Mick McCarthy was left to rue a string of missed chances that included a fluffed injury time penalty as Birmingham City came from behind on Sunday to claim a 3-2 victory over their midlands promotion rivals at Molineux.
Wolves had the better of a pulsating end to end first half with a combination of poor finishing and outstanding goalkeeping ensuring the twoo sides went into the interval all square.
As scintillating as the first period was, it was nothing compared to the excitement and drama that was to come.
Continuing where they left off, Mick McCarthy’s bargain basement Wolves piled the pressure on Steve Bruce’s multi million pound Blues constantly testing the visitors defence.
But just under ten minutes into the half it was Birmingham who edged ahead when Nicolas Bendtner headed a cross down, and Andrew Cole got the slightest of touches to edge the ball past Matt Murray.
For a moment the cauldron of noise that was Molineux was stunned into silence, but that doesn’t happen for long at the Golden Palace these days.
Wolves continued to press forward and first drew level, then took the lead thanks to a Michael McIndoe double that sent the Wolverhampton faithful into delirium.
First Michael Kightly impossibly managed to pull the ball back from the dead ball line, his bouncing cross finding McIndoe’s head to draw level.
Then, following a challenge on Jay Bothroyd that brought screams for a Wanderers penalty from the home fans, the Birmingham defence stood still as Andy Keogh tee’d up McIndoe for his second headed goal of the day.
Five minutes later came a moment that could have turned the match when Wolves had a just appeal for a penalty turned down as Jaidi appeared to bring Michael Kightly down in the Blues 12 yard area.
Birmingham raced down the other end, and earned a Gary McSheffrey corner that Bendtner powered into the back of the net with a bullet like header.
Worse was to come as in the 88th minute, Cameron Jerome, on for Andrew Cole beat the Wolves offside trap to slot home from an acute angle.
Wolves never gave up hope, and with four minutes of injury time indicated continued to pour forward.
Deep into the added four, Bruno N’Gotty barged Jody Craddock to the floor, throwing Wolves a lifeline, and a well deserved point.
Michael McIndoe stepped up, on a hat trick and on fire, but as Molineux held its breath, he chose precision over power, achieving neither, leaving a furious Mick McCarthy to watch the tame spot kick saved, and Wolves last chance of redemption slip away.
‘At 2-1 down we had a stonewall penalty not given.
‘Maca taking that at 2-1 up, as opposed to the one he did take at 3-2 down, would have been totally different.
‘Seyi should have had one early on too.
‘Beyond that it was a magnificent performance and we should not be talking about a defeat.
‘But if we win our next two games we are in the play-offs. That’s the silver lining on a very dark cloud at the moment.’
‘It was a stonewall penalty,’
‘To lose the game was a massive disappointment. We thought we had them at 2-1 and when I was fouled, a penalty then could have put the game beyond Birmingham.