Wolves’ record-breaking nine-match winning run came to an end as they were frustrated by a stubborn Shrewsbury to draw 0-0 at Molineux.
Kenny Jackett’s side could have few complaints as they struggled to match their recent levels of performance and failed to force opposing keeper Joe Anyon into a serious save despite dominating.
Brentford’s 1-0 win at Leyton Orient at lunchtime meant Wolves went into the game top on goal difference and they are now a point clear.
James Henry fired straight at Anyon in first-half time added on and substitute Leon Clarke could only prod the ball straight at the keeper on 79.
But it was a poor sum total of openings as Wolves couldn’t break down a well organised defence as they failed to score for the first time in 10 since the 1-0 defeat at Gillingham on January 3.
Head coach Jackett made his first change in six games and it was an enforced one as captain Sam Ricketts failed to recover from a thigh strain in time.
Ethan Ebanks-Landell won the race to replace him ahead of Matt Doherty, who remained on an unchanged bench.
Wolves favourites Steve Bull, Andy Mutch, Andy Thompson and Robbie Dennison were paraded on the pitch before kick-off, but it was the appearance of Graham Turner, who managed both clubs to success that drew the biggest applause, and from both sets of fans.
Wolves enjoyed by far the most possession of a one-sided first half, but Shrewsbury had clearly done their homework and contained them with some ease.
The visitors defended in numbers, getting plenty of men behind the ball when Wolves attacked.
And, coupled with a less than turbo-charged home side who failed to scale the heights of their blistering first 45 minutes at Swindon, it made for a frustrating first 45 minutes for Wolves fans as their side toiled away in the early spring Molineux sunshine.
Chances were extremely thin on the ground, with no clear-cut openings before half-time.
Shrewsbury went closest, with Sam Foley forcing a falling save to his right from Carl Ikeme with a tame, left-foot shot in the second minute.
James Henry, who was Wolves’ liveliest player in the opening period and showed most urgency, fired over from a shot on the turn in the eighth minute in their first attack.
Shrewsbury briefly threatened again in the 16th minute when Joe Jacobson rose highest to Wolverhampton-born Miles Storey’s corner but could only head well over the bar.
Wolves had to wait until the minute of time added on at the end of the half to test keeper Joe Anyon, and even then Henry’s fiercely-hit left-foot drive was straight at him.
Both teams looked sharper for the break and Shrewsbury were first to threaten through Storey, who looked to lob Ikeme and had the keeper at full stretch to tip away on 46.
Wolves returned fire and Scott Golbourne saw a sidefooted effort headed away from in front of the line by Connor Goldson after Anyon spilled Henry’s cross on 48.
The home side however had a double scare on 54 when Joe Jacobson’s free kick was deflected wide then Tamika Mkandiwire’s header flashed inches wide from Storey’s corner.
Ten minutes into the second half Wolves made a double substitution in a bid to find that elusive breakthrough with Leon Clarke and Matt Doherty replacing Henry and Ebanks-Landell.
But the switch had little immediate effect as Wolves struggled to break down a determined Town rearguard.
Two half chances fell to Sako, but the French winger dragged his first effort wide on an angled run from a loose ball after Jacobs tumbled, then he screwed wide after a lovely disguised pass from Jacobs inside the full-back.
A third attempt from Sako, on 77, drifted wide from the edge of the box.
Clarke had Wolves’ clearest chance two minutes later from McDonald’s dink over the top, but could only sidefoot straight at Anyon from point-blank range.
Sako had two more half openings, seeing a fierce drive blocked by Connor Goldson on 87 from Richard Stearman’s pull back then rifling a rising right-footed effort a foot too high two minutes later.
Wolves were inches away from a goal in the third of the three minutes’ time added on when Clarke and Dicko slid in for Doherty’s header across the face of goal.
But it was the excellent Mkandiwire who got a foot to it first to clear the danger.
That left Wolves settling for a point as their winning run came to an end but there could be few complaints on a day when they struggled to open up a very well organised defence.Subscribe to our Newsletter