Bolton 1 (Sturridge 90+2)
A terrible mistake by Ronald Zubar in the second of three minutes of added time, denied Wolves a point that was the least their efforts deserved after a battling display against Bolton at the Reebok Stadium.
The defender's suicidal backpass was intercepted by home substitute Daniel Sturridge who left Wayne Hennessey with no chance.
There were five changes to the team that had started against Stoke in the weekend's FA Cup tie. Adam Hammill made his full debut in place of the injured Stephen Hunt, Hennessey returned in goal for Marcus Hahnemann, and Dave Jones, Dave Edwards and Kevin Doyle came in for Stephen Ward, Steven Fletcher and Nenad Milijaš all of whom were named as substitutes.
New loan signing Jamie O'Hara also took a place on the bench whilst included in the Bolton team was former Molineux Academy graduate, Mark Davies.
Wolves kicked-off attacking the end of the ground that housed around 2,000 travelling fans.
Bolton had an early opening after George Elokobi was penalised for a push on Johan Elmander on the Bolton right but Matt Taylor's free-kick was headed clear by Doyle who had dropped back from his lone front role.
In the seventh minute Stuart Holden's centre was flicked on by Elmander to Chung-Yong Lee who blasted a shot high and wide from close range.
Christophe Berra had to race across to clear as Taylor threatened to reach Zubar's underhit backpass before Wolves went close to opening their account in the 10th minute.
Hammill's over the top ball released Matt Jarvis who raced through on goal with just Jussi Jaaskelainen to beat. But the winger dragged his shot a foot the wrong side of the post as he pushed the ball past the keeper.
Within a minute, Hennessey made a tremendous save from Elmander's low shot after the ball had broken to the Swede inside Wolves' area.
Then Taylor was denied by the keeper who saved with his legs after Lee's through ball opened up the visitors rearguard.
Midway through the half Bolton survived strong penalty claims. Karl Henry drilled an angled pass into the path of Zubar who crossed hard and low to Hammill whose initial shot hit a defender.
But when the ball rebounded to the winger he appeared to be wrestled to the ground by Zat Knight. The referee, however, who was well placed, must have thought it a legal challenge.
Play continued to flow from end to end with Wolves having more than their fair share of possession. From a Taylor free-kick, the defence ran out and no fewer than five Bolton men were caught offside.
But Sam Ricketts was inches away from opening the scoring in the 42nd minute when he suddenly let fly from 30-yards with a shot that was much too close for comfort.
Ricketts was then caught in two minds at the back and Doyle quickly took advantage to gain possession and deliver a cross that Edwards scooped over the bar.
Half-Time: Bolton 0 Wolves 0
Just 40 seconds after the restart Hammill gained possession on the right and ran for 30-yards before cutting into the box. It looked like he was going to open the score but his low shot bounced to safety off Gary Cahill.
Then a Jarvis cross was helped on by Doyle to Edwards whose shot on the turn was blocked and cleared before Henry could prosper.
Jones had a low drive saved by Jaaskelainen and then it was Hennessey who blocked from Lee virtually on the line after Kevin Davies had nodded on Taylor's corner.
Paul Robinson clattered into Richard Stearman and then stood menacingly over the prostrate Wolves defender sparking a mini bout of pushing and shoving between players from both sides. Order was quickly restored but then the referee booked not only Robinson, but the innocent Stearman as well.
Hennessey had to be at his best to keep out Berra's shanked clearance after a cross from Lee, and then Doyle was too high with a first time effort after Jarvis had lifted the ball across.
Hammill got in the way of a Taylor shot after a scramble in the Wolves area, before Henry went in to the book for pulling back Lee who was replaced shortly afterwards, as was Taylor, with Sturridge and Rodrigo their replacements.
Elmander scuffed a shot wide and, after Zubar had been booked for body checking Holden, Hennessey turned a Cahill shot around the post.
Wolves made a double switch with O'Hara and Ward going on in place of Jarvis and Edwards. O'Hara was soon involved winning a tackle and sending over a cross that was cleared.
In the 88th minute, Doyle, the only Wolves player in the Bolton half, cut inside and hit a shot that took a deflection and came back off the post with Jaaskelainen beaten.
But, from being within an ace of winning the game, Zubar's stoppage time howler handed the three points to a fortunate Bolton team.
Bolton: Jaaskelainen, Robinson, Cahill, Taylor (Rodrigo 68), Holden, Elmander, Knight, K. Davies (capt) (Muamba 90+3), M. Davies, Ricketts, Lee (Sturridge 68)
Unused subs: Bogdan, Petrov, Klasnic, Wheater.
Booking: Robinson (57 - ungentlemanly conduct).
Wolves: Hennessey, Zubar, Elokobi, Jones, Berra, Stearman, Hammill (Ebanks-Blake 89), Henry (capt), Doyle, Edwards (O'Hara 75), Jarvis (Ward 75).
Unused subs: Hahnemann, Craddock, Fletcher, Milijaš.
Bookings: Stearman (57 - ungentlemanly conduct), Henry (66 - holding), Zubar (73 - foul).