Southampton 1 (Olufunwa 85) Wolves 0
A young Wolves under-23 side dropped to the bottom of the Premier League 2 Division 1 table following a defeat to fellow strugglers Southampton on Monday evening.
Making several enforced changes to his line-up due to players either going out on deadline day loans or heading to Marbella for the first-team’s warm weather training camp, James Collins played six 17-year-olds in his team, handing under-23 debuts to regular under-18 goalkeeper Joe Young, defender Pascal Estrada and right wing-back Jack Scott.
The young Wolves made a positive start to the match, with Taylor Perry, Ed Francis and Hugo Bueno all having opportunities to open the scoring in the first-half, however neither team could get a deciding effort on goal.
Captain Francis came closest for Wolves in the second period, with his curling free-kick from 20-yards out narrowly flying wide of Harry Lewis’ upright.
Minutes later, Perry had Wolves’ best chance to open the scoring when he latched on to a perfectly weighted first-time pass by Bueno, before racing and turning his way on goal, but his low driven shot was batted away by the legs of Lewis.
With Wolves on the ascendancy, Lewis again was at his best to push away a goalbound strike by Scott, who had been found on the right corner of the penalty area after good work holding the line by Renat Dadashov.
But with just five minutes of the match remaining, Southampton laid a cruel blow on the visitors, as Oludare Olufunwa’s looping header gave Saints the three points in the crucial basement battle, which leaves Wolves seven points from PL2 Division 1 safety, with six matches remaining.
The under-23s will face Birmingham City in their latest Premier League Cup match on Thursday afternoon, with the game due to kick-off at 2pm at Loughborough University.
06/02 Birmingham City (A) PLC
12/02 Leamington FC (A) BSC
17/02 Liverpool (H)
21/02 Leeds United (A) PLC
25/02 Derby County (H) PLC
Southampton: Lewis, Tchaptchet, Olufunwa, O’Driscoll, Otseh-Taiwo, Chauke, Watts, Maddox (Jankewitz 60), Robise, Olaigbe (Hale 77), Ferry.
Subs: Scott, Bailey, Smith.
Wolves: Young, Scott, Estrada, Francis, Nya, Bueno, Taylor, Perry, Cundle, Campbell (Corbeanu 82), Dadashov.
Subs: Smith, Lonwijk, Hong Wan, Dongda He.