Everton 3 (Simms 10, 35, Otasowie OG 81) Wolves 2 (Ashley-Seal 3, Sanderson 38)
A spirited display by Wolves under-23s could not see Scott Sellars’ side claim victory at Everton following a 3-2 defeat to the Toffees in Southport.
Wolves’ head of Academy was in his first match of taking the side ahead of the arrival of incoming under-23 head coach James Collins, who begins his new role in the new year.
It was the perfect start for Sellars, as Benny Ashley-Seal’s goal after just three minutes put Wolves ahead. Almost identical to the goal he scored in the same minute in the last match against Brighton, the striker got on the end of a Rafa Nya cross into the box to tap home from close range.
Everton struck back just moments later, when Ellis Simms was quickest to intercept a ball played out from the back by Owen Otasowie before guiding the ball into the bottom left corner of Harry Burgoyne’s net.
Simms was denied a second thanks to an excellent save from Burgoyne who got down low to his right to keep out the striker’s fierce header. But it wasn’t long until Simms doubled his tally for the evening, scoring from close-range after Wolves were undone on a set-piece.
However, just three minutes after going behind, Wolves were back on level terms. Dion Sanderson let fly from distance, but Hansen was unable to keep his long-range rocket from hitting the back of the net.
With the game level at half-time, Wolves came out in the second-half looking the most likely to go in front, with Jordan Graham whipping several balls into the opposition penalty area, but no-one in gold and black could get on the end of them.
Elliot Watt came closest to putting his side ahead with 15 minutes to go when he placed an effort from outside the area towards the bottom right corner of the goal, but Nicolas Hansen was able to tip the strike around the post.
The final moments were harsh on Wolves who had looked the side most likely to earn the three points, but it was Everton who took the spoils when Kyle John’s wicked delivery from the right ricocheted off Otasowie, leaving Burgoyne helpless.
The under-23s will make the short trip to Tividale on Wednesday night for the Birmingham Senior Cup second round tie against the Midland Football League Premier Division side. The match will kick-off at 7.45pm at The Beeches.
18/12 Tividale (A) BSC
03/01 Leicester City (A)
10/01 Blackburn Rovers (H)
20/01 Derby County (H) PLC
24/01 Leeds United (H) PLC
Everton: Hansen, Ouzounidis, Foulds, Astley, John, Markelo, Onyango (Hunt 72), Anderson, Iversen (Denny 80), Mampala (Charsley 73), Simms.
Unused subs: Tyrer.
Wolves: Burgoyne, Nya, Sanderson, Otasowie, Csoka, Thompson (Mayounga 87), Francis, Watt, Perry (Hanne 89), Graham, Ashley-Seal.
Unused subs: Sondergaard, Tsun Dai, Dongda He.