Wolves 3 (Ennis 9’ & 61’, Samuels 45’) Southampton 1 (Jones 24’)
Wolves under-23s’ promotion aspirations were given a boost as they leapfrogged Southampton into top spot with victory over the Saints at Molineux.
The trio of goals were courtesy of Wolves’ strikers, as Niall Ennis tapped in early on and Austin Samuels regained the home side’s advantage on the stroke of half-time.
Ennis made the game safe after the break with a fine solo goal, to move Wolves a point ahead of their rivals with an extra game still to play.
Wolves in fact, took the lead with their first attack, as Oskar Buur tore down the right and squared across the face of goal for Ennis to tap into an unguarded net.
The goal asserted Wolves’ dominance and Pedro Goncalves then had a free-kick saved, before Elliot Watt fizzed a powerful effort over the bar.
However, the hosts will have been disappointed with the way they let Southampton back into the game, as a corner wasn’t dealt with and Alfie Jones forced the ball past two defenders on the line.
As the first-half hit a lull, parity appeared on the cards at the break, but Ryan Giles had different ideas, powering down the left and shooting at Lewis, who could only block to a well-placed Samuels, who hammered home the rebound.
It was an advantage Wolves would capitalise on after the break as Ennis grabbed his second of the game, embarking on a mazy run, past numerous Southampton defenders, and stroking into the far corner from the edge of the box.
After that, chances fell to Dion Sanderson and Giles, with Lewis producing the required saves on each occasion, while in injury time a rapid counter attack saw Ennis smash the crossbar and miss out on his hat-trick, but Wolves weren’t denied the points.
MOMENT OF THE MATCH
The crucial moment on the night arrived on the stroke of half-time, as Wolves regained a lead they’d never relinquish. Samuels’ finish was a simple one, firing into the roof of the net with Lewis rooted on the floor, but had huge significance, as the Saints never recovered from the blow and Wolves went on to claim the points.
Attention swings to the Premier League Cup and Wolves travel to Derby County’s Pride Park on Sunday in the last 16. Rob Edwards’ side came second in their group and now take on the Rams in their first knockout game, for a place in the quarter finals.
17/3 Derby County (A) - PLC
30/3 Newcastle United (A)
8/4 Aston Villa (A)
15/5 Stoke City (H)
26/4 Manchester United (A)
Wolves: Sondergaard, Buur, Sanderson, Francis, John, Giles, Goncalves, Watt, Ennis, Diallo, Samuels (Heredia 60).
Unused subs: Molberg, Pardington, Kitolano, Alves.
Southampton: Lewis, Ramsay, Vokins (Johnson 73), O’Connor, O’Driscoll, Jones, Smallbone, Hamblin, Gallagher, Slattery (N’Lundulu 84), Tella.
Unused subs: Klarer, Cull, Ferry.