Preston North End 0
Wolves were well worth the point they took from Deepdale after a lively contest that finished without a goal although both sides went close to snatching a win in the dying minutes.
New boss Paul Lambert made four changes to the side that had lost at home to Derby a fortnight earlier. Young striker Bright Enobakhare was a surprise inclusion and there were also places for Jack Price, Kortney Hause and George Saville.
Preston kicked-off attacking the end that housed over 2,500 travelling supporters most of whom had endured a horrendous trip up the M6 with long delays because of accidents.
The first action of the game saw Matt Doherty play a neat one-two with Jon Dadi Bodvarsson and appear to be tripped just outside the Preston penalty area as he got a touch on the ball. But the referee waved away his appeals much to the dismay of Doherty and the Wolves fans.
Preston’s first attack saw Jordan Hugill try a shot from distance but Andy Lonergan, returning to his former club, was able to watch it wide.
Saville and Dominic Iorfa then won Wolves a couple of corners on either side but both came to nothing as the early stages proved tight and competitive.
Helder Costa went on a surging that took him past three challenges and into the Preston box but his low cross was booted clear by a defender.
Doherty and Alex Baptiste both needed treatment after the pair collided in the home area and the half finished with bookings for Hugill, for a challenge on Danny Batth, and Price for a tackle on Callum Robinson.
Half-Time: Preston 0 Wolves 0
Shortly after the restart, Enobakhare won a corner but, after a short bout of head tennis, Costa’s flag kick was booted clear.
In the 54th minute Paul Gallagher latched onto a half clearance following a Preston corner and teed up a volley for himself that was a foot too high.
Then Saville controlled a Conor Coady cross and set up Doherty who drilled a 20-yard drive just the wrong side of the near post.
Simon Makienok was a 58th minute replacement for Gallacher before Ben Pearson’s foul on Iorfa in front of the dug outs sparked an ugly bout of pushing and shoving involving players from both sides.
When order was restored the referee booked Pearson for the foul and Greg Cunningham for his part in the ‘afters’.
Jed Wallace took over from Enobakhare and more yellow cards followed - Preston keeper Chris Maxwell for kicking the ball away after he had left his area to concede a throw, and Wallace for a foul on Cunningham. A minute later, Batth was also cautioned, again for a foal on Cunningham.
Twice in as many minutes Preston went close to breaking the deadlock with headers. The first, from Hugill, was just wide following a cross from Aiden McGeady and then a bullet header from Makienok flashed over the bar after a fine cross from Baptiste.
Maxwell snatched the ball off Bodvarsson’s feet as the pair went for Wallace’s low centre from the right, and further substitutions followed with Marnick Vermijl replacing Robinson for North End and Nouha Dicko for Costa for the visitors.
Play was swinging from end to end and after McGeady had fired into the side netting, Bodvarsson was too high with an overhead kick.
Wolves’ final change of the afternoon saw Ivan Cavaleiro repacing Price and almost immediately he crossed for Dicko whose header was saved by Maxwell.
Four minutes into the five of added time, the pair combined once again and this time Dicko’s near post header was agonisingly close.
Seconds later Hause slipped in attempting to clear allowing Makienok to release Hugill on goal. Andy Lonergan raced from his line and the Preston striker lifted the ball over him but, thankfully for Wolves, over the open goal too. It was virtually the last kick of the game.
Preston: Maxwell, Cunningham, Pearson, Clarke (capt), Wright, Johnson, Gallagher (Makienok 58), McGeady, Hugill, Baptiste, Robinson (Vermijl 77).
Unused Subs: Lindegaard, Doyle, Grimshaw, Spurr, Huntington.
Bookings: Hugill (42 – foul), Pearson (63 – foul), Cunningham (63 – ungentlemanly conduct), Maxwell )66 – kicking the ball away).
Wolves: Lonergan, Iorfa, Doherty, Coady, Batth (capt), Hause, Costa (Dicko 78), Price (Cavaleiro 87), Enobakhare (Wallace 64), Bodvarsson, Saville.
Unused Subs: Flatt, Stearman, Teixeira, Saiss.
Bookings: Price (45+1 – foul), Hause (64 – foul), Wallace (70 – foul), Batth (71 – foul).
Referee: J. Linington.
Wolves Academy Under 18s 1 (Allen) Middlesbrough 2