It took Reading just 58 seconds to take the lead and the goal was scored by Wolves defender Neill Collins.
Reading left-back Chris Armstrong sent a cross into the goalmouth where Collins, in trying to head to safety, only succeeded in placing it over keeper Wayne Hennessey into the net.
It was a case of deja vu because it was an own goal from Hennessey that had given Reading an early lead in their 3-0 win at Molineux earlier in the season.
There were headaches all round in the first half as players clashed heads in all-out battles for the ball.
In the twelfth minute, Wolves team-mates Richard Stearman and Nigel Quashie clashed in a mid-air collision and both needed treatment before resuming.
Then Michael Duberry had to go off in the 30th minute after cracking heads with Andy Keogh and had to be replaced by Icelandic international Brynjar Gunnarsson.
Reading reshuffled, with Kalifa Cisse dropping into the back four and Gunnarsson coming into midfield.
They could have had a second when Noel Hunt headed brother Stephen's corner wide and at the other end Keogh missed an easy chance but was the happy to be flagged offside.
Just before half-time, James Harper shot straight at Hennessey, who then pulled off a brilliant save to keep out a Noel Hunt free-kick.
Both sides had players making league debuts. For Wolves it was new boy Quashie, on loan from West Ham until the end of the season, while Reading gave a first league start to 19-year-old Julian Kelly at right back, replacing the suspended Liam Rosenior.
Roared on by 2,700 supporters who had made the trip from the Midlands, Wolves tried to get back into the game, but Reading's makeshift defence held up well against the Midlanders, who replaced Keogh with Chris Iweumo in an effort to pep up their attack.
Reading brought on Shane Long and Leroy Lita to boost their attack ten minutes from time, replacing Noel Hunt and Kevin Doyle.
Lita appeared to dislocate his shoulder a minute from time, but Reading physio Jon Fearn seemed to pop it straight back into place.
In injury time, the hapless Collins was shown a straight red card after making comments to the assistant referee.