Salford City 3 (Armstrong 43, 47, Towell 87) Wolves U21s 0
Wolves Under-21s were a distant second best as they crashed out of the Leasing.com Trophy to League Two new boys Salford City.
Caretaker coach Mark Kennedy’s side had little chance to shine in the second round tie against the dominant hosts, whose supremacy was underlined with two goals from Luke Armstrong in four minutes either side of the break.
Richie Towell sealed a comfortable victory for Graham Alexander’s side three minutes from time at the Peninsula Stadium.
Wolves could have few complaints at the outcome. They failed to seriously test goalkeeper Kyle Letheren apart from a routine stop from an Elliot Watt first-half free kick, while Salford created plenty of chances and could have added to their tally.
The big team news from Wolves was the inclusion of winger Jordan Graham, although the 24-year-old played in the competition in the 1-0 defeat at Blackpool and in recent Under-23s games.
Salford had a header blocked from a corner but Wolves created the first sniff of a chance in the 19th minute as they broke on the counter attack.
Graham surged down the left, beating right back Oscar Threlkeld before cutting the ball back for Chem Campbell, but the 16-year-old was blocked off from taking the shot.
Wolves goalkeeper Andreas Sondegaard had to be alert to palm away Jake Jervis’s curling free kick from near the corner flag under pressure.
But it was a free kick at the other end that forced the first save from Letheren as Watt’s curling effort from 30 yards forced him into a falling save to his right.
Salford appealed for a penalty in the 32nd minute when striker Brandon Asante fell following an aerial challenge with Christian Marques, but the referee was having none of it.
Wolves right wing back Dion Sanderson created a chance with a fine cross, but the delivery seemed to catch Campbell by surprise and he missed the header from close range.
Five minutes before the break, Salford broke on Wolves through Asante cutting in from the left on his right foot, but Marques made a brilliant block to save the danger.
But he was powerless to stop Salford taking the lead in the 43rd minute.
Wolves failed to deal with a cross from the left from Danny Lloyd and Jervis had an effort blocked before Armstrong rifled into the roof of the net from close range.
Two minutes after the break Salford doubled their lead. Another cross, this time from Jervis from the right, evaded a crowded box but found Armstrong, who had stole in unmarked beyond Sanderson at the far post to send a stooping header into the net.
Salford were on top and Lloyd cut inside Sanderson only to send an angled drive well wide, before the hosts appealed in vain for a penalty.
They claimed Dan Csoka appeared to clip Jervis’s heels, sending him sprawling in the box, but the referee was unmoved.
Wolves showed for the first time in the second half when Graham whipped in a tantalising cross from the right, but Campbell wasn’t alert to it and the ball was cleared.
Salford remained in the ascendancy however and Asante’s shot on the turn was blocked before Joey Jones’s curling effort forced a falling save from Sondegaard to his right from 25 yards.
In what was proving a long second half for Wolves, little had been seen of the visitors going forward.
But they broke through Graham’s cross and although substitute Austin Samuels missed the ball, Sanderson crashed a shot into the sidenetting.
Salford returned to the attack and Lloyd’s full-blooded volley from substitute Ibou Touray’s cross was blocked by Sondegaard’s legs before Asante dragged a low effort just wide.
Three minutes from time, midfielder Towell scored the goal of the game with a full-blooded volley from the edge of the box after sub Mani Dieseruvwe’s header was nodded away by fellow replacement John Kitolano.
Salford (4-4-2): Letheren; Threlkeld (Wiseman 80), Hogan (c), Piergianni. Dan Jones; Jervis (Dieseruvwe 80), Towell, Joey Jones, Lloyd; Asante, Armstrong (Touray 71).
Subs: Neal, Baldwin, Whitehead, Doyle.
Wolves U21s (3-4-3): Sondegaard; Francis (c), Marques, Csoka (Kitolano 65); Sanderson, Watt, Cundle (Samuels 65), Richards; Campbell, Graham, Taylor.
Subs: Pardington, Thompson, Cristovao, Dongda He, Yang.
Referee: Scott Oldham.
Attendance: 505 (120 Wolves fans).