Bolton 2 (Feeney 17, Clough-pen 45+1)
Wolves 1 (Afobe-pen 68)
Despite a spirited second half showing, Wolves failed to take anything from a Bolton side that went into the interval two up after what was a testing opening 45 minutes for the visitors.
Kenny Jackett made three changes to the team that had beaten Charlton Athletic a fortnight earlier. Emi Martinez returned in goal for Carl Ikeme who was named as a substitute, Adam Le Fondre came in for the injured Nouha Dicko and Jed Wallace made his full League debut in place of Kevin McDonald.
Bolton kicked-off attacking the end of the ground that housed around 1,800 travelling fans most of whom had endured a nightmare journey on a gridlocked M6.
The home side had two chances in the first couple of minutes. A foul by Dave Edwards on Wellington Silva just to the left of the Wolves box was taken by Silva and headed over by Zach Clough.
Then Martinez parried when Liam Feeney met a low cross at the far post. Feeney latched onto the rebound but could only find the side netting with his shot on the turn.
The first real action for home keeper Ben Amos came in the 14th minute when he held onto a low, angled drive from Benik Afobe at the second attempt.
Just three minutes later Wolves were behind as Kortney Hause and Scott Golbourne got in a tangle as they attempted to clear allowing Feeney to sweep the ball home from the edge of the area.
In the 22nd minute it took a superb save from Amos to deny Wolves a speedy riposte. James Henry fired over a corner and Ethan Ebanks-Landell powered a header goalwards only for Amos to acrobatically fingertip the ball over the bar.
From Henry’s second corner, Matt Doherty nodded the ball down to Afobe who turned and lifted his shot over the bar.
Wallace worked a shooting position for himself some 22-yards out but his effort didn’t carry the power to trouble the keeper and then Conor Coady sent a flick header wide following a cross from Le Fondre.
Amos made another fine save as he turned over a rising drive from Henry but, on the stroke of half-time, Bolton doubled their advantage.
Silva beat Ebanks-Landell as he cut into the box from the left and when the defender tried to retrieve the situation he succeeded only in taking the Brazilian’s legs.
The referee had no hesitation in pointing to the spot and after Ebanks-Landell had been shown the yellow card, Clough slotted home the penalty.
Half-Time: Bolton 2 Wolves 0
The new half started with two Henry corners that came to nothing, and an injury to Bolton’s Neil Danns who appeared to take a knock to the head. He was replaced by Josh Vela.
Ebanks-Landell headed narrowly over following another Henry corner and at the other end Feeney wasn’t far away with a header from David Osede’s cross.
After Gary Madine had been booked for a late challenge on Edwards, there was a chance for Wallace when Afobe pulled the ball back to him but, at full stretch, the summer signing could only divert the ball wide. Then, with an hour gone, Sheyi Ojo replaced Wallace.
A terrific challenge by Ebanks-Landell prevented Madine from having a clear sight at goal and an almost certain third, before Wolves cut the deficit in the 68th minute.
Prince-Desire Gouano hauled down Le Fondre for an obvious penalty and Afobe made no mistake from the spot (pictured).
Wolves were inches away from an equaliser when Amos missed a cross from Henry. Ojo sent a low cross back into the middle and Edwards diverted the ball just the wrong side of the post.
Madine had the chance of wrapping things up 15 minutes from the end but unmarked, and in front of goal, he fired over the bar following a cross from Mark Davies.
Amos saved a long-distance snapshot from Le Fondre before Martinez made two good saves – from home substitute Emile Heskey and then Davies.
Wolves piled forward in the dying minutes and after Amos had turned over a Doherty header from Henry’s corner, he then kept out an effort from Le Fondre to deny the Molineux men a point.
Bolton: Amos, Gouano, Moxey, Feeney, Clough (Clough 73), Madine, Osede, Davies (capt), Danns (Vela 50), Silva, Wilson.
Unused subs: Rachubka, Spearing, Dobbie, Finney, Walker.
Booking: Madine (53 – foul).
Wolves: Martinez, Doherty, Golbourne, Edwards (capt), Ebanks-Landell, Hause, Henry, Coady, Afobe, Le Fondre, Wallace (Ojo 61).
Unused subs: Ikeme, Iorfa, Saville, van La Parra, Byrne, Enobakhare.
Booking: Ebanks-Landell (45+1 – foul).
Referee: S. Duncan.
Attendance: 14,698 (1,845 away supporters).
Wolves Under 21s 0 West Bromwich Albion 0
Wolves Under 18s 1 (Finnie) Everton 2