Wolverhampton Wanderers 2 Southampton 2
There was very little quality on show but plenty of drama at Molineux as ten-man Southampton grabbed an unlikely point with an injury time equaliser to put another dent in Wolverhampton Wanderers' play-off hopes.
Sylvan Ebanks-Blake twice put the hosts on course for their third consecutive victory but the Saints, who had Gregory Vignal sent off in the 83rd minute, were awarded a controversial penalty with 15 minutes to go and then, when it seemed the points were in the bag for Mick McCarthy's men, Jason Euell charged in unopposed to head home a Mario Licka corner deep into injury time to leave the Wolves boss seething.
"I cannot tell you how disappointed I am," McCarthy said. "The penalty wasn't a penalty, the challenge was outside the box, and I am not pleased with the way we conceded the corner for their second equaliser. We should have dealt with it. I can't talk about some of the incidents because I will get myself into trouble.
"Sylvan took his goals well but to concede an equaliser twice was unforgivable. It was a rubbish game; it was awful but we should have won. For the most part it was a poor performance and I cannot express how I feel."
Wolves' Molineux form has been their Achilles heel this season and the visit of a Southampton side that had not won in their eight previous fixtures presented a fantastic opportunity to give the home supporters something to cheer.
McCarthy had urged his side to pick up the mantle on home soil and take the game to their opponents. As a consequence, he duly changed the side that had won their last two away games
and went with two strikers in Ebanks-Blake and Kevin Kyle. However, the changes certainly didn't seem to have the effect McCarthy would have wished for as the first half was a turgid affair, characterised by an array of mistakes.
Wolves gave the ball away with alarming regularity and failed to create any chances of note.
Their best opportunity came inside the opening two minutes when Ebanks-Blake found space behind the Saints defence and slipped the ball across the box for Stephen Elliott but he ballooned his shot over the bar.
The only other time the hosts were able to get into a threatening position was when Dave Edwards was able to wriggle to the by-line but his pull-back went agonisingly behind the onrushing Ebanks-Blake and Matt Jarvis.
Southampton were no better and the half was summed up when the announcement that there would be two minutes of additional time was roundly booed by the supporters who had simply seen enough. It was that bad.
It didn't get much better at the start of the second half and Andrew Davies had Southampton's first shot on goal in the 55th minute which sailed harmlessly over the bar.
Then, when Ebanks-Blake scuffed a shot to substitute keeper Michael Poke, the restless Molineux crowd broke into sarcastic jeers and chanted 'we've had a shot on goal'.
However, moments later the jeers turned to cheers as the £1.5 million striker out-muscled the Saints defence to fire Wolves in front.
Inevitably, the visitors sprung to life and Wayne Hennessey produced a great save to tip a Euell shot around the post, but he was left helpless when Southampton were gifted an equaliser. David McGoldrick tumbled under the weight of Kevin Foley's challenge and referee Colin Webster pointed to the spot, to the disbelief of McCarthy. Vignal stepped up to fire the spot kick into the bottom corner.
Penalty hero Vignal became the villain when he was sent off for a touchline altercation with seven minutes to go and when Ebanks-Blake fired home his second, and 18th of the season, after good work from Andy Keogh and George
Elokobi in the 88th minute, it looked as if Wolves were about to strengthen their play-off claims.
However, they threw it away at the death in dramatic fashion when Euell was presented with a free header and he didn't look a gift horse in the mouth.
Scorers: Ebanks-Blake (61) 1-0; Vignal (75) 1-1; Ebanks-Blake (88) 2-1; Euell (90) 2-2.
WOLVERHAMPTON WANDERERS (4-4-2): Hennessey; Collins, Breen, Henry (Potter, 60), Jarvis; Elliott (Eastwood, 79), Dave Edwards, Ebanks-Blake, Foley; Kyle (Keogh, 60), Elokobi. Subs: Rob Edwards, Stack.
SOUTHAMPTON (4-4-2): Davis (Poke, 45); Thomas, Saganowski (McGoldrick, 63), Wright, Licka; Viafara, Vignal, Idiakez (Euell 28), Safri; John, Davies. Subs: Wright-Phillips, Gillett.
Referee: Colin Webster (Tyne & Wear).
Bookings: Wolves - Breen (foul); Southampton - Licka (dissent).
Sending-off: Saints - Vignal (second bookable offence). Attendance: 21,795.