This was a game of limited opportunities, but Wolves took two of their few chances in emphatic fashion, as goals in each half from Helder Costa and Ivan Cavaleiro secured what ended up being a comfortable win and one that was much needed for Lambert, in his sixth game in charge.
Philippe Montanier will point to a squad limited by injuries to no fewer than 10 players, but with a takeover of the Reds by an American consortium lead by former San Diego Padres owner, John Jay Moores, this was not a performance that would have impressed potential new owners.
The game was a slow burner with neither side managing an effort on goal until the 24th minute, when Forest’s Jorge Grant lifted an effort over the bar from 20 yards, following a neat knockdown from Matty Cash.
Prior to that Ivan Cavaleiro drove one dangerous ball to the near post for Wolves and Pajtim Kasami hesitated for too long when he had a half chance in the box for the home side.
When Jack Pride slid in hard on Mustapha Carayol it earned the Wolves man a booking and Ben Osborn’s delivery into the box briefly caused chaos, but the Wolves defence were able to clear.
Carayol got the room to deliver a cross moments later and Michael Mancienne was ghosting in at the far post for the game’s first real opening, in the 31st minute, but his header was narrowly over. Carayol had started the game on the right, before moving over to the left and the switch almost reaped rewards when he burst powerfully into the box from the flank, but saw Carl Ikeme pounce on his shot at the near post.
When Wolves took the lead in the 40th minute, it was from nothing more than a half chance, as Price fed the ball to Helder Costa on the flank and he carried the ball into the box, before beating Vladimir Stojkovic from the tightest of angles.
Forest almost levelled before the break, when Osborn’s first-time connection with a Cash cross flashed across goal and narrowly wide of the upright and again when Matt Mills forced a save from Ikeme with a driven shot from the edge of the box.
When Carayol found half a yard to drive in a cross from the left 10 minutes after the break, Osborn might have done better but prodded wide at the near post.
Costa almost had a second when he powered a free kick towards the corner of the net, but Stojkovic made an important save. Ivan Cavaleiro fired over as the visitors pushed again.
The two of them combined to secure the second goal for Wolves in the 79th minute, with Costa turning neatly before picking out a pass that gave Cavaleiro the simple task of slotting home from 10 yards – which he did confidently.