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Saturday 16th October 2021

Salford Schools U14 v Wolverhampton Schools U14

The Wolverhampton Group made the journey to Salford on the back of a disappointing result in Manchester on the previous Saturday. We were without our top goalscorer Kaiden Robinson who was called up into the Birmingham City older age group squad late on the eve of the game. We were able to give three new players the opportunity to represent the city and all three of them made superb contributions in a very pleasing performance. Mason Brown (St Matthias), Zesayous Graham (Coppice) and stepping up an age group Bailey Perry (Our Lady & St. Chad).

Whilst the changing rooms were full of character the welcome and hospitality of the Salford staff was appreciated, and the game was played on a decent pitch. Before the game Wolverhampton were challenged to make a quicker start to the game than they had done in previous games and they responded brilliantly. After just two minutes following a high press, right winger Josh Welford robbed the Salford full back and shot firmly across the keeper from a tight angle to see his effort go in at the far post. A great start. 1-0

We had sorted out corner kicks prior to the game and the first one, just two minutes after our first goal, led to our second. A very good inswinging delivery from the left, from Josh Welford was met by Roman Duggan, who gave the Salford keeper no chance with a powerful header from six yards out. 2-0

Salford are a good team who began to impose themselves on the game, and they worked hard to get back in the game. Midway through the half a Salford corner was put into the Wolverhampton area and their striker was able to head into the net unchallenged as the Wolverhampton defenders looked at each other expected someone else to head clear, and nobody did. 2-1 A somewhat makeshift Wolverhampton defence, and midfield that hadn’t played together before, were now showing signs of vulnerability, and this was exploited by Salford.

As Wolverhampton players were out of position again, the Salford right winger shot high into the far top corner of the net, giving Mason Brown no chance, to make it 2-2. This leveller spurred some of the better Wolverhampton players to react and hit back. Bailey Perry worked hard to create chances, and Zesayous Graham had a couple of attempts on the Salford goal. One shot from outside the box just going wide and soon afterwards another went over the bar.

A tactical switch saw Eti Efosa coming on as a first half sub and he made an instant impact. Playing a very good one-two on the edge of a crowded Salford penalty area with David Osifo, saw the later tripped as he received the ball for a penalty with just a few minutes to half time. Harley Carrier put the penalty away confidently to make it 3-2 to Wolverhampton.

HALF TIME: Salford 2 Wolverhampton 3

A good first half had seen Wolverhampton struggle at times to dominate and gain control in many areas of the pitch, whilst at other times, the quality of the Wolverhampton players and their potential to improve was clear. A few positional suggestions were spoken about with our defenders and midfield players, and our two strikers were both challenged to get a goal. Wolverhampton worked hard to improve. Their shape was better out of possession which gave a better basis for building attacks. David Osifo and Zesayous Graham were impressive in the centre of midfield and Roman Duggan was commanding in the centre of defence. Harley Carrier was asked to help us out by filling in at left back and all this ensured that we didn’t concede any further goals in the second half.

Bailey Perry worked hard to create goals, a good shot from him from outside of the box was pushed away by the Salford keeper. Eti Efosa had a couple of half chances to score but couldn’t apply the finishing touch, but he won us a free kick 25 yards out. Roman Duggan stepped up to take it and whilst the keeper saved his shot he couldn’t hold it and Eti Efosa was on hand to turn the ball in to make it 4-2. It looked like that goal had secured the win, but Bailey Perry’s determination got him to close down the full back in possession, get on the ball, and he showed great composure to then turn the ball in to score with the last kick of the game.

FULL TIME: Salford 2 Wolverhampton 5

A really pleasing performance, with glimpses of great potential. Well done all the boys who did so well in representing Wolverhampton Schools FA today

Mason Brown (St Matthias); Pranjal Singh (Heath Park), Roman Duggan (St Edmunds), Joshua Ife (St Edmunds), Zeke Dira (Moreton); Josh Welford (St Edmunds), Zesayous Graham (Coppice), David Osifo (St Edmunds), Harley Carrier (Our Lady & St Chad); Josh Tarbuck (St Matthias), Bailey Perry (Our Lady & St Chad); Eti Efosa (Colton Hills).

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