Wolves v Leeds match report: Steve Evans strengthens hold as recalled Sam Byram delivers victory

Wolves 2, Leeds 3: Leeds climb to 14th in the table as Wolves drop to 17th

Jon Culley
Molineux
Friday 18 December 2015 00:08
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Chris Wood jumps out of the way to allow Sam Byram to score Leeds’ equaliser at Molineux
Chris Wood jumps out of the way to allow Sam Byram to score Leeds’ equaliser at Molineux

After insisting he would quit if owner Massimo Cellino tried to interfere in team selection, Leeds manager Steve Evans emphasised he is in charge as his side won for the fourth time in seven games.

Cellino has twice interrupted Evans’ dressing-room team talks to raise questions over the former Rotherham manager’s authority, but Evans made his mark by recalling Sam Byram – who has turned down the offer of a new contract at Elland Road – and the midfielder celebrated by scoring twice.

Leeds climbed to 14th in the table but Wolves, who have now not won in six home matches, dropped to 17th, despite taking an early lead. Kenny Jackett’s decision to restore Benik Afobe was justified when the striker scored his eighth league goal of the season after just 10 minutes.

He missed one chance in the eighth minute, dragging a shot wide after fine work by Jordan Graham, but made amends moments later. This time a long ball from inside the Wolves half was headed on by James Henry and Afobe slotted the ball calmly past Marco Silvestri.

It was only his second goal in 10 games but there was no lack of confidence in the finish. He went close to a second on 27 minutes with a right-foot shot that flashed narrowly wide.

Leeds had hit the woodwork through a Stuart Dallas volley but could not impose themselves until a limping Tom Adeyemi was replaced by Souleymane Doukara, who went up alongside Chris Wood, and Leeds became markedly more effective in a 4-1-3-2 formation.

They were level before half-time, Byram firing home his first goal of the season from 12 yards after an exchange of passes with Wood.

Dallas put Leeds in front in the 51st minute after the best move of the match, cutting into space after a neat exchange of passes with Doukara and beating Carl Ikeme at his near post with a right-foot shot

Wood missed an open goal after a mix-up in a shaky Wolves defence, but it mattered little as Byram rose at the far post to head home his second of the night from Charlie Taylor’s cross.

Wolves substitute Nathan Byrne volleyed in a Graham cross with nine minutes left, but Leeds held firm for a first win at Molineux since 1984.

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