Wolves 2 (Ennis 16, Alves 86) Oxford United 0
Wolves under-23s booked their place in the last 16 of the Premier League Cup in comfortable fashion as they overcame Oxford United 2-0 at Molineux.
A first half volley from Niall Ennis and a stunning curling effort from outside the box from Paulo Alves, confirmed Wolves’ place in the knockout stages with a game left to play.
Wolves were quick out the blocks at Molineux, with Ryan Giles’ pace down the left causing multiple problems for Berry-Hargreaves at right-back for Oxford. The left wing-back managed to get a cross into the box after just five minutes on the clock, but Austin Samuels couldn’t get a foot to the ball.
From the resulting corner, the ball was headed clear to Sadou Diallo who, from just outside the area, powered a low drive towards goal, narrowly missing the right-hand post of Max Harris in the Oxford goal.
Minutes later, Harris was the Oxford saviour, making a smart double-save to firstly deny Pedro Goncalves who had burst into the box, before getting up quickly to parry away a Samuels follow-up.
Just after the 15-minute mark Wolves took the lead when Giles’ left-footed cross was headed back into the box from Dion Sanderson at the far post with the ball landing perfectly at Ennis’ feet, who volleyed into the roof of the net from six yards.
Wolves’ chance to extend their lead went begging after 33 minutes when an unmarked Goncalves fired wide from inside the box after another brilliantly aimed cross by Giles.
The home side continued to press in the second half but could have fell behind had Owen James’ free-kick, from a dangerous position just outside the area, have been a few inches lower.
Giles, Ennis and Samuels all had chances to further extend Wolves’ lead, but could not keep their long-range efforts from flying over Harris’ crossbar.
There were few clear-cut chances for either team in the second period, but Wolves kept up the pressure on their opponents, and were rewarded with a second goal with just five minutes remaining.
Substitute Alves picked up the ball on the edge of the box, and with a curling effort gave Harris no chance, booking Wolves’ place in the last 16 of the Premier League Cup.
MOMENT OF THE MATCH
Niall Ennis’ opening goal came from a moment of magic from Ryan Giles who will be giving Oxford’s right-sided players nightmares due to his constant pace. The left-wing back floated a great cross to the right where Sanderson was able to find Ennis in the middle of the box who acrobatically fired his volley into the roof of the net. A brilliant team goal.
Rob Edwards’ are back in Premier League Cup action on Tuesday night at Compton Park as they host Swansea City to decide which team finishes top of the Group E table. Following that, the under-23s face a trip to Middlesbrough next Friday evening.
26/2 Swansea City (H) PLC
1/3 Middlesbrough (A)
11/3 Southampton (H)
30/3 Newcastle (A)
8/4 Aston Villa (A)
Wolves: Sondergard, Sanderson, Molberg, Francis, John, Giles (Kitolano 83), Watt, Diallo, Goncalves (Alves 69), Samuels (Sauvage 80), Ennis.
Unused subs: Beasley, Heredia.
Oxford: Harris, Berry-Hargreaves, Taylor, McCreadie, Jones, Niblett, Lofthouse (Taverner 59), Heap, Noel-Williams (Crooks 80), Hopkins, James (Lopes 59).
Unused subs: Elechi, Agboola.