It was late heartbreak for Wolves U23s as they fell to a 3-2 defeat away at Southampton in their Friday night Premier League 2 clash at St Mary’s.
Quickfire second half goals from Elliot Watt and Niall Ennis weren’t enough for Rob Edwards’ side who fell to just their second defeat of the season through Tom O’Connor’s 93rd-minute winner.
It was a closely-fought encounter in the first half with neither side able to create many chances. Wolves enjoyed the greater share of possession but were unable to capitalise and take the lead away from home.
Andreas Sondergaard was the first goalkeeper to be called into meaningful action as he got across his goal well to palm Michael Obafemi’s curling shot wide of the target.
A matter of minutes later and it was Wolves who had a sight of goal but, again, the goalkeeper was equal to Sadou Diallo’s strike and he gathered the ball.
The deadlock was broken with five minutes of the first half remaining; Obafemi brought down a long ball over the top and composed himself before finishing underneath the advancing Sondergaard to give Southampton an advantage going into the break.
The game remained close in the early exchanges of the second half as the sides looked to get a foothold in the fixture and it took until after the hour mark for team to produce a shot on goal.
Ashley Barnes shot across goal with his instep, looking to curl an effort inside Sondergaard’s far post but the Southampton forward missed wide of the target.
However, Barnes was to be presented with another opportunity shortly after, timing his run well to meet a low ball into the Wolves box and firing low to double the hosts’ advantage.
Wolves responded quickly after falling further behind and took the game to Southampton. Pedro Goncalves looked for goal from range and forced Jack Rose into a strong save, as the goalkeeper pushed the Wolves midfielder’s shot away from the top corner.
Edwards’ side continued to press and it wasn’t long before they found a way back into the game. Watt was picked out in space 20-yards from goal, he then saw an initial shot blocked but pounced on the loose ball and cut onto his right foot before firing accurately beyond Rose.
Not even a minute later and Wolves found themselves level. Ennis, with a smart touch and finish, controlled a cross from the right wing and fired high into the net to equalise for the visitors.
The game became more open as full time approached, with both sides pressing to find a winner. Callum Slattery went close for Southampton on 82 minutes as he stretched to meet a low cross but he could only divert the ball wide of the target.
The game looked to be all but over as stoppage time ticked by but, with less than a minute left, the hosts were to be presented one final opportunity from a corner.
O’Connor was picked out on the edge of the six-yard box where the defender rose highest to nod home and award Southampton all three points. A cruel finish for the young Wolves side who had produced a battling performance away from home on the south coast.
MOMENT OF THE MATCH
After going two goals down, Wolves needed a quick response to be with in any chance of taking anything from the game. Up stepped Elliot Watt who found enough space on the edge of the Southampton box to make room for a shot before curling a wonderful effort past the opposition ‘keeper and into the back of the net via the post.
Wolves U23s host Manchester United U23s under the lights at Molineux on Friday, 26th October (7pm).
Season ticket holders can get free entry into the stadium for the game while tickets for non-season ticket holders are priced at £2 for MyWolves members, £1 for #WolfPack, Young Wolves and Wolves Dribblers, £4 for adults and £2 concessions, with all proceeds going to Wolves Academy.
Parking is also available on the night for just £1 per car.
- 26/10 Manchester United (h)
- 02/11 Stoke City (a)
- 06/11 Lincoln City (a)
- 10/11 Swansea City (a)
- 26/11 Aston Villa (h)
Southampton | Rose, Valery, Vokins, O’Connor (c), O’Driscoll, Klarer, Gallagher (Tella 48’), Slattery, Obafemi, Smallbone, Barnes.
Unused subs | Ramsay, Parkes, Jankewitz, Johnson.
Wolves | Sondergaard, Buur, Molberg, Kilman, John (c), Giles; Watt, Diallo; Goncalves (Heredia 82’), Ashley-Seal, Ennis (Csoka 90+2’).
Unused subs | Beasley, Alves, Samuels.