Wolves Under-23s have been confirmed as Premier League 2 Division Two champions.
Rob Edwards’s side effectively won the only automatic promotion place on Friday night when they came from 2-0 down with nine minutes to go to beat Manchester United 3-2 at Leigh Sports Village.
Southampton were then the only team who could catch them but they needed to beat Sunderland by 12 clear goals tonight in their final game of the season to overhaul them. Saints won 5-1, meaning Wolves will be joining the elite next season.
Wolves pipped the south coast side on goal difference – theirs is plus 23 and Southampton’s is plus 16, with both teams having won 13, drew four and lost five of their 22 games. It means Saints, Reading, Newcastle and Villa will contest the play-offs to see who joins Wolves in Division One next season.
Wolves secured a dramatic victory at United thanks to a Lee O’Connor own goal and fine strikes from striker Niall Ennis and midfielder Sadou Diallo, whose winner came inside the eight minutes of injury time.
The youngsters will now look forward to being presented with the PL2 Division Two trophy, which will hopefully take place at Saturday’s final first team home game of the season against relegated Fulham.
Edwards said after Friday’s game: “I’m really proud of the players and everything that they’ve given this season. It was incredible the way the managed to turn it around, and they did that.
“They’ve got to keep that now because they showed something there. They’re going to be good players and they’re going to have long careers if they keep that, what they have shown this season. I am really proud of that and of the staff.”
Two Wolves players were among the top goalscorers in the division, Benny Ashley-Seal and Ennis finishing with 10 behind Norwich’s Adam Uche Idah on 12 and Elias Sorensen of Newcastle with 11 and tying with Reading’s Danny Loader.
Wolves’ right wing back Oscar Buur finished as joint top of the assists chart with six, tying with Newcastle’s Matthew Longstaff.