Byram and Dallas on target in 3-2 win at Molineux...
WOLVES 2 (Afobe 10, Byrne 81), UNITED 3 (Byram 44, 60, Dallas 51)
Wolves team: Ikeme, Iorfa, Batth, Ebanks-Landell, Golbourne, Price (Coady 84), McDonald, Henry (Byrne 67), Edwards (Le Fondre 59), Graham, Afobe. Subs: McCarey, Doherty, Wallace, Holt.
United: Silvestri, Wootton, Bellusci, Cooper, Taylor, Byram, Cook, Adeyemi (Doukara 30), Bridcutt, Dallas (Mowatt 85), Wood (Antenucci 80). Subs: Peacock-Farrell, Coyle, Bamba, Murphy.
Referee: S Attwell
Booked: Bellusci (United)
Att: 19,592 (1,445 United)
The televised midweek trip to Molineux saw United head coach Steve Evans make just the one change from the previous weekend’s draw at Charlton, recalling Sam Byram to the starting line-up in place of Alex Mowatt. Sol Bamba returned from injury to occupy a place on the substitutes’ bench alongside Academy graduate Lewie Coyle, who stepped up for his first senior involvement.
United couldn’t have come any closer to taking an early lead with their first meaningful attack of the evening after just seven minutes, Stuart Dallas latching onto Chris Wood’s knockdown to rattle the far post with a thumping, dipping volley which left Carl Ikeme rooted to the spot.
But that proved to be as good as it got in the early stages for Evans’ side, as Wolves threatened an opener through Afobe’s low effort which dragged across the face of Marco Silvestri’s goal, before the striker managed to find the net on the 10th-minute mark with a calm finish after latching onto a long ball over the top.
The opening goal signalled a spell of dominance from the hosts, who forced the Leeds defence to hold firm as they attacked in numbers with a flurry of deliveries into the area.
Winger Jordan Graham was giving those in White shirts plenty to think about with his mazy runs down the left, but it was Afobe who was Wolves’ focal point as he fired inches wide on the turn from inside the area as the hosts chased a second.
The half-hour mark saw Evans make his first change of the night, replacing midfielder Tom Adeyemi with Souleymane Doukara as United shifted formation to line up with two strikers.
Wolves continued to press, though, and Graham forced Silvestri into a sharp, low save down to his left after creating space to shoot on the edge of the area.
Despite the hosts’ abundance of attacks, the change appeared to be working for Leeds who were ending the first half increasingly strongly. Wood was just unable to bring Doukara’s cross down inside the area, before Byram surged into the box to see his low strike blocked from a tight angle.
Byram was able to equalise on the stroke of half-time, though, with his first competitive goal of the season after being found by Wood. The 22-year-old took the striker’s pass in his stride to slot calmly beyond the onrushing Ikeme to delight the travelling hordes.
It meant the sides went in level at the break before an unchanged United made a rapid start to the second half as Doukara unselfishly threaded Wood into the area, only for the striker to be smothered by Ikeme who was quick off his line.
But Evans’ men soon took the lead – a deserved reward for a good spell of pressure on the Wolves goal. Dallas, invited to stride forward down the right, exchanged passes with Doukara before rifling a low drive beyond Ikeme at his near post for the Northern Ireland winger’s first goal for the club.
It was soon becoming one-way traffic as the home crowd grew restless, and Ikeme was twice on hand to deny Wood from giving United a two-goal advantage – first clawing away his close-range header before using his feet to block the striker from picking out the bottom corner.
Leeds continued to press, though, and soon found a third of the evening as Byram powered home a back-post header after rising to meet Charlie Taylor’s cross for his second of the night.
United looked to be good value for the two-goal lead and a comfortable 10-minute passage of play followed before Wolves went in search of a way back into the contest.
Substitute Adam Le Fondre met a floated free-kick inside the area but his tame header was comfortably held by Silvestri, before fellow substitute Nathan Byrne was able to pull one back with a cushioned volley from Graham’s deep cross. But it proved to be the game's final meaningful piece of goalmouth action as Leeds saw the closing stages out to make it three games unbeaten.