Wolves 0 Everton 0
Wolves under-23s picked up their first point in Premier League 2 Division 1 in a well-contested goalless draw with Everton at New Bucks Head.
Everton goalkeeper Nico Hansen was the hero for the visitors after denying threatening Wolves attacks on several occasions throughout the 90 minutes, making some outstanding saves to stop the home side from taking the victory.
Rob Edwards handed home debuts to two new faces in the Academy, former PSG defender Raphael Nya and ex-Bayern Munich forward Meritan Shabani, while two changes were made from the team which lost 2-0 to Brighton in the opening game of 2019/20, with Bruno Jordao – a first-team summer signing from Lazio – and Elliot Watt coming in for Lewis Richards and Sadou Diallo.
Wolves had the first opportunity of the game with just six minutes on the clock when Jordao broke through the Everton defence before launching a shot which was saved by goalkeeper Hansen.
However, the ball bounced off the stopper and into the box near Benny Ashley-Seal, but the striker – who was stretching to reach the ball – sent his effort wide of the post. Captain Ed Francis then forced a good save from Hansen from a free-kick 20-yards out from goal which was heading into the top corner.
Everton defender Morgan Feeney then had a glorious chance to put his side in front. From a corner, he found space in the centre of the box but smashed his header off the top of the crossbar and behind.
Hansen was the Everton hero again when he made a smart double save to deny Wolves. Firstly, from John Kitolano’s cross which was deflected towards goal, and then the keeper got down low well to deny a driving Watt shot from long distance.
Wolves started the second-half as they began the first, on the front foot and looking for goal and it was Jordao who came the closest to opening his account in gold and black with two good efforts. His first was a long-range shot from the edge of the box which flashed narrowly wide before Callum Connolly made a good block to deny the Wolves man when he let fly from a matter of yards.
The visitors tried to catch Wolves on the break, with Francis and Sanderson twice making great blocks to deny Everton.
Portuguese youngster Jordao had another opportunity to put Wolves in front 20 minutes into the second-half when he got in behind the Everton defence before aiming a powerful effort towards goal, but somehow Hansen was able to get a hand to the ball and palm it over the crossbar.
The visiting keeper was then on hand to deny both Taylor Perry and Watt with smart saves, before Andreas Sondergaard in the Wolves goal did brilliantly to stop a Fraser Hornby effort when the Everton striker found himself in behind Nya.
The under-23s head back out on the road later in the week as they continue their Premier League 2 Division 1 action and take on Blackburn Rovers on Friday evening from 7pm.
23/08 Blackburn Rovers (A)
30/08 Leicester City (H)
14/09 Manchester City (A)
20/09 Arsenal (H)
24/09 Carlisle United (A) LCT
Wolves: Sondergaard, Buur, Sanderson, Francis, Nya, Kitolano, Watt, Perry, Jordao (Diallo 71), Shabani, Ashley-Seal (Samuels 90).
Unused subs: Flavio, Thompson, Tsun Dai.
Everton: Hansen, Marina, Connolly, Feeney, Foulds, Evans, Baningime, Adeniran, Denny (Phillips 85), Charsley (Markelo 68), Hornby.
Unused subs: Mampala, Barrett.