Wolves 2-1 Barnsley, by Sam Murphy
Wolves substitutions were the difference in a tight game, to leave Wolves level on points with Leeds, the Championship leaders.
In a close fought game both sides scrapped to try and gain at foot-holding in the first half.
Barnsley with a drastically depleted squad since they beat Wolves 4-0, under Walter Zenga last season got forward quickly and in numbers.
Barnsley sold several key players over the summer but showed that they are a better team than their league table position suggests.
They have had a remarkable rise under Hekingbottom from League One, on a low-budget, bringing in lower league young players and selling them on for profit.
There will be more than one team who will arrive at Molineux this season to park the bus, with two banks of four protecting their penalty box.
Barnsley were not one of those teams.
Throughout the first half they pressed Wolves effectively, never allowing Neves and Saiss any time on the ball.
Barnsley denied Wolves creative players space with both Cavaleiro and Jota having limited space to operate in.
Wolves created only two clear cut chances in the first half.
The first from Cavaleiro who went close, placing a pulled back cross just wide, and Bonatini who should have scored after being played through from Jota.
Ex-Wolves player Adam Hamill gave Vinagre a stern test down the right hand side, gaining lots of free space in the early moments of the first half.
Before, probably the most controversial decision of the game, the referee didn’t award Barnsley a penalty when it looked like Danny Batth had pushed Bradshaw in the back jumping for a cross.
It looked a certain penalty.
Un-surprisingly at half time Douglas replaced Vinagre, after a difficult first half for the teenager.
After the break Wolves showed more impetus going forward with more energy and a better final ball with both Douglas and Doherty having good halves.
Unlike earlier on in the season Wolves were not able to dominate the game at any point.
With ten minutes to go, two Wolves substitutes combined to break the deadlock.
N’Diaye was brought on for Saiss and only seconds before, powered forward and crossed for Enobakhare to finish with a lofted, poised finished into the far post.
That was Enobakhare second goal in as many games, his first league goal for the club, after waiting nearly 30 matches to score since his debut.
Barnsley, who probably deserved a point, were threatening from set pieces all game. An area that Nuno’s team have been susceptible to all season.
Barnsley managed to equalise in the 91st minute, with a blast from inside the penalty box by defender Adam Jackson.
Wolves were unable to clear from a free kick, despite several opportunities to do so as the ball bounced around the six yard box.
Out of all the positives of Nuno’s reign at Wolves so far, defending set pieces needs work.
Then in the 93rd minute N’Diaye scored to grab a dramatic victory for Wolves.
A great, reverse pass from Bonatini to N’Diaye helped him to slide the ball home.
The 28,000 strong crowd went ballistic as the ball crossed the line, with N’Diaye finishing a remarkable performance after only being on the pitch for minutes but taking home the Man of the Match award.
Although N’Diaye rightly takes all the plaudits from the game, and will be in contention to start against Sheffield United, Bonatini had a solid performance again.
His hold up play, bringing others into the game is vital to Wolves in this formation, if he can add more goals, he could have a very successful season at Wolves.
Wolves have 9 points from three games with three of the least fluent performances of the season.
Winning games when your playing not at your best is a recipe for success or so they say.
Wolves showed a steal that has been lacking in recent seasons to find ways, anyway to win.
Wolves, go to Bramall lane on Wednesday night with the quiet confidence, that they know how to grind wins out in the Championship and they have the squad depth to match anyone in this league.
We might even see a certain Portuguese winger grace the pitch.