Dean Saunders remains in search of his first win as Wolves manager after a goalless draw against fellow npower Championship strugglers Sheffield Wednesday at Hillsborough.
The hosts dominated proceedings but top-scorer Michail Antonio was guilty of missing several clear chances, while goalkeeper Carl Ikeme kept the visitors alive with some good saves.
Sylvan Ebanks-Blake lacked support up front for Wolves, while Antonio and Jermaine Johnson gave the hosts hope of an unlikely winner to no avail, despite the West Midlands club not being able to muster a single shot on goal.
Wednesday midfielders Jeremy Helan and David Prutton both made their expected returns to the starting line-up. Wolves trio Dave Edwards, Tongo Doumbia and Bjorn Sigurdarson failed to recover from knocks as Ebanks-Blake started up front.
And Ebanks Blake started brightly, shooting wide from outside the area before Jermaine Johnson fired over from distance for Wednesday.
The Owls had a ninth-minute free-kick with Giles Coke’s delivery bravely punched away by Ikeme, while at the other end, Kevin Doyle was nearly through on goal as the ball bounced above the Owls defence but Chris Kirkland managed to smother.
Midway through the half Antonio crept in behind his marker as the ball was looped over by Jermaine Johnson, but Ikeme made a superb block with his feet to deny the Wednesday striker.
The hosts enjoyed an extended spell of pressure as a short corner saw Helan deliver to the far post, with Miguel Llera knocking it back but Reda Johnson’s header was saved on the goalline by Ikeme.
Ebanks-Blake picked up the game’s first booking for a studs-up tackle on Reda Johnson, before Wednesday had the best chance of the half. Antonio found himself clear in the box, after good work from Jermain Johnson and Kieran Lee, but a snap shot went inches astray.
Both sides again shared early shots in the second period, while David Davis entered the book after unnecessarily handling the ball from a Wednesday throw-in.
Proceedings were getting scrappy and Saunders took Davis off to bring on Jamie O’Hara on the hour mark before Jermaine Johnson saw yellow for a barging into Stephen Ward.
Chances were at a premium for both sides, with Christophe Berra’s slip allowing Antonio to possession but his shot went woefully over.
The Owls found renewed spirit and Antonio was again at the heart of it, breaking quickly after a Wolves corner and laying off for Helan whose measured shot only found the side-netting.
Ebanks-Blake made way for Jake Cassidy, with Saunders also replacing the ineffectual Bakary Sako with Slawomir Peszko, but again it was the hosts who threatened as Helan’s low ball was almost tucked in by Antonio at the near post but for Ikeme.
With minutes of normal time left, Doyle saw a fierce shot go narrowly over before Gary Madine, on for Jermaine Johnson, headed wide from a difficult angle.
The hosts had a flurry of runs late on, with Helan battling to put the ball across the box without finding a Wednesday head, but the game eventually petered out.
Wednesday remain just three points above the danger zone, and manager Dave Jones was left wishing for better finishing skills from his side.
“I’ve just spoken to my stats man and we had around 17 opportunities,” Jones said. “We just needed that finishing touch, that final ball to finish them off.
“I can’t fault them in any way because we worked really hard. It wasn’t the best of conditions, but we do our best. I thought there was only one team trying to get it down and play to be honest.
“Defensively they didn’t cause us any problems. It’s just unfortunate that we didn’t finish the game off.
“We’re disappointed that we didn’t win but we’re slowly crawling back into the pack. We’ve just got to make sure we keep it going, and be a bit more silky in our finishing!”