Wolves 2 (Stearman 4, Griffiths 50)
Real Betis 3 (Salva 15, Cedrick 55, Matilla 70)
After twice leading against impressive La Liga visitors Real Betis, defensive lapses saw Wolves lose for the first and only time in their pre-season warm up.
Only an athletic save in the dying seconds from Betis keeper Sara, denied Wanderers a draw that few could say they didn’t deserve for their efforts.
Betis kicked-off attacking the North Bank end and they could have been behind after just 45 seconds. Björn Sigurdarson intercepted a loose pass and ran into the box before hitting a low shot that goalkeeper Sara did well to block.
But it didn’t take Wanderers much longer to open their account after Caro cleared behind as Dave Edwards threatened. From Leigh Griffiths’s fourth minute corner, Danny Batth headed the ball on and Richard Stearman popped up to nod home from close in.
It could have been two just a minute later but Edwards’s header from Sigurdarson’s cross was just too high.
The first real threat from the visitors came when Cedrick cut inside Batth and unleashed a fierce shot that flew straight into the midriff of Carl Ikeme.
But the keeper was beaten in the 15th minute as Salva lashed the ball into the roof of the net from 15 yards out to level the scores.
Then, an astute short through pass from Nono found Chuli at the near post with his back to goal. The striker turned quickly and shot inches wide of the target.
A burst of pace from Bakary Sako saw him leave two defenders floundering in his wake before he hit a low long range drive that was a yard wide of the far post.
Three minutes before the break Nono couldn’t have been closer to giving his side the lead as he rattled the post with a shot from just inside the box. There was a brief but chaotic scramble in front of the Wolves goal before Samuel Ricketts managed to clear.
The ball was played upfield to Edwards who brought the best out of Sara with a stinging, angled effort.
Half-Time: Wolves 1 Real Betis 1
Five minutes after the restart Wolves were back in the lead. Sigurdarson laid a short ball into the path of Griffiths who calmly slotted past Sara for his fourth goal since returning to Molineux.
In Wolves’ next attack a defender handled a Griffiths pass inches outside the penalty area. The Scottish striker took the free-kick himself chipping the ball onto the roof of the net.
A misplaced pass from David Davis led to Real equalising in the 55th minute. Cedrick grabbed possession and rode a tackle from Stearman before stroking the ball past the exposed Ikeme.
Midway through the half, a superb crossfield pass from Sako dropped in front of Matt Doherty whose first time shot from the corner of the box went just the wrong side of the far post.
Twenty minutes from the end Betis bagged what proved to be the winning goal as Matilla latched onto Ricketts’ misplaced infield pass to score with ease.
Both sides made a number of changes as the contest approached its conclusion. It was one of the players that played for the whole game, Sako, that went close to levelling matters as he sprinted into the area from the left and drew another fine save from Sara with an angled drive that the keeper beat away.
In the final minute Sara produced an athletic save to turn a Jake Cassidy shot around the post after Liam McAlinden had pushed over a short cross. Then Doherty hit a first time effort into the keeper’s arms after a centre from Anthony Forde.
Although Wolves ended up as the losing team, they were given a warm round of applause as they left the field which was a measure of the side’s performance.
Wolves: Ikeme (Hennessey 74), Doherty, Ricketts (capt) (Elokobi 74), Evans (Price 85), Stearman, Batth, Sigurdarson (Forde 85), Davis (Foley 74), Griffiths (Cassidy 74), Sako, Edwards (McAlinden 80).
Unused sub: Ebanks-Landell.
Betis: Sara, Matilla (Jaunfran 80) , Alex M (Sergio 72), Nono (Verdu 72), Chuli (J. Molina 72), Salva S (capt) (Nosa 72), Braian, Steinhoffer, Cedrick (Carlos Garcia 80), Jordi, Caro.
Unused subs: Andersen, Montoya, Chica, Paulao. Didac, Prequis, Nacho.h
Referee: A. Marriner.