Wolverhampton 2-1 Crawley Town: Match Report
Conor Coady nets his first goal for Wolves in their EFL Cup win over Crawley
Conor Coady sent Wolves into the second round of the EFL Cup as new boss Walter Zenga avoided an upset with a 2-1 win over 10-man Crawley.
The midfielder's first goal for the club helped Zenga to victory on his Molineux debut but his side made hard work of it.
Enzio Boldewijn cancelled out Joe Mason's opener as Sky Bet League Two side Crawley gave as good as they got.
But Mark Connolly was sent off for a second yellow card with three minutes left to end any hopes of a late comeback.
Wolves were made to scrap for the win and they almost fell behind after seven minutes when Boldewijn's shot was cleared off the line by Coady.
And the hosts made them pay when they instantly broke with Jed Wallace's barnstorming run. The midfielder raced into the area and when his shot hit the inside of the post it was turned in by Mason.
Their lead lasted just six minutes, though, as Wolves were undone by a routine corner which Boldewijn glanced in at the near post.
James Henry and Mason fired off target as Wolves, led by Joao Teixeira, pressed but failed to find a further breakthrough.
Benfica loanee Teixeira was the tricky heartbeat of the hosts' play and clearly central to Zenga's plans yet the midfielder found the final product elusive.
But debutant goalkeeper Andy Lonergan bailed Wolves out eight minutes before the break when he rushed out to thwart Adi Yussuf after the forward had been sent clear by Jimmy Smith.
Crawley, gritty and determined, continued to match Wolves after the break and almost took the lead on 69 minutes when James Collins bundled his way through and scuffed wide.
When they were threatened with 15 minutes left when Connolly produced a brilliant goal-line clearance when he threw himself at Danny Batth's powerful header to nod off the line.
Yet two minutes later Wolves won it when Jon Dadi Bodvarsson headed back a deep free kick and Coady stooped to steer in from six yards.
Mason had the chance to give the scoreline a flattering look with five minutes left but his 12-yard effort clattered off the inside of the post before Connolly was dismissed for chopping down Helder Costa.