a long through ball and going around Beasley. The Wolves keeper then did really well to get back to narrow the angle and parry Lilly’s shot.
The ball was trickling towards the line and Ryan Leak got back to clear with the ball making contact with Lilly’s hand as he attempted to scramble it over the line and the referee gave the foul.
Half-Time: Telford 0 Wolves 0
Wolves made four changes for the start of the new half, with the host team making five.
As they had done at the start of the match, United started the half the brighter of the two teams and Beasley’s goal had a narrow escape when John Marsden’s powerful shot was deflected just wide of the post.
Aaron Collins dragged a shot wide before Beasley pulled off a great double save to retain parity between the teams.
Marsden was again the man cursing his luck as Beasley knocked down his ferocious shot and then bravely pouched the striker’s follow-up.
In the 75th minute, Elliot Newby’s tug on Carlos Heredia’s shirt right on the edge of the box, led to the winning goal.
With the bulk of the players congregating on the far side of goal, Heredia cleverly whipped the ball in to the near post and Collins ran in to prod the ball home.
Collins could well have had a second as he broke clear but, as he was about to run into the area, he was blatantly pulled back by Shane Sutton who, given the nature of the game, escaped with just a rebuke from the referee.
Telford: Martinez (Singh 45), Hayden (Royle 57), Evans (Gough 45), Fitzpatrick (White 57), Hutchison (Sutton 45+2), Bailey (Barnes-Homer 45), Shaw (Newby 45), Dunbar (capt), Lilly (Marsden 45), Marsh, Dwyer (*Fitzpatrick 61).
*Fitzpatrick went back on having been substituted earlier.
Wolves: Beasley, Odoffin, John (Sealey-Harris 67), Finnie (capt) (Blackcliffe 67), Goodliffe (Johnson 45), Leak, Armstrong (Heredia 45), Rainey (Herc 45), Duckens (Allan 57), Ennis (Collins 57), Graham (Randall 45).
Referee: M. Groves.
PICTURE COURTESY TIM ROBERTS