Preston North End 1 (Johnson 10)
Wolves 1 (McDonald 90+1)
It took a stoppage time stunner from Kevin McDonald to salvage a point for Wolves against a Preston side that was down to ten men after just 20 minutes and nine for the closing stages of a tempestuous contest.
Skipper Danny Batth returned for his first senior game of the season in another much changed Wolves side.
Wolves kicked-off defending the end of Deepdale that housed around 2,500 of their followers.
After a chanceless opening to the game Preston moved into a tenth minute lead with Daniel Johnson’s shot from 20-yards hitting Batth which deflected the ball away from Emi Martinez and into the bottom corner of the net.
Adam Reach, making his debut for North End after a loan move from Middlesbrough, saw his drive take a massive deflection. Although the ball was well wide, it went out for a corner that was easily cleared.
In the 13th minute Joe Garner hit a fierce shot from fully 25-yards out that flew narrowly wide of the far upright.
But the striker’s next significant action was to spell the end of the game for him. His caught Batth on the side of the head with a raised boot which left the defender in need of treatment. Although Garner stayed down himself, as soon as he got to his feet the referee brandished the red card for a reckless challenge.
James Henry figured heavily as Wolves went in search of an equaliser. From long range he fired over the bar before his through ball intended for Benik Afobe had a tad too much pace allowing home keeper Jordan Pickford to boot clear from the edge of his area.
It was Henry again that threatened, this time with an angled drive from the 18-yard line that flew well wide, before Dominic Iorfa was booked for a shove on Reach to the left of the Wolves box. Reach’s free-kick dropped to Tom Clarke who wasn’t far off with a shot on the turn.
Just before the break Iorfa went on one of his swashbuckling runs down the right flank. Alan Browne turned his cross out for a corner which was taken by Henry and played back to Afobe whose effort bounced clear off a defender.
Half-Time; Preston 1 Wolves 0
Adam Le Fondre replaced van La Parra at the start of the new half.
Jed Wallace sidestepped his marker as he ran into the box before hitting a low shot that had Pickford at full stretch.
Pickford then punched clear a driven free-kick from Henry after Le Fondre had been fouled to the right of the home box.
The introduction of Le Fondre had livened up the Wanderers attack and after Pickford had somehow got down to turn aside a drive from the edge of the box, the on loan striker chipped wide with his next attempt.
Le Fondre then stretched to reach McDonald’s angled cross getting a touch which took the ball to the keeper before the pairs momentum saw them accidently collide.
On 65 minutes, Henry and Wallace were replaced by Nathan Byrne and Sheyi Ojo respectively whilst Preston sent on Jordan Hugill for Will Keane.
Emi Martinez had to turn a Reach shot behind in a rare Preston attack before John Welsh was yellow cared for a challenge on Ojo.
He was joined in the book by Bailey Wright for a challenge on Le Fondre and when the same player fouled Iorfa just three minutes later, the home crowd were incensed as the referee waved a second yellow and then as red at the Preston man.
The home team pulled everyone back in the hope of preserving their advantage and, in a white hot atmosphere, more bookings followed with Pickford for time wasting and McDonald for a foul going into the book.
Batth moved upfield and headed powerfully wide following a centre from Ojo before McDonald came to the rescue with a terrific strike from 20-yards that curled into the top corner of the net in the first of the five minutes of added time.
Wolves went for a winner in the short time that remained with Welsh almost putting the ball into his own net in clearing McDonald’s cross.
PNE: Pickford, Cunningham, Clarke (capt), Wright, Keane (Keane 65), Johnson (Humphrey 77), Garner, Woods, Browne, Welsh, Reach.
Unused subs: Kirkland, Vermul, Kilkenny, Doyle, May.
Bookings: Welsh (67 – foul), Wright (78 – foul), Pickford (84 – time wasting), Cunningham (90+3 – foul).
Sendings-Off: Garner (20 – reckless challenge), Wright (81 – foul, second bookable offence).
Wolves: Martinez, Iorfa, Golbourne, McDonald, Batth (capt), Hause, Henry (Byrne 65), Price, Afobe, van La Parra (Le Fondre 45), Wallace (Ojo 65).
Unused subs: Ikeme, Doherty, Saville, Ebanks-Landell.
Bookings: Iorfa (42 – foul), McDonald (85 – foul).
Referee: T. Kettle.
Attendance: 13,049 (2,477 away supporters).
Wolves Under 18s 3 (Carnat, Levingston, Finney) West Bromwich Albion 1