Sky Bet Championship: Wolves snatch late 1-1 draw against Brighton
Last Updated: 21/12/14 7:31pm
Wolves captain Danny Batth rescued his side with a late strike to earn a 1-1 draw against 10-man Brighton in an enthralling Sky Bet Championship match at Molineux.
Batth struck with just two minutes remaining to break the hearts of struggling Brighton, who had led from the 10th minute following Darren Bent's clinical finish.
Brighton, who have won just one of their last 14 league games, had looked set to hold on to their advantage despite having to play the final 33 minutes with 10 men after the dismissal of Spanish full-back Bruno.
Before Batth's late heroics, Wolves had been left fuming with referee Darren Bond. He booked striker Nouha Dicko for diving in the 49th minute, having initially appearing to point to the penalty spot, before changing his mind after consulting with his assistant.
Despite having won just one away game all season - back in August at Leeds - Brighton started the game in confident mood and that confidence was rewarded when a neat move cut apart the Wolves defence.
Captain Inigo Calderon found himself in acres of space on the right wing and he delivered a pin-point cross for Bent.
The former England international stooped low to steer a header beyond flat-footed Wolves goalkeeper Carl Ikeme to grab his second goal in four games following his arrival on loan from Aston Villa.
After the shock of falling behind, Wolves initially struggled to find a way back into the game and when a chance did present itself to Dave Edwards, he squandered a golden opportunity in the 25th minute. Left-back Kortney Hause delivered an inviting cross, but Welsh international Edwards was unable to direct his header on target and it drifted harmlessly wide of David Stockdale's far post.
While Stockdale was not called into action to deny Edwards, he most certainly was five minutes before half-time, when he frustrated Bakary Sako with a world-class save as Wolves finally built up a head of steam. Sako met a right-wing cross from James Henry and let fly on the volley from ten yards, but Stockdale somehow beat the effort away.
Seconds later, Mali international Sako hit the outside of the post, before forcing Stockdale to dive low to his right.
Wolves took that momentum into the start of the second half and looked to have earned a route back into game when Dicko went down in the box following a challenge by Stockdale after a short back-pass from Joe Bennett had put Brighton in trouble in the 49th minute.
Bond pointed to the spot, but after talking to his assistant, he reversed his decision and cautioned Dicko, much to the fury of the Wolves fans.
Bond then found himself the centre of attention again nine minutes later, handing a straight red card to Bruno when his two-footed attempt to win the ball caught Kevin McDonald.
The extra manpower should really have seen Wolves take control, but after Stockdale had again frustrated Sako in the 68th minute, Kenny Jackett's side struggled to find way through a solid Brighton rearguard.
They eventually had to rely on Sako's corner being forced home from five yards by the determined Batth to save them from a sixth defeat in seven games