Wolves Under-23s couldn’t repeat the heroics of their seniors’ win against Manchester United as they were denied a quarter-final place in the Premier League Cup, losing 2-1 to Derby.
Highly-rated left wing back Ryan Giles gave Wolves hope by halving a two-goal deficit with 11 minutes to go after switching to play up front, but it proved too little, too late at Pride Park.
Derby’s Jayden Mitchell-Lawson rounded off a memorable week, following his first-team debut against Stoke City on Wednesday with a goal and an assist to help the Rams reach the last eight for the first time.
The winger opened the scoring after just six minutes before teeing up Cameron Cresswell to make it 2-0.
Mitchell-Lawson tapped into an empty net after Wolves goalkeeper Anders Sondergaard was beaten to Alex Babos’ deep cross.
The visitors suffered another blow when when striker Niall Ennis hobbled off injured after 20 minutes.
Wolves could have fallen further behind soon after, but Calum Macdonald’s free-kick hit the post.
Mitchell-Lawson almost scored his second before the break with a header from Louie Sibley’s cross.
Wolves started the second half the brightest, and Enzo Sauvage, Ennis’ replacement, tested goalkeeper Josh Barnes with a fierce effort from the edge of the area.
But instead of Wolves scoring it was Derby who doubled their lead on the hour, after striker Cresswell converted Mitchell-Lawson’s cross at the near post.
Wolves had their chances and Sauvage could only fire straight at goalkeeper Josh Barnes.
Sauvage was again involved as Wolves replied. He won the ball deep in Derby territory and found substitute John Kitolano, who unselfishly squared to Giles to finish from close range.
Wolves pressed for an equaliser, and, deep into stoppage-time, Giles forced a wonderful save from Barnes with a 25-yard shot destined for the top corner.
Rob Edwards’s will be hoping they can return to winning ways this Saturday when they resume their Premier League 2 Division 2 title race at Newcastle on Saturday.
Derby (4-3-3): Barnes, Gordon, Bateman, Buchanan, Macdonald, Bird, Sibley, Babos, Mitchell-Lawson, Cresswell, Shonibare (Anya 87).
Subs: Roache, Yates, Hunt, Karic.
Wolves (3-5-2): Sondergaard; Sanderson, Francis, John; Buur, Goncalves, Diallo, Alves, Heredia (Kitolano 61), Ennis (Sauvage 31).
Subs: Pardington, Molberg, Cundle.