Wolves 2 - 0 Manchester City
Wolverhampton Wanderers might be struggling in the Championship but their promising youngsters showed the club's longterm future is in good hands by cruising into the last eight of the FA Youth Cup last night.
John Perkins' Academy League players beat a much-fancied Manchester City at wintry Molineux to book Wolves their first appearance in the Youth Cup quarter-finals in 29 years. They now play hosts Derby County next month.
But one of the architects of victory had to be Wolves manager Glenn Hoddle who allowed the strongest possible team to line up.
Skipper Mark Davies, striker Chris Cornes and defender Martin Riley had all been part of Hoddle's squad for Saturday's game against Gillingham. But, instead of being saved for tonight's game at Queens Park Rangers, they were allowed to return to youth team duty.
"We wanted them to sample what it's like to be in and around the first team," said assistant manager Stuart Gray. "But we left them behind from the squad travelling down to London. We wanted to keep our youth team side as strong as possible."
However, it took goalkeeping clangers by City keeper Kasper Schmeichel, son of the Peter, to help Wolves through.
Only a minute and a half had gone when Wolves keeper Wayne Hennessey's long punt caused confusion, and City full-back Sam Williamson, under pressure from Davies, responded to Schmeichel's call by heading back towards his own keeper. But Schmeichel misread it and the ball looped comically into the net.
City, who had gone close through Daniel Sturridge (nephew of Wolves striker Dean), stepped up the pressure after the break. But Hennessey made three good saves, two from Ashley Grimes, and another at his near post to deny Ishmael Miller.
And Wolves settled it when substitute Lee Collins slipped the ball inside, Schmeichel could only parry a fierce shot from the impressive Cornes. And, almost on the goal line, Gareth Musson rammed in the rebound.
Scorers: Williamson (OG, 2); Musson (64).
WOLVES (4-4-1-1): Hennessey; Little, Riley, Taylor, Rafferty (Collins, h-t); Musson (Bennett, 76), Gleeson, Fitzpatrick, Stewart; Davies; Cornes. Subs: Shepherd (gk), Askey, Ferren
MANCHESTER CITY (4-4-2): Schmeichel; Wallwork (Ward, 63), Richards, Onuoha, Williamson; Etuhu, Williams (Logan, 69), Johnson, Grimes; Sturridge, Miller. Subs: Matthewson (gk), McGinlay, Russell, McDonald.
Referee: G Sutton. Bookings: Wolves - Cornes, Little (fouls); City - Miller (dissent).
Wolves man of the match: Chris Cornes - best of a good young bunch.