BAKARY Sako’s free-kick continued Wolves’ fine form in the npower Championship and extended struggling Sheffield Wednesday’s woes as the Owls suffered their sixth straight loss in all competitions.
The Frenchman’s winner came in contentious circumstances just before the break, having found the net at the second attempt after being booked for taking an initial wayward effort before the referee’s whistle.
Wolves were just about worthy of the three points from what was an ordinary encounter in the Black Country, with the second half turning into a non-event.
Nevertheless, it was a fourth successive league victory for Wanderers for the first time since November 2008 and extended the club’s unbeaten home record - with a third win equalling the amount they managed on home soil throughout the whole of last season in the Barclays Premier League.
In stark contrast Wednesday, who offered little in attack, fell to a sixth straight defeat since seeing their 19-match unbeaten run come to an end.
Both sides fielded much-changed line-ups in their midweek Capital One Cup encounters against top-flight opposition, and only a total of four players remained at Molineux from the combined 22 who started.
Kevin Doyle was one of those who came back in for Wanderers and he fired a superb shot narrowly over the crossbar from distance after seven minutes.
Michail Antonio was lively early on for the Owls and his great cross was met by Chris O’Grady, but the striker could only direct his header straight at goalkeeper Carl Ikeme.
A lull in proceedings was broken by a thunderous 30-yard effort from Sako which appeared to bring a fine fingertip save from Chris Kirkland, only for referee Simon Hooper to judge otherwise.
That encouraged the hosts and Doyle was narrowly off target with a left-footed effort from outside the area just minutes later before Sako again went close from a similar position.
And it was the summer signing from St Etienne who broke the deadlock in the 43rd minute.
The Frenchman, with a free-kick on the edge of the area, tried to get away with a cheeky chipped effort before being given clearance by the referee’s whistle and, having seen the ball drift wide, received a yellow card for his misdemeanour.
But he was handed a second bite of the cherry and from the retaken set-piece fired straight under the wall and into the bottom corner.
The second half started at walking pace and continued in very much the same fashion.
There was very little to trouble either goalkeeper as Wolves, without seriously threatening a second, looked comfortable with their one-goal advantage.
Kirkland and, more crucially, opposite number Ikeme were largely spectators without an attacking threat from either side.
And with the expected late push from the Owls failing to really materialise, aside from a brief surge in injury time, it was Wolves who claimed three routine points at the final whistle.
Wolves: Ikeme, Henry, Sako, Ward, Johnson, Berra, Boukari (Peszko 14), Doumbia, Foley, Doyle (Batth 90), Ebanks-Blake (Sigurdson 84). Subs not used: Edwards, Stearman, Davis, De Vries
Owls: Kirkland, J Johnson, Taylor, Gardner, Mattock, Antonio, Barkley, Semedo, Pecnik (Mayor 64), O’Grady, Bothroyd (Rodri 76). Subs not used: Bywater, Jones, Llera, Corry, Madine.
Referee: S Hooper (Wilts).