First-half - Joe Mwasile challenges for the ball (1)

Nantwich Town played out a creditable goalless draw with Wolves’ development squad at the Optimum Pay Stadium, writes Liam Price.

The Premier League academy brought a combination of their under-23s and under-18s squads to face Dave Cooke’s side, and were given a great run for their money.

Dabbers keeper Ollie Hawkins was forced into an early save from the Wolves right-back.

Jack Hatton flashed a cross across the Wolves goal as the home team started to threaten.

The first half was punctuated by a couple of apparent muscle injuries for Nantwich, the first coming only 11 minutes in as Caspar Hughes had to be replaced by Ollie Pope.

Sean Cooke had an effort from a free-kick deflected over by a tall Wolves wall, before a decent Wolves move was let down by a poor finish, which became the story of their day as the match went on.

Then came the second Dabbers injury, Joe Mwasile looked to pull up holding his hamstring, he attempted to play on for a few minutes longer but in the end had to give in and let Joe Thompson come on.

These injuries, combined with Joe Malkin’s injury against Crewe, will mean there’ll be a bit of concern for Dabbers staff with the league only a few weeks away.

Pope then had a decent flicked header attempt that was well saved by the Wolves keeper.

The best chance of the half came as the Wolves number 7 pounced on a clever pullback and saw it brilliantly pushed over by Scott in the Dabbers goal, the young man couldn’t believe how it hadn’t gone in.

In the second half, Scott was busy again as he misjudged a run off his line against the rapid Wolves number 10 but fortunately for him he wasn’t able to get a shot away.

The Dabbers best move saw Cooke clip a ball over the top for Hatton who’d switched to the left side, he struck the keeper from a narrow angle.

Then, Ollie Pope saw what looked like a sure-fire goal taken off his head by a Wolves defender, Pope looked lively all the way through his spell on the pitch and gave the young defence plenty of headaches.

After third goalkeeper Jake Terry had made a good save, Pope again came close with a left-footed effort that was tipped round the post.

Jimmy Lawrie then had a go from range, and a heavy deflection almost looped in were it not for the quick reactions of the keeper.

Second-half - Wolves U23 sky their penalty over the bar (1)

Wolves sky their penalty over the bar

Then a late scare five minutes from time, Wolves no. 20 was brought down on the left of the area for a penalty.

Luckily for the Dabbers, Wolves’ no. 19 blazed over the middle of the bar with Terry committed to his right.

In the end, a fair result against illustrious opposition that will hopefully inspire the Dabbers kick-on into the last few games of pre-season.

Teams
Nantwich Town: Hawkins (Scott, 30, Terry, 60), Hatton, Wood, Stair, Harrison, Hughes (Pope, 12), Heath, Lawrie, Mwasile (Thompson, 35), Cooke, Thommy

Wolves squad (numbers not given): Sondegaard, Moulden, Nya, Lonwijk, Hubner, Keto-Diyawa, Tipton, Ojinnaka, Bugarin, Carty, Samuels, Kaketa, Mabete, Francis-Burrell, Rees, Lambikisa, Forrester, Farmer, Roberts, McLeod, Gilbert, Diomande

(Images by Jonathan White)

Second-half - Connor Heath goes close with a late shot on goal (1)

First-half - opposition players fight for the ball (1)

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