FOOTBALL

REPORT: Wolves Under-23s 3-1 Southampton Under-23s

A Niall Ennis double helped Wolves Under-23s move top of the Premier League 2 Divsion 2 table with a 3-1 win over Southampton at Molineux.

Wolves leapfrog the Saints into top spot, and took lead when Ennis tapped in from close range.

Alfie Jones pulled one back for Southampton, but would go into half time behind after Austin Samuels slammed in from a few yards out.

The three points were secured in the second half when Ennis scored again with a brilliant solo effort.

The game’s first chance came within the opening five minutes, when Southampton’s Sam Gallagher was found by Jake Vokins’ cross. The 23-year-old’s header was just wide of the post, however.

And the Saints had another close chance moments later through Callum Slattery, but his effort was sliced and didn’t trouble Andreas Sondergaard in the Wolves goal.

Despite early pressure from the away side, it would be Wolves who went in front. Some good play down the wing saw the ball played across goal, and Ennis had the easy task of tapping in for the opener.

Wolves had a good opportunity from a set-piece to double their lead, but Pedro Goncalves’ free kick was easy enough for Harry Lewis.

It was another set-piece that almost lead to a Southampton equaliser. Will Smallbone’s free kick looked destined to hit the back of the net, but Sondergaard produced a brilliant stop.

Southampton would have their equaliser not long after. From a corner, Wolves failed to clear their lines and Jones’ header trickled over the line.

Goncalves, again, would have a chance for Wolves. But the Portuguese’s effort was straight at the Southampton goalkeeper.

The Saints would have two clear cut chances in as many minutes, but were unable to take the lead. Gallagher fired straight at Sondergaard, before Nathan Tella put wide from close range.

Kayne Ramsay saw an effort cannon back out off the crossbar, but his effort wouldn’t have counted anyway, with the lineman flagging for offside.

Ennis would be a constant threat for Wolves in the opening half. The 19-year-old beat a defender before shooting, but it was straight at Lewis.

Wolves would go into the break in the lead. Goncalves broke forward and found Ryan Giles, whose ball across goal and a fumble saw the ball fall to Samuels, who smashed in from close range.

The first opportunity of the second half came within inches of being the equaliser. Callum Slattery’s ferocious effort struck the crossbar, with goalkeeper Sondergaard getting the slightest of touches.

Ennis added his second and Wolves’ third just after the hour mark. The striker beat a number of defenders, before firing into the far-left corner for 3-1.

Sondergaard produced another big save, as he tipped a Thomas O’Connor free kick away from goal to keep the deficit at two.

Giles came close to adding a fourth for Wolves, but saw his effort put wide by goalkeeper Lewis.

In stoppage time, Ennis spurned a golden opportunity to complete a hat-trick. With the goal gaping, his effort hit the crossbar and went over.

Next up in Premier League 2 for Wolves is a tie away to Newcastle, with Southampton hosting Norwich.

Wolves Under-23s: Sondergaard, Burr, Sanderson, Francis, John, Giles, Goncalves, Watt, Ennis, Diallo, Samuels (Heredia, 60’). Unused subs: Pardington (GK), Molberg, Kitolano, Alves.

Southampton Under-23s: Lewis, Ramsay, Vokins (Johnson, 72’), O’Connor, O’Driscoll, Jones, Smallbone, Hamblin, Gallagher, Slattery (N’Lundulu, 84’), Tella. Unused subs: Cull (GK), Klarer, Ferry.

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