Wolves 1 (Ennis 50 PEN) Fulham 0
Wolves under-23s returned to the top of the table after Niall Ennis’ second half penalty sealed a scrappy 1-0 win against Fulham.
It was Ennis himself who was fouled in the lead up to the penalty being awarded after being played through one-on-one with the visitor’s keeper, before being taken out as he aimed to let fire from just inside the area.
The result sent Wolves back to the top of Premier League 2 Division 2, with just goal difference separating Rob Edwards’ side with Reading and Southampton.
Following a quiet opening 10 minutes of the game, Fulham had the first real chance to open the scoring when Elijah Adebayo took aim from the edge of the box. The number nine forced Andreas Sondergaard to make a smart save in the Wolves net as he palmed a stinging shot away from the goal before the ball was cleared to safety.
Fulham were keeping possession comfortably throughout the first-half, but Wolves steadily grew into the game towards the end of the first 45 minutes.
The home side had a good chance to take the lead just before the half-an-hour mark. A nice passage of play involving Sadou Diallo saw John Kitolano played in down the left-hand side, who’s first-time cross found Ennis in the box, but his shot is blocked before the ball loops through to George Wickens.
Wolves looked the stronger team coming out of the half-time break and took the lead within the first five minutes. Ennis was played through on goal by Pedro Goncalves and as he went to take aim he was brought down inside the area.
The Wolves number nine stepped up to take the spot-kick, and although the Fulham keeper dived to his right, he could not stretch enough to stop Ennis’ hard-hit attempt from passing by his fingertips and into the back of the net.
Fulham had the ball in the back of the Wolves net minutes later from a cross into the box, but the big centre-half Moritz Jenz was flagged for offside as he headed past Sondergaard.
Wolves continued to pile the pressure on to Fulham and almost had a second had it not been for a top-quality double save from Wickens, who denies both Oskar Buur and Ennis from close range in quick succession.
Fulham had the ball in the net for the second time with five minutes of the match to go, but once again the assistant referee’s flag denied the visitors. This time the ball had already crossed the line for a goal-kick before it was hammered in from six yards by Mattias Kait.
Wolves were able to hold on as Fulham piled on the pressure during the closing moments of the game.
MOMENT OF THE MATCH
Wolves were denied going 2-0 up from a great double save from Fulham’s goalie George Wickens. He first denied Oskar Buur who had got in down the Wolves right, before blocking Niall Ennis’ follow-up from a pass across the box from Sadou Diallo.
Rob Edwards’ side start February with a trip to the north east to take on Newcastle United in the Premier League 2 as the look to maintain their place at the top of the Division 2 table.
1/2 Newcastle United (A)
8/2 Swansea City (H) PLC
15/2 Norwich City (H)
22/2 Oxford United (H) PLC
1/3 Middlesbrough (A)
Wolves: Sondergard, Buur (Samuels 80), Sanderson, Francis, John, Watt, Diallo, Kitolano (Molberg 68), Goncalves (Alves 62), Heredia, Ennis.
Unused subs: Beasley.
Fulham: Wickens, Harris, Drameh, Sessegnon, Jenz, Opoku, Kait, O’Riley, Adebayo, Francois, Thompson (Santos-Clase 76).
Unused subs: Ashby-Hammond, McAvoy, Cover, Abraham.