United edged out in 4-3 defeat at Molineux...
WOLVES 4 (Dicko 19, 45+1, Afobe 48, Edwards 88), UNITED 3 (Taylor 11, Batth og 66, Mowatt 74).
Wolves: Ikeme, Iorfa, Batth, Stearman, Golbourne, Henry (van La Parra 78), McDonald, Price, Sako, Afobe, Dicko (Edwards 70). Subs. Kuszczak, Doherty, Doyle, Ebanks-Landell, Hause.
United: Silvestri, Wootton, Bamba, Cooper, Berardi, Murphy, Phillips, Mowatt, C Taylor, Byram, Antenucci (Sharp 81). Subs. Taylor, Del Fabro, Ngoyi, Sloth, Doukara, Cani.
Referee: D Coote
Booked: Golbourne, Batth (Wolves), Wootton, Byram, Bamba (United)
Att: 25,169 (2,407 United)
The televised Easter Monday visit to Wolves saw United head coach Neil Redfearn make three changes from the home defeat to Blackburn three days earlier. Kalvin Phillips, making his Leeds debut, came into midfield for the suspended Rodolph Austin, while Liam Cooper and Mirco Antenucci replaced Giuseppe Bellusci and Steve Morison respectively.
Ahead of kick-off at Molineux, the stadium joined together for a minute’s applause and both captains brought floral wreaths onto the pitch in memory of Martyn Matthews, the Wolves supporter who tragically passed away in the recent French Alps air crash.
It was the hosts who made the livelier start of the two inside the first 10 minutes, with Nouha Dicko dragging a low effort wide inside the opening three minutes before heading over James Henry’s whipped free-kick from point-blank range.
But Redfearn’s side withstood the Wolves pressure and found themselves ahead on 11 minutes courtesy of Charlie Taylor’s first senior goal for the club. Phillips’ harrying forced Kevin McDonald into an awkward position by the corner flag and his hashed clearance cannoned back off an orange shirt and into the path of Taylor, who calmly tucked underneath Carl Ikeme from six yards out.
Wolves looked to mount a quick response and, moments after Marco Silvestri had held Bakary Sako’s low effort, the hosts drew level as Dicko converted Benik Afobe’s back post cross from an acute angle following a swift breakaway.
It was a fast-paced start to proceedings and somewhat of a fiery one, too, with a number of full-blooded tackles setting the tone of the first half.
Wolves were seeing more of the ball and starting to ask serious questions of the United defence as Silvestri was twice called into action. First, the United keeper clutched onto Henry’s curling effort on the turn before his reflexes were truly tested after 28 minutes, again denying Henry, following Dominic Iorfa’s cutback.
A spell of United possession followed and Taylor, driving the team forward, cut apart the Wolves defence with a bursting run, only for a superb recovering challenge from Henry to steal the ball from his feet as he looked to pull the trigger.
Silvestri then smothered Henry at the opposite end before the hosts edged themselves in front on the stroke of half-time. Sako’s ball over the top found Dicko hurtling towards the area and the forward was able to beat Silvestri at his near post with a low strike off the woodwork.
The two teams re-emerged from the break unchanged and Ikeme was called upon in the Wolves goal within two minutes of the restart to push away Alex Mowatt’s attempt after the midfielder was invited to shoot on the edge of the box.
But Wolves soon re-discovered the rhythm they’d ended the first half with and their lead was quickly extended, with Afobe forcing the ball beyond Silvestri after a scramble inside the area on 48 minutes.
A much quieter passage of play followed with the hosts seemingly content with their two-goal advantage. Redfearn urged his men to venture forward in search of a way back into the game and Mowatt almost wriggled his way through the Wolves defence as United probed.
And the 66th minute brought a glimmer of hope for the travelling army as a Danny Batth own goal reduced the deficit. Mowatt’s floated delivery into the box searched for the run of Antenucci inside the area, but the outstretched leg of Batth inadvertently turned it beyond Ikeme.
It gave United the lift that was needed and, against the odds, Redfearn’s side completed the comeback in spectacular fashion eight minutes later through Mowatt’s ninth of the season. The midfielder stole the ball from the toes of Stearman and proceeded to stride forward before sending an unstoppable left-footed effort past the sprawling Ikeme and into the top corner.
The game was suddenly wide open and there for the taking again. Redfearn swapped Antenucci for Billy Sharp in attack with 10 minutes remaining, while the United defence held firm to see out three quick-fire counters.
But it was Wolves who grabbed the seventh of the evening to re-take the lead as substitute Dave Edwards rose highest inside the area to guide a towering header into Silvestri’s top corner and seal the three points just two minutes from time.