Miller magic saves Wolves
By Andy Clarke. Last Updated: January 1, 1970 1:00am
Wolves scored two goals in four second half minutes to force a 2-2 draw they scarcely deserved against 10-man Preston at Molineux.
Preston were rampant in the first half and could have led by more than the two early goals they scored through Chris Lucketti and David Healy.
But after completely dominating the game for more than half an hour, Preston were reduced to 10 men in the 37th minute when midfielder Dickson Etuhu was sent off for lashing out at Kenny Miller.
Etuhu, making his 100th career appearance, was angered by a heavy challenge by Miller, who was cautioned for the offence.
The Wolves striker later added more salt to Preston's wounds when he conjured up a wonderful equaliser, lashing in a right foot shot from 18 yards out off the underside of the bar after a driving run and measured pass from Shaun Newton.
Wolves were poor in the first half, and their defending in the opening 15 minutes was reminiscent of their early days in The Premiership.
They consistently went to sleep as Preston won a succession of corners, and they were nowhere to be seen as Healy cannoned a shot against the post in the fourth minute, the crossed for Lucketti to prod in the opener when the ball rebounded to him.
Wolves failed to heed the warning and should have been two goals behind three minutes later, when Richard Cresswell headed against the post from an Eddie Lewis corner.
They did not have to wait long before falling further behind, as Graham Alexander cut back a corner for Healy who was allowed time and space to drill a low shot under Paul Jones.
Lewis almost made it three when his curling shot deflected off Joachim Bjorklund onto the roof of the net and from the resulting corner Jones just got a hand to Lewis' driven cross as three Preston players waited with the goal gaping.
Wolves finally stirred in the 35th minute when Leon Clarke, making his full debut, headed over from Newton's cross, and the youngster then teed up Miller, whose shot was well saved by Andy Lonergan.
Even with 10 men, Preston threatened further goals, with Cresswell curling a shot just wide, but the spaces began to open up as Wolves made their numerical advantage tell after the hour.
Paul Ince was the first to test Lonergan before Kevin Cooper's low shot hit a post, and then Lonergan produced a stunning save to keep out Miller's goalbound shot.
However, the outstanding Preston keeper was finally beaten when Colin Cameron crossed and Clarke slammed in his first goal for Wolves.
Three minutes later Miller ensured Wolves would pick up their first point of the season with his brilliantly struck equaliser and Seyi Olofinjana almost capped the home side's fightback, only to be denied by another fine Lonergan save.