Doncaster 1 (Okenabirhie23) Wolves U21s 2 (Silva 15, 88)
Fabio Silva’s brace saw Wolves under-21s defeat Doncaster Rovers in the Papa John’s Trophy. The Portuguese produced two fine finishes, the latter coming with just two minutes remaining, to earn James Collins’ side victory in South Yorkshire.
Silva starred in a side which also featured John Ruddy, Ki-Jana Hoever and Marcal, and their experience provided a helping hand, particularly once Fejiri Okenabirhie had equalised, and Wolves found a way to earn three group points.
While minutes were the aim of the game for Silva and company, a goal certainly wasn’t to go amiss, and the record signing didn’t disappoint, pouncing on Theo Corbeanu’s partially-cleared cross and hammering a low, powerful effort in off the post from a tight angle.
However, Wolves’ joy was short-lived. Soon after, James Coppinger showed the years he boats on Ki-Jana Hoever by nipping in on the youngster’s blindside and taking the touch to go down in the area. The referee pointed to the spot and Okenabirhie made no mistake from the spot.
While the remainder of the half remained 1-1, Wolves would go on to pass up two opportunities, both of which fell to Silva. First, after being set up by Hoever, the Portuguese was denied by the leg of Louis Jones, before Silva failed to cleanly connect with Marcal’s wicked cross.
Half-time: Doncaster 1 Wolves U21s 1
After the break, Doncaster applied more of the pressure on Wolves, but it was the visitors who squandered the best opportunities before the hour mark. First, a smart turn by Silva presented a sight of goal, but the forward fired wide at the near post, before Corbeanu produced a carbon copy effort after being gifted possession.
As the contest crept towards penalties, Wolves upped their intensity, but both Taylor Perry and Silva shot off target when opportunities presented themselves on the edge of the box. However, their pressure would ultimately tell.
A deep ball over the top asked questions of former Wolves defender Cameron John, who didn’t deal with it and allowed Silva to race in and once set, the Portuguese finished with a plomb, past Jones to settle the contest.
Full-time: Doncaster 1 Wolves U21s 2
International call-ups provide James Collins’ side with a free weekend this week, ahead of their return to action the following Friday, at home to Middlesbrough.
20/11 Middlesbrough (H)
30/11 Newcastle United (A)
14/12 West Bromwich Albion (A)
18/12 Norwich City (A)
10/01 Reading (H)
Doncaster: Jones, Halliday (Wright 46), James, Okenabirhie, Lokilo, Amos, Williams, Butler, John, Coppinger (Richards 60), Ravenhill (Whiteman 86).
Unused subs: Bottomley, Anderson, Sims, Blythe.
Wolves: Ruddy, Hoever, Buur, Marques, Richards, Marcal (Bueno 72), Cundle, Perry, Shabani (Hesketh 67), Corbeanu, Silva.
Unused subs: Sondergaard, Estrada, Matheson, Wan, Hodnett.