Leeds United 2 (Gelhardt 19, Greenwood 45) Wolves 2 (Corbeanu 48, Cundle 63)
It was a game of two halves as Wolves under-23s drew 2-2 at Leeds United, with the hosts scoring twice in the first-half and the old gold development side hitting back in the second period.
A first under-23s start of the season for Lewis Richards, who missed Saturday’s win over Burnley due to training with the first-team, lasted just 17 minutes when the defender went down injured in Wolves’ penalty area and had to be replaced by Nigel Lonwijk.
The change in defence disrupted Wolves, and just two minutes later Leeds took advantage. Pascal Estrada, moved to the left centre-back position in place of Richards, was turned one way and then the other by Joe Gelhardt on the edge of the area, before the Leeds forward fired a low drive past Andreas Sondergaard and into the bottom corner of the net.
Hugo Bueno, who was outstanding for Wolves at left wing-back, attempted to get his side back into the game immediately, taking on the entire Leeds team by himself as he ran the length of the pitch before finding space on the right, but his effort was blocked.
Wolves had two glorious headed chances in the first-half which went begging. Firstly, an unmarked Christian Marques headed over from a Luke Cundle free-kick which was whipped dangerously into the Leeds penalty area, before Austin Samuels couldn’t find the target as he stretched to get his head on a ball into the box.
Having chances to get back in the tie, James Collins’ side almost fell two behind when the ball fell kindly to Gelhardt in the box, but somehow the goalscorer hit the post from six yards out before Sondergaard was able to smoother the danger.
However, it didn’t take Leeds long to get their second. In added time of the first-half, lacklustre defending from a cross towards the back post from Wolves allowed Sam Greenwood the opportunity to get behind the defence and stab the ball across goal and in off the far post.
Wolves made a swift start to the second-half, with Bueno using his skill down the left to place the ball between Bryce Hosannah’s legs before racing to the byline and laying off a cross to Corbeanu, who took one touch to set himself before firing the ball into the bottom corner.
Just after the hour mark and Wolves were level through a stunner from the boot of Cundle. The midfielder picked up the ball on the edge of the box and curled an unbelievable right-footed effort into the top corner.
With the game stretching as Wolves brought on fresh legs, Leeds’ defence were living a charmed life, but the Yorkshire side could and probably should have gone 3-2 up, but Greenwood put the ball wide from six yards out with the goal gaping.
A frantic end to the game followed as both teams looked for the winning goal, but neither goalkeeper was troubled and the game ended all square.
The under-23s will enter the EFL Trophy’s group stages on Tuesday, with James Collins leading out an under-21s side against Oldham Athletic at Boundary Park, kick-off 7.45pm.
22/09 Oldham Athletic* (A) EFLT
28/09 Stoke City (H)
06/10 Bradford City* (A) EFLT
18/10 Aston Villa (H)
26/10 Crystal Palace (A)
*indicates first-team opposition
Leeds: Van Den Heuvel, Stevens (McMillan 69), Drameh, Casey (Gotts 46), Hosannah, Huggins, Jenkins, McCalmont, McKinstry (Creswell 46), Gelhardt, Greenwood.
Unused subs: Caprille, Galloway.
Wolves: Sondergaard, Scott, Estrada, Marques, Richards (Lonwijk 17), Bueno, Cundle, Perry, Shabani, Corbeanu (Campbell 63), Samuels (Otasowie 61).
Unused subs: Hong Wan, Carty.