Pedro Neto’s goal helped Wolves return to winning ways as they condemned Fulham to a fourth straight Premier League defeat.
The hosts, who had lost their two previous top-flight games by an aggregate score of 7-1, move up to 12th in the table with the victory.
However, they were still far from their best and created few clear-cut chances against a resolute Fulham side.
Neto’s goal was a rare moment of quality in the final third, with the Portugal under-21 international superbly driving an effort into the bottom right corner early in the second half.
With Alphonse Areola impressing in goal, the visitors had looked good value for a point at Molineux, where they have not won in the league since 1985.
And even after Neto’s strike, substitute Aboubakar Kamara spurned a glorious opportunity to level the scores, firing a close-range shot straight at the Wolves goalkeeper Rui Patricio.
After being thrashed by West Ham last Sunday, the visit of a Fulham team yet to earn a point on their return to the top flight seemed an ideal opportunity for Wolves to get back on track.
Fans of the West Midlands club were buoyed in the week by the news that the club had secured the long-term services of captain Conor Coady and forward Raul Jimenez.
However, for the second week running, it appeared as though Nuno Espirito Santo is yet to find a way to ignite the attacking spark of a side that has lost Diogo Jota and Matt Doherty (to Liverpool and Tottenham).
The duo supplied 23 goals last term and was integral to Wolves’ ability to counter-attack with pace and penetrate with runs behind opposition defences.
In the first period, in particular, those qualities were absent in a display short on imagination and intensity.
The 20-year-old winger was Wolves’ most purposeful player throughout, drawing a fine save from Areola before emphatically breaking the deadlock.
Nelson Semedo was denied a goal on his first home start, following up Neto’s drive, while Jimenez also saw the Fulham keeper save after opportunistically latching on to a long clearance over the top.
Fulham boss Scott Parker has accused his side of being naive, particularly in defence since their Premier League return.
But he will have been encouraged by this display, albeit their progress came without delivering the reward of a point.
Antonee Robinson, Maxime le Marchand and on-loan Torino defender Ola Aina, all started in a new-look defence and the visitor’s appeared unrecognisable from the side that shipped 10 goals in their opening three matches.
Former AC Milan target Robinson, 23, was assured in defence and attack but should have done better with a first-half attempt after bursting past two home defenders.
Aina, a Nigeria international who started his career with Chelsea and Le Marchand also contributed to a disciplined rearguard effort.
Pleasingly for Parker, his side also did not concede any real chances once they had started to chase the game, while Ademola Lookman impressed on his debut, starting the move from which Kamara ought to have equalised.
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Source – News365coza