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Development Squad

PL2 Report: Wolves 3 Rovers 0

16 January 2017

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Rovers' Under-23s slipped to a disappointing 3-0 defeat at the hands of Wolves on Monday evening.

The hosts edged the first half thanks to Sylvain Deslandes' scrambled effort after Rovers had hit the post through Willem Tomlinson.

But there was to be no way back for Damien Johnson's youngsters as Wolves substitute Donovan Wilson plundered two late goals to put the game beyond the Lancashire club.

It was two evenly-matched teams that took to the field at the New Bucks Stadium as both named youthful line-ups.

Both sides had just a smattering of senior experience as Ryan Nyambe and Connor Mahoney started for Rovers, whilst Sylvain Deslandes and Morgan Gibbs-White were involved for the hosts.

There was little in the way of goalmouth action in the early exchanges, but once passed the midway point of the first half, the game sprang into life. 

It was Rovers who threatened first through Willem Tomlinson on 26 minutes. The midfielder, who was an unused substitute for the first team on Saturday, hit a rasping 25-yard that beat the Wolves keeper Jack Ruddy but rattled the upright.

However Wolves responded and took the lead from their very next attack.

After Tyler Magloire was adjudged to have fouled Daniel Armstrong on the left, Nicu Carnat hit the resulting free-kick to the far post, and following a scramble Deslandes forced the ball home from close-range.

Rovers came back with two further excellent chances as they looked to get back on level terms before the break. Another well-struck effort from Tomlinson - this time a free-kick - saw Ruddy saving well to his left. Before a Connor Mahoney corner was headed over by captain Matty Platt.

However it was Wolves who could have been going in two goals to the good as they pressed late in the first half. Will Randall seeing a shot from just inside the area comfortably saved by Rovers keeper Andy Fisher.

Wolves started the second half with early pressure from a pair of corner kicks with Gibbs-White heading the second delivery from the right narrowly over the bar.

But whilst Rovers were showing neat approach play, more often than not the final pass or cross was lacking. In contrast, whilst the hosts saw less of the ball, they carried the much the greater threat in the final third.

A flowing move saw Gibbs-White feed Armstrong on the right who picked out Aaron Collins in the are, but the striker headed straight into the grateful arms of Fisher.

Then moments later Wolves threatened once more as Armstrong's free-kick was only cleared as far as substitute Donovan Wilson, but he curled his shot just beyond the far post.

But on 70 minutes the home side got the second goal their spell of pressure deserved. Will Randall taking the ball to the byline before pulling it back for Wilson who steered the ball into the back of the net.

Joe Rankin-Costello forced Ruddy into a smart save, but it was a rare effort on target as Wolves saw out the game impressively.

Fisher had already been called upon to save to keep out curling shot from Armstrong, but there was little he could do when Wolves added a third five minutes from time.

A long ball out of defence was misjudged by Tyler Magloire and as Gibbs-White seized possession he slipped in Wilson for his second on the night.

The substitute very nearly claimed his hat-trick moments later as he latched onto a through-ball, but he lifted his effort over the onrushing Fisher but past the far post.

Rovers threatened in added time through Mahoney and Rankin-Costello but it was too little too late in what was a disappointing second half showing from the Under-23s.

WOLVES: Ruddy, Breslin, Deslandes, Herc (sub Levingston 42 mins), Johnson, Leak, Carnat (sub McKenna 46 mins), Gibbs-White, Collins (sub Wilson 64 mins), Armstrong, Randall.

Subs not used: O’Hanlon, Hayden.

Goals: Deslandes 28 mins, Wilson 70, 85 mins.

Booked: Deslandes 61 mins, Wilson 72 mins, Levingston 82 mins, Armstrong 87 mins.

ROVERS: Fisher, Nyambe, Doyle, Travis, Platt (c), Magloire, Mahoney, Tomlinson, Mansell, Rankin-Costello, Thomson (sub Hendry 66 mins).

Subs not used: Mols, Powell, Hardcastle.

Goals: None.

Booked: Mahoney 30 mins.

Attendance: 132

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