If this marked the dawning of a new era at Molineux, then the football on display was eerily reminiscent of the regime just gone.
This is of course to be expected given Walter Zenga has had less than a fortnight to coach his new charges but it made for an often chastening viewing experience nonetheless.
After a bright start earned us an early goal, slack defending of a set piece provided Crawley with a route back into the game. Considering the first goal we conceded at Rotherham on Saturday was in similar circumstances, this was a particularly frustrating way to lose the lead.
These events aside, the first half of this modestly attended cup tie was forgettable at best.
Laborious in possession and largely bereft of ideas, Wolves churned out a performance akin to those served up towards the end of last season.
The introduction of Helder Costa and Jón Daði Böðvarsson at halftime was therefore most welcome and it was reassuring to see Walter Zenga’s tactical manoeuvring pay off for the second game running.
Our second half showing, though certainly not the stuff of dreams, was an improvement on the preceding 45 minutes.
Böðvarsson’s impact on the game was once again crucial as his aerial prowess and astute hold up play provided his teammates with more space and time to probe the Crawley backline.
Though Connor Coady’s winner came from a corner, it’s hard to believe a breakthrough would have been found without the introduction of our new striker. Already he looks like a crucial component of the team.
Costa also had a pivotal influence on proceedings, with his willingness to run at the opposition fullbacks a stark alteration from the more tentative wing play offered by James Henry and Jed Wallace in the first half.
When combined, the efforts of Zenga’s halftime substitutions even earned Mark Connolly, Crawley’s lunge happy centre half, an early bath.
By that time we were well on our way to victory and, though it would have been nice to gloss over an underwhelming full time score with a third or fourth goal, it seems wise to take encouragement from the nature of this win.
Once again the players and coach saw their initial plan disrupted only to overcome the challenge and although we remain in the early forays of the Fosun era this has to be seen as an encouraging sign.
With further recruitment and patience from both the boardroom and terraces, the memories of last campaign could be erased more swiftly than imagined.