Julen Lopetegui got off to a winning start as Wolves manager as they progressed to the Carabao Cup quarter-finals at the expense of Gillingham.
The Premier League strugglers finally found the breakthrough in the 77th minute through a Raul Jimenez penalty after a foul on Hwang Hee-chan.
Rayan Ait-Nouri then secured the victory in stoppage time following a breakaway.
League Two bottoms Gillingham were spirited but ultimately overtaken by their hosts.
Former Real Madrid and Spain manager Lopetegui’s first game in charge of Wolves had been a long time coming, having replaced sacked Bruno Lage in November.
If he is to lift Wolves off the Premier League footsteps, the 56-year-old has one major problem to solve: scoring goals.
His side have scored just eight league goals this season and have struggled to break down Gillingham for long stretches despite the bulk of shots and possession.
Ruben Neves came closest to Wolves in the first half, netting a 35th-minute free kick just wide before hitting the post with a 20-yard effort just before half-time as Lopetegui grew visibly frustrated on the key.
He had started Diego Costa, who was a key figure in Lopetegui’s Spanish side that qualified for the 2018 World Cup, but the former Chelsea striker is still waiting for his first Wolves goal.
Instead, it was Jimenez, fresh from the World Cup with Mexico, who broke the deadlock in the 77th minute after Hwang – himself involved after reaching the round of 16 in Qatar with the South Korea – was knocked down following a corner kick.
Jimenez calmly sent Gills goalkeeper Jake Turner the wrong way for his first goal since August 23, 119 days ago, when the 31-year-old scored against Preston in the second round of the EFL Cup.
Lopetegui said of the striker after the game: “It’s good for Raul and it’s good for us. All strikers want to score and it will be important for his confidence.”
Wolves’ victory was secured in stoppage time through Ait-Nouri, but Lopetegui was clearly unimpressed with his side’s performance and went straight down the tunnel at the final whistle.
The Molineux club set to sign striker Matheus Cunha from Atletico Madrid – for Lopetegui, the prospect of more goals can’t be realized soon enough.
For Gillingham, their focus will shift to trying to extend their 72-year spell as a league club.
They have won just two of their 20 League Two games, have been winless since October 1 and with just six league goals they are the only side in the English league with fewer goals than Wolves.
Neil Harris’ side looked like they could hold penalties after offering little regular play, after knocking Brentford out of the Premier League via kick-offs in the third round.
However, Jimenez and his team-mates have assured that will not be the case, although Gillingham could yet cause another cup upset when they face Leicester City in the FA Cup third round next month.