Wolves 2 (Afobe 10, Byrne 81)
Leeds United 3 (Byram 44, 60, Dallas 51)
After the way they played in the opening 40 minutes, and holding the lead, it was hard to envisage anything but a Wolves victory. But after levelling right on half-time, Leeds moved into a 3-1 advantage after an hour’s play.
A late goal from substitute Nathan Byrne sparked a mini revival but it wasn’t enough to salvage a point and the winless run at Molineux now stretches to six games.
Benik Afobe returned in place of Adam Le Fondre as the only change to the home starting X1 as Wolves kicked-off attacking the North Bank end.
Afobe almost got to Kevin McDonald’s long free-kick into the Leeds box but keeper Marco Silvestri was quickly off his line to claim, before Carl Ikeme’s first taste of the action came when he plucked Charlie Taylor’s swirling cross out of the air.
But the keeper was a spectator when Stuart Dallas unleashed a 25-yard volley that smacked against the post and bounced to safety. Seconds later it was Wolves turn as Jordan Graham jinked his way past three challenges and slipped the ball through to Afobe who screwed a shot well wide of the far post.
But the striker wasn’t to be denied and he gave Wolves a tenth minute lead. James Henry nodded down Scott Golbourne’s long through pass and Afobe took a couple of steps before guiding the ball past Silvestri.
Golbourne went on a surging run down the left flank and Liam Cooper just got in front of Afobe to clear the dangerous cross otherwise Wolves would almost certainly have been two up.
In the 27th minute, Danny Batth, who was up for a corner, displayed some nifty, juggling footwork before sending a short cross to Afobe who turned and fired inches wide of the far post.
Leeds were then forced into a change as Tom Adeyemi limped off to be replaced by Souleymane Doukara.
Graham lost the ball and then won it back on the edge of the Leeds box and the low shot that followed drew a full length save from Silvesteri.
After being on the backfoot for most of the half, Leeds pulled level in the 44th minute when Sam Byram took a return pass from Chris Wood and slotted the ball past the unprotected Ikeme.
Half-Time: Wolves 1 Leeds 1
Within a minute of the restart Leeds would have been in front if not for great work from Ikeme. Doukara spotted the unmarked Wood lurking in the box. The striker controlled the ball and looked odds on to score but Ikeme spread himself to make a superb block.
But the respite was brief as Leeds did score in the 51st minute as Dallas picked up a short pass from Doukara and ran to the edge of the box before burying a low shot inside the near post.
It then took more great work from Ikeme to prevent Leeds stretching their advantage. First he turned away a towering header from Wood.
Then Ethan Ebanks-Landell and Batth got in each other’s way as they attempted to clear and the ball ran to Wood, again unmarked, and just six-yards out. Somehow Ikeme got a foot to the ball to deflect it away.
Between Ikeme’s heroics, Giuseppe Bellusci was booked for tripping Graham to the right of the box. Graham took the free-kick himself but it was easily cleared.
Kenny Jackett then made a change with Le Fondre going on for Dave Edwards.
On the hour mark Wolves’ task grew even tougher as Byram scored his second of the game, and Leeds’ third with a looping effort after the ball appeared to go in off his shoulder following a cross from Taylor.
Penalty appeals for Taylor’s challenge on Graham were waved away by the referee just before Byrne took over from Henry
Silvestri took a header from Batth following a cross from Byrne before Wanderers cut the deficit in the 81st minute to raise the hopes of the supporters.
Graham fired over a cross from the left and Byrne met the ball with a sidefoot volley that went inside the post on the far side of goal (pictured).
Wolves piled forward but clear cut chances were few. Batth did head a Byrne cross onto the roof of the net but even the five minutes of added time wasn’t enough for a point saver to arrive.
Wolves: Ikeme, Iorfa, Golbourne, Edwards (Le Fondre 58), Batth (capt), Ebanks-Landell, Henry (Byrne 67), Price (Coady 84), Afobe, McDonald, Graham.
Unused subs: McCarey, Doherty, Wallace, Holt.
Leeds: Silvestri, Byram, Wootton, Bellusci, Cooper (capt), Wood (Antenucci 80), Dallas (Mowatt 86), Taylor, Cook, Adeyemi (Doukara 30), Bridcutt.
Unused subs: Bamba, Murphy, Coyle, Peacock-Farrell.
Booking: Bellusci (56 – foul).
Referee: S. Attwell.