Tranmere Rovers 0
Wolves 1 (Jarvis 77)
It took a late goal from Matt Jarvis to see off plucky Tranmere Rovers and secure Wolves' place in the fourth round of the FA Cup when they will face Crystal Palace at Molineux.
Struggling in the relegation zone of League One, the Merseyside team made Wanderers fight all the way on what was a difficult, rock hard surface.
Mick McCarthy made six changes to the side that had started against Manchester City including Wayne Hennessey who made his first appearance in goal since the defeat at Chelsea in November.
On a freezing Merseyside evening Rovers kicked-off attacking the away end of the ground that housed over a 1,000 travelling supporters.
The only goal attempt in the opening quarter of an hour fell to Gareth Edds whose 20-yard drive was comfortably fielded by Hennessey after Shaleum Logan's long throw into the box had only been half cleared.
Wolves won the first corner of the contest in the 17th minute but Matt Jarvis's kick was punched clear by home keeper Luke Daniels.
Two other Jarvis corners came to nothing before the game finally burst into life as Rovers created three chances within as many minutes. Ian Goodison found John Welsh who tested Hennessey with a first time shot from the edge of the box.
Then the keeper had to be at his athletic best as he turned a low shot from Welsh around the post. But he was beaten by Ian Thomas-Moore's 35th minute header and it took a goalline clearance from Kevin Foley to maintain parity.
A minute later Richard Stearman's cross was flicked on by Chris Iwelumo but Jarvis, under pressure from Logan, sidefooted wide from in front of goal.
Half-Time: Rovers 0 Wolves 0
Both sides won corners in the opening minutes of the new half but they all proved to be fruitless.
With 54 minutes gone it took a world class save from Daniels to deny Sylvan Ebanks-Blake. The striker looked a certain scorer as he powered a header goalwards following a cross from Stearman but Daniels somehow got his fingertips to the ball to turn it aside.
The Tranmere stopper then made a more routine save from Ebanks-Blake who attempted an overhead kick from 18-yards out.
Terry Gornell looked fortunate not to be penalised for a feet first challenge on Hennessey as the pair went for a through pass. The loose ball broke kindly for the home striker but, with the goal at his mercy, he fired hurriedly into the side netting from an angle.
Sam Vokes, just back from a lengthy loan spell at Leeds, was sent on in place of Iwelumo just before Jarvis fired Wolves into a 77th minute lead.
A superb through ball from Nenad Milijaš carved open the home defence and Jarvis was in like a flash to drive right-footed past Daniels.
Milijaš then became the only man to be booked in the game when he was late with a challenge on Welsh.
From Paul McLaren's 86th minute corner the Wolves defence struggled to clear and Hennessey had to block at close range from Craig Curran.
Tranmere piled on the pressure as the game neared its conclusion but the visiting rearguard held firm with Hennessey easily saving a long range shot from Logan just on the final whistle.
Rovers: Daniels, Logan, Edds, Goodison, McLaren, Thomas-Moore (capt), Welsh (Ricketts 84), Taylor, Gornell (Shuker 84), Bakayogo, Curran.
Unused subs: Cresswell, Broomes, Collister, Barnett, Fraughan.
Wolves: Hennessey, Stearmen, Ward, Foley, Craddock, Mancienne, Milijaš (Halford 89), Henry (capt), Iwelumo (Vokes 76), Ebanks-Blake (Elokobi 89), Jarvis.
Unused subs: Surman, Hahnemann, Jones, Zubar.
Booking: Milijaš (84 - foul)
Referee: L. Probert.
Attendance: 7,476 (1,129 away supporters).