Cometh the hour, cometh the man - and Neil Sullivan proved to be
just that guy as his penalty save earned United a hard fought point at Molineux.
Michael Duberry saw red for his part in the spot-kick and United were indebted to 16-year-old
Simon Walton for a great tackle.
The negatives though were the loss of Lucas Radebe for the season after he ruptured his Achilles
tendon, and on a more minor point in comparison, United's lack of firepower.
Kevin Blackwell made a host of changes for this trip to Molineux after Tuesday's defeat at
, and with it a change of formation too.
Out went stand-in left-back Matthew Kilgallon to give Stephen Crainey his first start in a
Leeds shirt, whilst in midfield youngster Simon Walton was rested and Lucas Radebe came in. There was also a change
upfront with Julian Joachim only on the bench and Brian Deane partnering Michael Ricketts upfront instead.
The changes appeared to be risky after Leeds gave Wolves a hatful of scoring opportunities
in the first 15 minutes.
The first came just two minutes into the game when Scot Kenny Miller turned well on the edge
of the area and fired a shot at goal that Sullivan was just able to tip around the post after diving down to his left.
Five minutes later and a break down the right saw Shaun Newton deliver a perfect cross for
18-year-old Leon Clarke in the centre of the area, but the youngster, who scored in Wolves 2-2 draw with Preston in midweek,
could only direct his header over the top.
Then Clarke was presented with a real gift of a chance after United debutant Crainey could
only send his clearance straight to the Wolves man. His composure was lacking though as his shot went straight to Sullivan.
Leeds then suffered a blow after Radebe went down after 15 minutes and was unable to carry
on after two minutes treatment and the stretcher was called for. Simon Walton, dropped to the bench for the start, came
on in his place.
Michael Duberry was the first man booked on 24 minutes after pulling Kenny Miller's shirt,
and the resulting free-kick earned Wolves a corner, which Butler put straight out for another corner in a spell of pressure
that eventually came to nothing.
Leeds first real chance came on 26 minutes when Frazer Richardson crossed from the byline and
both Ricketts and Pugh went for the same ball, but in the confusion the ball went behind for just a goal kick.
Stephen Crainey looked to create an opening for United when he embarked on a powerful run down
the left that ended with his looping cross into the penalty area being met by Walton with the header, but the 16-year-old
could not get any power on the chance and Wolves were able to clear.
A poor first half by any teams standards, but with the score still deadlocked at 0-0, Kevin
Blackwell will have been confident that Leeds could pull something out of the bag.
No changes for either side at half-time, it was the home side who began the second half strongest
and had soon created two excellent scoring opportunities.
With five minutes played, Wolves right winger Rob Edwards fed a perfect ball forward into the
penalty area for Clarke to run onto, and once again the striker saw his low shot saved by another show of Sullivan heroics.
Sullivan though was nearly left with egg on his face a few minutes later after he failed to
hold onto Kenny Miller's low drive into the box, and it needed a boot out from Duberry to prevent Newton from tapping the
ball into an open net.
Gary Kelly was the next man to be booked, done for holding Clarke's shirt to prevent the Wolves
striker from going past him as the hour mark approached.
Leeds were creating few clear cut opportunities and when they did come, they missed them.
Midway through the second half Ricketts saw his shot blocked and then Richardson followed up
with a drive that just flashed across the face of the area and missed the far post by inches.
picked up a knock and had to be replaced by Julian Joachim on 68 minutes.
Miller should have given Wolves the lead but he shot over from just inside the area after a
knock from Newton put him through on goal.
With just over ten minutes of the game remaining, Richardson missed a gilt-edged chance to
steal the spoils for United.
It was a brilliant cross by Julian Joachim to the opposite corner of the penalty area where
Frazer Richardson was waiting, but the man of the moment blasted his shot over the bar.
Then on 85 minutes came the moment Michael Duberry and Leeds were nearly left to reflect on
with despair on the trip back to Yorkshire.
Duberry was judged to have brought down Kenny Miller after the Scot ran through into the penalty
area and referee wasted no time in pointing to the penalty spot, and only slightly more in producing a straight red card for
It left Sullivan to save United's bacon in this game as Miller stepped up to take the penalty
Sullivan was not fooled by Miller's little hesitation before he took the kick and got down
to produce a great save down to his left.
It was a moment that ensured United were to leave with at least a point, and they went forward
looking for all three straight after the save, but Deane saw his header cleared off the line by Olofinjana and Guppy
didn't get enough power on his near post shot.
There was still time for more drama in the United penalty area with Simon Walton showing experience
beyond his years by pulling off a brilliant tackle inside the penalty area to stop Miller from facing Sullivan alone.
win, one defeat and now a draw for United, Leeds look set to make sure the fans experience everything going this season.