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Wolves u21s 2 Rovers u21s 3

30 October 2015

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A goal in each half from Lewis Mansell and a debut strike from Matthew Platt saw Rovers' Under-21s come from behind to claim an excellent victory over Wolves at Molineux.

For the second time this week Damien Johnson's development squad were on the winning side to make it three league wins in a row.

The hosts started well, racing into a two-goal lead inside 15 minutes thanks to strikes from Bright Enobakhare and Niall Ennis.

However Rovers soon hit back with a quick-fire double of their own as Mansell pulled a goal back on 25 minutes before defender Platt headed the visitors on level terms three minutes later.

In what was a lively attacking encounter, played in an excellent spirit, it was the Rovers who grabbed the all-important next goal.

It came with just over 15 minutes remaining as a Mahoney corner found it's way to Mansell and his shot nestled in the back of the net.

Wolves pressed for a leveller in the closing stages, but Rovers showed good resilience to hold on for all three points.

Rovers handed an Under-21 debut to defender Matthew Platt in one of four changes from the side that defeated Stoke City on Monday night.

Also coming back into the side were midfielders Sacha Petshi and Willem Tomlinson, whilst Lewis Mansell partnered Anton Forrester up front.

But under the lights of the famous old stadium it was the home side who were bright from the off, taking the lead after just ten minutes.

Good play down the right from Tendai Matinyadze and Niall Ennis saw Wolves pepper the Rovers goal, but whilst David Raya made two saves, he was unable to prevent Bright Enobakhare sneaking the ball home via a deflection. 

Anton Forrester was narrowly wide with an outstretched boot from a Devarn Green free-kick, but on 15 it was Wolves who were celebrating a second goal.

Again the home side made good progress down the right as Eusebio Bancessi crossed low into the box with Ennis credited with the final touch as it diverted into the back of the net.

Despite Wolves' lively forward play, Rovers showed great resolve to get back on level terms with two goals in the space of three minutes.

Just past the midway point of the half Connor Mahoney fed Forrester and his cross from the right was fired home first time by Mansell.

Then on 28 Rovers made it 2-2 with their very next attack. After Forrester had been fouled on the right, Mahoney sent over the free-kick and Platt rose highest at the back post to nod home.

Rovers continued to pose the greater threat as the first half drew to a close as Petshi, Scott Wharton and Mansell all went close, whilst Mahoney saw a fierce effort well-saved by Harry Burgoyne.

It had been an entertaining first half with both sides looking to attack at every opportunity.

The forward play from the two teams continued in the early exchanges of the second half.  Connor Hunte saw a near post effort pushed aside by Raya at one end, Forrester just off target at the other.

Then on 69 minutes the lively Mahoney looked to take advantage of a bouncing ball on the corner of the area, the youngster striking it sweetly on the half-volley only to see it clip the top of the crossbar and fly over.

The pressure from Rovers was starting to build, and only a last-ditch block from defender Ashley Carter prevented Forrester from getting a shot on goal after lovely play by substitute Dean Rittenberg. 

However from the resulting Mahoney corner, Wolves' keeper failed to claim and Mansell pounced for his second of the game.

The home side looked for an immediate response and it almost came on 77 minutes when Ennis broke free of a Wharton challenge. The forward stole in on goal to shoot but as the ball deflected off the despairing dive of Platt, Raya, who played in goal against Wolves for the first team on the opening day of the season, showed brilliant reactions to make a stunning one-handed save.

Rovers had to defend well in the closing stages as Wolves threw everything at the young back line. Platt blocked a Declan Weeks shot, then in the third minute of added time Jack Doyle made a goal saving clearance from underneath his own bar as Ennis waited to pounce.

However it was the visitors who nearly added a fourth at the end of added time as substitute Connor Thomson saw a goal-bound shot blocked. That enabled Rovers to see out the remaining moments without any further scares.

Damien Johnson's side are next in action this Wednesday afternoon when they take on Everton in the quarter-final of the Lancashire Senior Cup. Kick-off at the Rovers Academy is at 1.00pm.

WOLVES: Burgoyne, Matinyadze (sub Simpson 66 mins), Breslin (sub Harris 79 mins), Weeks (c), Upton, Carter, Bancessi, Rainey, Ennis, Enobakhare (sub Ronan 66 mins), Hunte.

Subs not used: Bills, Leacock-Mcleod

Goals: Enobakhare 10 mins, Ennis 15 mins.

Booked: None.

ROVERS: Raya, Nyambe, Doyle, Tomlinson (sub Carson 75 mins), Platt, Wharton (c), Mahoney, Petshi, Mansell (sub Thomson 90+3), Forrester, Green (sub Rittenberg 48 mins).

Subs not used: Crump, Tanner.

Goals: Mansell 25, 73 mins, Platt 28 mins.

Booked: None.

Attendance: 269

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