TEN-MAN Norwich City slipped to a 1-0 defeat to Wolverhampton Wanderers in their Sky Bet Championship curtain-raiser at Molineux.
Dave Edwards headed the deciding goal for the hosts midway through the second-half just four minutes after Martin Olsson had been dismissed following a second bookable offence.
Andrew Surman and Lewis Grabban had the Canaries' best chances in the second period but they were hamstrung by their man disadvantage and in the end Kenny Jackett's men were deserved winners on their return to English football's second tier.
City will now have to look to next Saturday's meeting with Watford at Carrow Road for their first points of the 2014-15 season.
Adams set out his starting eleven in an attacking shape before the game, with Nathan Redmond joining debutant Grabban in attack. Surman started against his former club, his first appearance for the Canaries in 18 months.
Wolves handed a debut to summer signing Rajiv van La Parra, while former Ipswich Town loanee Richard Stearman started in central defence alongside captain Danny Batth.
They started brightly with Edwards skewing a shot over the bar in the first minute but City successfully negated their high tempo and almost got in a goal when Carl Ikeme spilled a routine catch.
The opening stage of the half was more attritional than high in quality but Wolves were the team who were sharper to and with the ball, even though City carried a threat on the break with the pace from the forward line.
Neither 'keeper had a save to make in the opening 45 minutes, however, leaving everything to play for after the break.
HALF-TIME: Wolves 0-0 Norwich City
Adams made no changes at the break and City had their best opportunity up to that point on 54 minutes when some swift interplay saw Surman fed in the box.
The midfielder did well to get a shot away but it was blocked expertly by Stearman.
John Ruddy's long kick up the pitch moments later was latched onto by Grabban, but Ikeme deflected it behind as pressure grew from Adams' team for the first time in the game.
The momentum swung back in Wolves' favour with half an hour to play, however, as Olsson was dismissed after picking up a second yellow card.
The Sweden international was caught out by the pace of Rajiv van La Parra and committed a tackle that referee Simon Hooper felt deserved another booking.
Wolves capitalised just four minutes later when they broke the deadlock through Edwards - the Welsh international rose between two defenders and headed home van La Parra's swinging cross from the right.
Javi Garrido and Alex Tettey came on in a tactical reshuffle for City, with Kyle Lafferty also brought on and the towering forward looked dangerous immediately.
Twice he set up Grabban, only for his strike partner to see his first effort blocked and his second intercepted by Ikeme.
The home team caught City on the counter-attack moments later, however, and should have scored when Sako and Dicko raced in on goal, but Ruddy made the save from the former.
Wolves comfortably held on in the final moments to secure the three points and leave City facing the journey back to Norfolk with no points on the board.
FULL-TIME: Wolves 1-0 Norwich City
GOALS: Wolves: Dave Edwards (64)
WOLVES: Ikeme; Doherty, Batth (c), Stearman, Golbourne; McDonald, Evans, Van La Parra (Henry 85), Edwards, Sako (Jacobs 81); Dicko (Clarke 87). Subs not used: McCarey (GK), Clarke, Ricketts, Price, Ebanks-Landell.
NORWICH CITY: Ruddy; Whittaker (Lafferty 75), Martin (c), Turner, Olsson; Johnson; E Bennett, Surman (Tettey 65); Hoolahan (Garrido 63); Redmond, Grabban. Subs not used: Rudd (GK), Loza, Josh Murphy, R Bennett.
REFEREE: Simon Hooper