Wolves U23s 1 (Xavier 43') Middlesbrough U23s (Dale 50')
Wolves Under 23s were held to a 1-1 draw with Middlesbrough on a cold, wet Thursday afternoon at Compton Park in the Premier League 2.
Wolves opened the scoring through Jose Xavier’s smart finish in the penalty area.
The visitors responded just after the break, with Nathan Dale scoring from close range.
Both Wolves and Middlesbrough pushed for a winner, and both goalkeepers produced good saves to keep the scores level in the second-half and that's how it remained as the points were split at Compton Park.
Scott Sellars made six changes from the side who were knocked out of the Premier League Cup against Leicester on Monday. Phil Ofosu-Ayeh, Hakeem Odoffin, Sherwin Seedorf, Austin Samuels, Jose Xavier and Will Randall came in for Oskar Buur Rasmussen, Ben Goodliffe, Carlos Heredia, Josh Gordon, Niall Ennis and Benny Ashley-Seal.
The game started at a fast tempo, with both teams having early spells of possession to try and force an opener. The first chance of the game fell to Wolves after Will Randall embarked on a mazy run through the centre of Middlesbrough’s defence, he played in Sherwin Seedorf on the right-hand side of the box, whose shot flew just over the bar.
The away side had to wait until the 21st minute for their first effort on goal, as Billal Brahimi made a good run down the right side of the Wolves defence and took a shot from a tight angle, but Harry Burgoyne palmed it away.
Sherwin Seedorf was a constant threat to the Boro defence in the first-half, using his pace to create two chances in quick succession. First, Jose Xavier turned well and played a ball into Seedorf’s path, his speed took him away from his marker, but the winger’s shot was straight at Zach Hemming. Just a few minutes later, Seedorf created a chance all by himself by pushing the ball past a Boro defender and cutting inside, but his shot was well saved again.
It would be third time lucky for Seedorf just a minute later, as his electric pace created the opening goal. The winger took on his marker on the left-hand side, he used his speed to get to the byline and his low cross picked out Jose Xavier on the penalty spot, who took a touch and finished well to make it 1-0 to Wolves.
HT - Wolves 1 - 0 Middlesbrough
Wolves made two changes at the break, with Oskar Burr Rasmussen and Tomas Reymao replacing Anthony Breslin and Conor Levingston.
Middlesbrough started the second-half well and after five minutes they levelled the score. An in-swinging corner was whipped into the Wolves penalty area and the cross fell nicely for defender Nathan Dale who blasted the ball past Burgoyne to make it 1-1.
Sellars’ side reacted well to the setback, with both Randall and Ofosu-Ayeh forcing excellent saves from Hemming to keep the scores level. Wolves nearly took the lead again 20 minutes from time, after Randall’s cross from the right-hand side found Xavier, whose shot was blocked and the rebound fell nicely to Seedorf, but the 20-year-old’s shot went over the bar.
Both Buur Rasmussen and Mitchell Curry had chances to score in the last five minutes, as both sides pushed for a winner, but Buur's effort was well-saved and Curry's shot was off-target, as both teams came away with a point.
FT - Wolves 1 - 1 Middlesbrough
Scott Sellars felt his side created enough chances to win the game but was pleased with his side’s performance.
Speaking after the game, he said, “Overall I’m really pleased with the performance.
“I thought we created enough chances to win the game, we probably could have been a bit more clinical.
“I felt their goal was a bit disappointing, giving goals away from set-pieces is a big bugbear of mine.
“I thought on an awful pitch, we played some really good football, controlled the ball a lot and doing the things we want to do.
“We showed a lot of endeavour to try and win the game.
“We grew into the game into the second-half for long spells and their keeper made two or three really good saves.
Sellars was also pleased with Sherwin Seedorf’s performance, after his run and cross led to the Wolves opening goal.
“Sherwin’s got a lot of pace and it was great for the goal.
“We need some consistency in his end product, and that's an area that we feel we can still help him, but he’s a real threat.
“I thought Will Randall did some good stuff from the wide areas too, there wasn’t a lot wrong with their performances."
Ahead of their trip to Norwich on Sunday in the Premier League 2, Sellars is aiming for all three points.
“We’ll go again on Sunday, it’s at Carrow Road so hopefully it will be a good pitch.
“We’ll go and try and win the game, we’ve had some good games against them so we’re looking forward to it."
Wolves: Burgoyne, Ofosu-Ayeh, Breslin (Buur Rasmussen 45’), Watt, Odoffin, Leak, Seedorf, Levingston (Reymao 45’), Samuels (Ashley-Seal 72’), Xavier, Randall.
Unused Subs: Heredia, Goodliffe.