Mason Greenwood celebrates his strike.

Under-23s: Wolves 2 United 1

Friday 26 October 2018 21:10

Manchester United's Under-23s lost 2-1 at Wolves in a bruising contest at Molineux, despite a debut goal by Mason Greenwood.

After falling behind to an own goal by Ro-Shaun Williams, the Reds battled back after the break with Greenwood claiming the equaliser in the 50th minute. The Molineux crowd clearly enjoyed the action and a controversial winner by Niall Ennis settled the top-of-the-table encounter that lived up to its billing. Consequently, the home side leapfrog United to go top of the table after inflicting the Reds' first defeat of the campaign.

Tahith Chong takes on the home defenders.
Ethan Hamilton was hurt early on but recovered as both teams sounded each other out in the opening exchanges. Angel Gomes misdirected a free-kick over the top as United had much of the play but fell behind to a well-worked goal. Pedro Goncalves fed Ryan Giles and his cross to the near post was turned in by Ashley-Seal via a deflection off Williams.


Suddenly, the home side turned the screw and enjoyed a spell of sustained pressure with Ennis's effort going through a crowd of players but, thankfully, straight to Matej Kovar, before Regan Poole got in the way of a powerful Ashley-Seal drive. From the corner, there was more danger with Max Kilman heading off target. Another run by the impressive Giles then led to a chance for Oscar Buur but the full-back clipped the bar from a tight angle.

Wolves were being very physical, and committing a number of fouls, with Elliot Watt, the chief culprit, finally booked for fouling Tahith Chong after Gomes received some particularly close attention for much of the half.

After Chong had an attempt at the start of the second half, the lively Giles fired too high for Wolves. Five minutes after the restart, Ricky Sbragia's side drew level with a goal of real quality. James Garner passed to Gomes and his intelligent ball through was lashed past Andreas Sondergaard by Greenwood, to make it 15 goals in 12 games for the 17-year-old this season. It was a moment to savour for the striker, who made an instant impact at this higher level by taking the opportunity so sharply.

A brilliant move almost yielded a second with Chong and Gomes involved before Greenwood's instant lay-off invited the shot from Garner. Unfortunately, the midfielder could not keep his shot down and it flew over the bar. Watt fired wide at the other end as the crowd of 2,741 were treated to some fine entertainment.

Although Gomes floated a free-kick over the bar, Wolves won it with 10 minutes left courtesy of a superb, if disputed, strike. Ennis appeared to foul George Tanner when gaining possession but then embarked on a penetrative run that finished with a glorious postage-stamp finish high into Kovar's goal. Poole headed away a goalbound shot by Goncalves before late frustration when Garner felt he was clearly fouled right on the edge of the box with the final action of the game. 

There was nothing doing from the referee and, although the Reds will feel aggrieved with the scoreline, there were plenty of positives from a compelling contest.

Angel Gomes was a creative influence going forward.

United: Kovar; Tanner, R. Williams, Poole, O'Connor; Gomes, Garner, Hamilton; Chong, Greenwood, Bohui.

Subs not used: Woolston, Warren, Whelan, Barlow, Buffonge.

Wolves 2 (Williams og 27, Ennis 80)

United 1 (Greenwood 50)


United play next Friday with the first fixture of November taking place at Leigh Sports Village against Newcastle United (kick-off 19:00 GMT, live on MUTV).

George Tanner was heavily involved in the action.
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