Report: Wolves Under-23s pegged back by Athletic Bilbao after early Ashley-Seal goal
A 1-1 draw with Athletic Bilbao ensured Wolves’ Under-23s’ unbeaten run in the Premier League International Cup rolled on.
Wolves drew 1-1 with Paris Saint Germain at Molineux last week and built on that opening group game with another draw, writes Rosie Swarbrick.
Interim boss Mark Kennedy’s side made a perfect start as Benny Ashley-Seal pounced in the fourth minute. He rolled the ball past Ander Iruarrizaga but the Bilbao keeper was on hand to thwart Wolves’ forgotten man Jordan Graham in the 16th minute.
Graham has linked up with Kennedy’s development squad instead of Nuno Espirito Santo’s first-team squad since his loan move at Lokomotiv Plovdiv collapsed.
He did not feature against PSG but with Taylor Perry, Owen Otasowie and Luke Cundle with the first team as they bid for Europa League success in Braga, the 24-year-old got an opportunity to feature in this competition.
But after winning a penalty, he was foiled by Iruarrizaga, who dived low to his right to tip away Graham’s spot-kick.
Bilbao fought back with Antonia Salado hitting the bar after Asier Cordoba had stung keeper Andreas Sondergaard’s leg.
But Wolves also hit the woodwork as Terry Taylor’s effort smashed the the right post just before the break.
Bilbao stepped up a gear at the start of the second period and found a deserved leveller in the 59th minute as Gorka Guruzeta slid the ball past Sondergaard.
Cordoba was denied by the woodwork but it was Kennedy’s side that pushed for a winner, Iruarrizaga pulling off a fine save to deny Ed Francis at the death.
Wolves: Sondergaard, Marques, Francis, Csoka, Sanderson (Thompson, 77), Taylor, Watt, Campbell, Richards, Ashley-Seal, Graham. Subs not used: Cristovao, Pardington, Kitolano, Dai, Samuels, He.
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