Jon Dagur Thorsteinsson’s fantastic hat-trick helped Fulham under 23’s to a resounding 4-1 win over their Wolves counterparts in Telford last night.
The Icelandic winger continued his rich vein of form for Peter Grant’s side by opening the scorer inside 15 minutes at the Bucks Head. He cut into the box from the left wing and engineered enough room for a shot, which flew into the top right corner – leaving Wolves goalkeeper Harry Burgoyne grasping at thin air. Thorsteinsson might have doubled Fulham’s lead a few minutes later but this time his composure deserted him as he lifted an effort from Matt O’Riley’s corner high over the crossbar.
In what became a very open contest, Wolves also posed a constant threat. Aaron Collins sent a long-range effort just over the crossbar before Luca Ashby-Hammond, impressive on his U23s debut at just sixteen years old, produced two excellent reaction saves in quick succession to deny Dan Armstrong. The assured Ashby-Hammond also smothered a deflected Christian Herc shot just before half-time to preserve Fulham’s advantage.
The home side began the second half at quite a tempo with Armstrong heading wide from Oscar Buur Rasmussen’s dangerous cross and it was little surprise when Wolves drew level in the 52nd minute. It took a terrific effort to beat young Ashby-Hammond with Collins’ dipping drive from more than 20 yards out rattling the underside of the crossbar on its way in. The Fulham keeper then got a strong hand to Donovan Wilson’s angled strike as Wolves looked to move in front.
The game was in the balance until the final ten minutes when Fulham finished off the contest with impressive ruthlessness. A searching pass from Matt O’Riley put Rob Atkinson clear down the left and Elijah Adebyao powered home an excellent header. Almost straight from the restart, Fulham had a third. Michael Elstone could consider himself unfortunate not to get on the scoresheet himself, with his strike rattling the woodwork but Thorsteinsson reacted quickest to control the rebound and slot home. Thorsteinsson completed his hat-trick two minutes into stoppage time racing through the remnants of the Wolves defence and deftly dinking the ball over the advancing Burgoyne to put a thoroughly convincing gloss on the scoreline.
WOLVES U23s (4-2-3-1): Burgoyne; Rasmussen (Xavier 85), Breslin, Odoffin, John; Goncalves, Watt (Yang 59); Armstrong, Collins, Herc; Wilson. Subs (not used): Osbourne, Heredia, Finnie.
GOAL: Collins (53).
FULHAM U23s (4-2-3-1): L. Ashby-Hammond; Jenz, Atkinson, Djalo, Davies; Edun, O’Riley; de la Torre, Thorteinsson, Elstone; Adebayo. Subs (not used): Wickens, Harris , Nabay, Pearce, Kwietniewski.
GOALS: Thorteinsson (14, 83, 90+2), Adebayo (82).
REFEREE: S. Chalkey.