U23 Report: Wolves 3-1 Saints

By SFC Media Mon 11 Mar Wolves v Saints
Photo by James Bridle
Mon 11 Mar 7PM
Premier League 2 - Division 2
Wolves
3
Southampton
1
Ennis [9' 61'] Samuels [45+1']
Jones [24']
Diallo (82') Watt (90+5')
Hamblin (67') Slattery (76') Tella (80')
Referee: Tom Reeves | Venue: Molineux | Attendance: 1,075

It was a disappointing night at Molineux Stadium for Southampton's youngsters, who relinquished their place at the top of Premier League 2 to Wolverhampton Wanderers, as they ran out 3-1 winners.

An Alfie Jones header was sandwiched between two Niall Ennis strikes for the Midlands side, which was added to by winger Austin Samuels in the second half.

The victory edges Wolves a point clear of Saints at the top, having also played a game less, and means they're now in the driving seat when it comes to the race for automatic promotion.

Saints now have a three-and-a-half week break before taking on Norwich at Staplewood Campus in early April, and will need rivals Wolves to slip up between now and then if they are to attempt to regain top spot.

As is so often this season, Saints' energetic start was unnerving their hosts early on. The front three were pressing high, forcing mistakes, and capitalising on the territory gained.

Four minutes had past before Sam Gallagher was presented with the chance to open the scoring, nodding marginally wide from Jake Vokins's delivery, before Callum Slattery stabbed wide of the mark moments later - again teed up by the full-back.

Having asked all the early questions, Saints then found themselves behind in the ninth minute. A neat interchange between Pedro Goncalves and Oskar Buur set up Ennis centrally, who applied the easiest of finishes from two yards out. Advantage Wolves. But not for long.

The visitors continued to pour forward, creating but squandering chances, before Will Smallbone's corner routine in the 23rd minute. Kayne Ramsay rose highest to it at the front post, flicking on, before Jones headed over the line under pressure, drawing Saints level. Gallagher then passed up the chance of another shortly after, having been released one on one by Slattery, but was denied by Andreas Sondergaard.

And that wasn't the only passage of play to trouble Wolves. The quality of Smallbone's deliveries created persistent concern for the hosts, who again didn't clear five minutes before the break, only for Ramsay to smash his effort off the woodwork.  

An action-packed half was drawing to a close, but not before another setback for Saints, who undid all their good work at the opposite end with a momentary lapse in defence.

Ryan Giles fizzed the ball across the box from the left in first-half stoppage time, aimed at Samuels, but missing its target, only for a mix up between Harry Lewis and Tom O'Connor to gift the forward the ball, and he consequently tapped home.

It was a sucker punch for Saints, who didn't deserve to trail at the break.

And there was even less to cheer about in the second period. Ennis netted his second of the evening on the hour mark, gliding forwards before pulling the trigger 20 yards from goal, and finding the bottom left corner.

Radhi Jaïdi's side continued to threaten, but just couldn't find a way through; their best chance of a less entertaining half was O'Connor's whipped free-kick in the 70th minute, which was rebuffed by Sondergaard, who dived to his right and pushed to safety.

Wolves

Head to Head Stats

Southampton
  • Possession (%)
    59
    41
  • Shots
    14
    13
  • Shots on target
    10
    6
  • Corners
    6
    5
  • Passes Complete
    439
    267

Wolverhampton Wanderers PL2

1
Andreas Söndergaard (GK)
4
Ed Francis
3
Dion Sanderson
5
Cameron John
8
Elliot Watt (C)
6
Ryan John Giles
10
Sadou Diallo
2
Oskar Buur
9
Niall Ennis
7
Pote
11
Austin Samuels
Carlos Heredia (60′)
15
Paulo Alves
12
Alexander Molberg
14
John Kitolano
16
Carlos Heredia
13
James Pardington

Southampton PL2

1
Harry Lewis (GK)
6
Alfie Jones
5
Aaron O'Driscoll
4
Thomas O'Connor (C)
2
Kayne Ramsay
3
Jake Vokins
Tyreke Johnson (72′)
10
Callum Slattery
Daniel N'Lundulu (84′)
8
Harry Hamblin
7
William Smallbone
11
Nathan Tella
9
Sam Gallagher
13
Alex Cull
14
Tyreke Johnson
16
Daniel N'Lundulu
12
Christoph Klarer
15
Will Ferry
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