Wolves 1 (Ebanks-Blake 53)
Crystal Palace 2 (Zaha 67, 73)
Wolves lost their first home game of the season as Crystal Palace came from behind with England under 21 international Wilfried Zaha’s brace cancelling out Sylvan Ebanks-Blake’s opener for Ståle Solbakken’s men.
Slawomir Peszko was the only change for Wolves in place of the injured Razak Boukari – the man that he replaced as a substitute in the victory over Sheffield Wednesday.
Palace kicked-off attacking the North Bank end and after repelling some early thrusts from Wolves the visitors won the first corner of the game. Zaha’s kick was headed clear to Tongo Zoumbia who sprinted half the length of the field before he won a corner for Wolves.
Bakary Sako took the flag-kick which went to the far post where Stephen Ward prodded just wide.
Yannick Bolashie struck a powerful shot that wasn’t too far over before Wolves went forward for Peszko to hit a low shot that struck a defender and fell for Kevin Doyle to hook a shot goalwards only for another defender to thwart once more by getting in the way.
There was a minor melee after a Karl Henry tackle on Jonathan Williams but the skipper appeared to win the ball and the referee was obviously of the same opinion as he didn’t give a foul.
Bolashie hit a fierce shot that looked a goal all the way but Kevin Foley blocked brilliantly and there was another moment of danger from Palace when Doumbia was adjudged to have fouled Zaha right on the edge of the box but Owen Garvan’s low free-kick struck the defensive wall and was cleared.
Bolashie cut into the area and fired so wide of the mark that the ball went out for a throw in the far side. Then it was Wolves’ turn to threaten with Ebanks-Blake’s header being pawed away by Palace keeper Julian Speroni after a great cross from Sako.
Henry went into the book after a challenge on Williams before Sako continued to torment the Eagles defence this time with a driven cross that Speroni turned behind at his near post. From Sako’s corner, Doyle headed over.
In the 39th minute a low cross from Peszko ran to Doyle but Joel Ward just managed to get a boot in and turn the ball behind. To the amazement of players and supporters, the referee gave a goal-lick.
Bolashie fired over the bar from the edge of the box and Palace appeals for a penalty following Sako’s challenge on Zaha were ignored by the referee.
There were chances for both sides in stoppage time. Sako was inches over with a terrific first time effort after a great cross from Peszko, and Dean Moxey tested Carl Ikeme with an angled drive from just inside the box.
Half-Time: Wolves 0 Palace 0
Four minutes after some good work from Stephen Ward, the ever willing Doyle ran down the left beating two men before crossing to Ebanks-Blake whose header bounced straight at Speroni.
For Palace, Moxey worked his way into a good position before shooting well off target before Wolves moved into a 53rd minute lead. Damien Delaney dwelt a little too long on the ball in the Palace box allowing the striker in nip in and shoot past Speroni.
After a great length of the field move, only the woodwork stood between Wanderers and a second goal. Peszko cut inside and passed to Sako whose shot was blocked. The ball bounced to Doyle and his shot on the turn smacked against the crossbar.
But from being in a position where they almost had the match won, it then went horribly wrong for Wolves. Midway through the half Zaha, looking suspiciously offside, slipped the ball past Ikeme to level matters.
Peszko was carried off on a stretcher shortly afterwards following a challenge from Williams and he was replaced by Björn Sigurdarson. Then Zaha struck again, holding off a challenge from Ward before smashing the ball past Ikeme from just outside the area.
Predictably, Wolves laid siege to the Palace goal with Christophe Berra heading over from a Sako corner, before Moxey sliced the ball over his own bar after a Sako cross.
Even five minutes of stoppage time couldn’t bring an equaliser for Wanderers who bizarrely lost out after one of their better attacking performances of the season.
Wolves: Ikeme, Foley (Edwards 82), S. Ward, Henry (capt) (Davis 58), Berra, Johnson, Peszko (Sigurdarson 70), Doumbia, Ebanks-Blake, Doyle, Sako.
Unused subs: Stearman, Batth, Forde, De Vries.
Booking: Henry (33 – foul).
Palace: Speroni, J. Ward, Delaney, Moxey, Blake, Zaha (Ramage 88), Murray, Jedinak (capt), Garvan, Bolashie (Moritz 62), Williams (Parr 70).
Unused subs: O’Keefe, Price, Wilbraham, Goodwillie.
Referee: G. Salisbury.