Watford’s hopes of starting a run of three crucial looking games on a positive footing ended in disappointment as Wolverhampton Wanderers secured their first Premier League win of the season with a 2-0 victory at Vicarage Road.

A goalless first half had offered signs that the Hornets might be able to push on after the break, but it was the visitors who increasingly dominated the second half and secured the win through a Francisco Sierralta own goal and a close-range finish from substitute Hwang Hee-Chan.

The result means the Hornets have now suffered three straight defeats without scoring, making the next two games against Norwich City and Newcastle United look of even greater signifance.

The Hornets struggled to get any meaningful touches on the ball in the opening 15 minutes as Wolves dominated. But once Moussa Sissoko had their first chance and Jeremy Ngakia started to get the help he needed to deal with the threat of Adama Traore, the home side improved and had the better of the attacking exchanges for the remainder of the first half.

Ngakia grew in influence going forwards, combining with well Ismaila Sarr on several occasions, the latter supplying the low cross that Joshua King was inches away from connecting with in the six-yard box.

The home side needed a good save from Daniel Bachmann in first-half injury-time though, to denying Nelson Semedo to keep the contest all-square at the break.

It was the visitors who kicked on after the break though, successfully supressing most attempts by their opponents to create anything.

Semedo and Jimenez both missed good chances before Watford’s resistance was finally broken when Sierralta headed a Marcal cross into his own net.

Substitute Hee-Chan then converted to close range to wrap up a first three points of the season for the visitors.

Xisco Munoz made two changes from the side that lost 1-0 at Tottenham Hotspur before the international break, both in the full-back positions.

Ngakia came in for Craig Cathcart on the right side of the defence, while Danny Rose made his first league start in place of Adam Masina at left-back.

Sierralta kept his place at the heart of the defence after the dispute with Chile was resolved, the same outcome having been reached with Mexico that also allowed Jimenez to play for Wolves. This meant Bruno Lage was able to name an unchanged starting XI from the one that lost 1-0 at home to Manchester United last time out.

The opening stages were rather stop-start due to a number of free-kicks, but it was the visitors who settled the quicker, looking to dominate possession from the outset.

They also produced the first goal attempt when Traore muscled his way past Ngakia before laying a pass inside to Ruben Neves, whose strike from 20 yards out was deflected over. The resultant passed without danger due to a foul on Sierralta.

The signs were ominous though, with the home side struggling to get a meaningful touch on the ball. And when they did have the opportunity to launch their first raid forward on the counter through Sarr, it broke down due to a poor attempted pass from King to Emmanuel Dennis.

Neves had another attempt from 20 yards off distance after Traore had again threatened down the left, before Peter Etebo picked up the first yellow card of the contest for a clear block on Francisco Trincao.

Having been firmly on the back foot though, the Hornets forced Jose Sa into the first save of the match in the 16th minute to push behind a Sissoko angled piledriver after he had latched onto Sarr’s neat pass inside.

The Hornets had another opportunity five minutes later when Sarr lifted the ball to Sissoko on the right, the midfielder played in an early cross and King got across his man but was unable to connect properly with his attempted finish.

Watford were looking a much better proposition and after picking Neves’ pocket in midfield, Etebo slipped Dennis away on the left side of the area. But the pass had just too much pace on it, meaning the best the Nigerian could attempt to do was cut it back from the byline and Sa got enough of a touch on the ball to deal with the danger.

Another chance came and went when Sarr beat Marcal with ease on the right to open that flank of the Wolves defence and bided his team before crossing low, only to see it cut out.

The visitors were the next to have a chance, Trincao cutting inside and evading the attention of Juraj Kucka and Sierralta before hitting a left-footed strike from the edge of the 18-yard box which Daniel Bachmann dropped to his left to deal with.

Dennis sent an ambitious left-footed half-volley over at the end, having switched to the right side of the pitch momentarily. Six minutes before the break though, the Hornets were very close to taking the lead.

A patient build-up right of centre on the edge of the 18-yard box burst into life when a Sissoko pass into the box set Sarr away, he chose not to pull the trigger himself but centred and a sliding King was inches away from turning the ball into the net from inside the six-yard box.

A sense of what might have been among the home faithful was soon replaced by an element of concern at the other when Wolves were awarded a free-kick in a good position after Etebo was adjudged to have fouled Neves, but Joao Mountinho’s set piece curled over the bar by a safe distance from a Hornets’ perspective.

It was Wolves’ turn to enjoy a big opportunity as the first half ticked into injury time when some slack defending allowed Semedo to be played into space in the area, but Bachmann stood up to the wing-back and saved well.

Another opportunity arose from the resultant corner as Romain Saiss headed down, but the ball sat up for the Hornets keeper to save comfortably as the opening period ended goalless.

It was the visitors who had the first opportunity of the second period as well, Traore getting to the byline and digging out a cross but Trincao was unable to generate enough power on his header to really trouble Bachmann.

Watford had a couple of corners at the start of the second half though, before Munoz opted to shuffle his forward options seven minutes after the resumption by replacing King with Cucho Hernandez and moving Dennis down the middle.

The move didn't pay off though, with the Hornets' attacking threat largely diminished thereafter.

Wolves made their first change in the 63rd minute whenHee-Chan replaced Trincao, moments after Semedo had missed another great opportunity when he slid his attempted finish wide of the far post after again being played into far too much space on the right side of the Hornets’ area.

Rose was booked for a foul on Traore but within a minute Marcal was to join him in the book for an infringement on Sarr. Two yellow cards in two minutes quickly became three in three as Dennis was penalised, again for a foul on Traore.

The punishment almost got much worse for the home side though, as Moutinho’s free-kick picked out the head of the unmarked Jimenez who sent a diving header wide of the target. It was another let-off for Watford.

Wolves were turning the screw and the home side were stretched again when a corner from the left was flicked on by Jimenez into the heart of the six-yard box but the home side were able to clear.

Their resistance was soon to be broken though.

The next Wolves corner was pulled back to Marcal on the left, he whipped in a cross and a stooping Sierralta headed past his own keeper with three opponents queuing up behind him.

Munoz responded by bringing on Sema for Etebo but it was their opponents who were to make sure of the three points with seven minutes remaining.

After building down the right, a cross was stood up to the far post where Marcal’s first attempt was blocked but Hee-Chan was on hand to bundle home and make it 2-0.

Watford did threaten a late consolation when a free-kick into the box was headed down and a shooting opportunity momentarily looked like it had opened up for Dennis, but he wanted more touches and the chance went with those.

Watford: Bachmann; Ngakia, Troost-Ekong, Sierralta, Rose; Etebo (Sema 77); Sarr, Sissoko, Kucka, Dennis; King (Hernandez 53). Subs not used: Elliot, Louza, Cleverley, Masina, Cathcart, Tufan, Kabasele.

Wolverhampton Wanderers: Sa; Kilman, Coady, Saiss; Semedo, Neves, Moutinho, Marcal; Trincao (Hee-Chan 63), Jimenez, Traore (Podence 81). Subs not used: Ruddy, Hoever, Ait-Nouri, Mosquera, Boly, Silva, Dendoncker.

Bookings: Etebo for a foul on Trincao (13); Rose for a foul on Traore (66); Marcal for a foul on Sarr (67); Dennis for a foul on Traore (68); Jimenez for delaying the restart (90); Kilman for a foul on Sarr (90).

Attendance: 20,019.

Referee: Peter Bankes.