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Kick off 19:45 (UK)

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12 September 2023 Venue Meadow Lane Attendance

Kick off 19:45 (UK)

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Match Reports

Report: Notts 1-2 Wolves U21

Group stage begins with defeat

12 September 2023

Goals either side of half-time consigned us to defeat in the first match of our EFL Trophy group stage.

Owen Hesketh and Nathan Fraser both struck for Wolves Under 21s on an evening of heavy squad rotation at Meadow Lane, with an injury-time own goal halving the deficit.

Luke Williams started with a back four for this one, with Adam Chicksen, Aden Baldwin, Connell Rawlinson and Lewis Macari shielding goalkeeper Sam Slocombe.

John Bostock and Jim O’Brien played at the base of our midfield, with attacking trio Luther Munakandafa, Sam Austin and Tobi Adebayo looking to supply striker Junior Morias.

It was a big night for Munakandafa, Macari and Morias as they were all handed their first starts for the club – but summer recruit Will Randall had to wait a little longer for his Notts bow as he took his place on the bench alongside Aidan Stone, Richard Brindley, Kyle Cameron, Dan Crowley, Matt Palmer and Macaulay Langstaff.

We took early control of the game but it counted for nothing on 12 minutes when Bostock’s misplaced pass led to Hesketh sweeping home the opener.

Hesketh could have made it 2-0 eight minutes later when he dinked a shot over the onrushing Slocombe, only to see the ball nestle in the side-netting.

Chances were proving few and far between for Morias who, after seeing a difficult headed opportunity comfortably saved, watched on as the visitors failed to take advantage of a golden opportunity to double their lead when Bruno Jordao dallied long enough to let Bostock put him off his shot after he had intercepted Slocombe’s attempted pass.

Morias saw another headed effort saved, as did O’Brien, as we continued our pursuit of an equaliser – and we should have had one shortly before the break when we forced a Wolves error inside their own penalty area. Austin could perhaps have taken the shot on himself but instead decided to square the ball for Munakandafa, who was unable to turn the ball into the empty net with a defender in close proximity.

That meant we went into the break behind, with Williams opting to make four changes at the interval as Cameron, Brindley, Palmer and Crowley replaced Rawlinson, Baldwin, Bostock and Austin.

But it was the visitors who would strike next as a diagonal ball over the top exposed Cameron after Chicksen had been pulled out of position, allowing Fraser to lash the ball home from eight yards.

Randall’s debut finally arrived on 65 minutes as he replaced Adebayo and he watched on as fellow sub Crowley did well to get into the area, only to see his goalbound shot blocked by the foot of a defender.

Wolves’ defence was proving resolute as they got in the way of another shot, this time from Macari, as the clock ticked towards 90.

We finally broke the visitors' rearguard inside six added minutes, Justin Hubner firing into his own net under pressure from Morias.

But that proved to be a mere consolation as we slipped to defeat.

STARTING XI: Slocombe; Chicksen, Baldwin (Brindley 46'), Rawlinson (Cameron 46'), Macari; Bostock (Palmer 46'), O'Brien; Munakandafa, Austin (Crowley 46'), Adebayo (Randall 65'); Morias

SUBS: Stone, Langstaff

BOOKINGS: Munakandafa 44'

ATTENDANCE: 1,459 (110)

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