A THUMPING header from frontman Raul Jimenez ensured Cherries remained in relegation trouble as they fell to a 1-0 defeat at Wolves.

Eddie Howe’s men recorded their second reverse since the Premier League’s resumption, with Mexican striker Jimenez settling the contest on the hour mark at Molineux.

His pivotal effort meant Cherries remained inside the drop zone on goal difference.

Cherries welcomed back midfielder Philip Billing for the clash following an ankle injury, with the Danish star coming into midfield alongside Jefferson Lerma and Lewis Cook.

Joshua King was ruled out with the ankle problem he sustained against Crystal Palace, Junior Stanislas took his place out wide.

After making a big impact in their victory over West Ham last time out, Adama Traore started for Wolves in place of Leander Dendoncker, who dropped to the bench.

Cherries had the better of the early exchanges and almost created the first opening after just three minutes.

A neat reverse pass from Stanislas set Billing free on his return – only for Wolves stopper Rui Patricio to come out and thwart the Dane inside the box.

Portuguese international Patricio was in the thick of it in the early stages. He clashed with Nathan Ake which left the Dutchman needing to receive treatment.

Cherries continued to keep on the pressure. Full-back Jack Stacey’s pass across goal found Billing, whose drilled effort was blocked by centre-half Willy Boly.

Wolves then showed their threat. David Brooks picked up his first caution of the campaign after tripping Traore, as the pacey winger burst forward on the counter.

Steve Cook put his name into the referee’s notebook after mistiming a sliding tackle on Diogo Jota.

But the most important card came for Cherries on 39 minutes. Callum Wilson arrived late in a challenge on Patricio, the booking meant the frontman faces a two-game ban.

Traore continued to cause problems as Wolves almost took the lead in first-half stoppage time.

After Stacey lost possession, Jota teed up the Spaniard, who let fly with an effort which soared over the bar.

Cherries boss Howe made an early change in the second period. Billing, who had strapping on his leg as he came out after the interval, was replaced by Dan Gosling.

But after seeing far more of the ball after the break, Wolves’s lethal combination struck on the hour mark to put Cherries behind.

Traore found space out wide to deliver a menacing cross for Jimenez, who rose above Stacey to power a header into the net past Aaron Ramsdale.

Howe then brought on three attacking options from the bench.

Dominic Solanke, Harry Wilson and Arnaut Danjuma were introduced in place of Stanislas, Jefferson Lerma, and Brooks – with a change of system to 4-4-2.

Tempers then almost reached boiling point. Smith slid in to win the ball off Traore – a challenge the winger did not take kindly.

With Cherries pushing for a leveller, Wolves looked to strike on the counter. Substitute Pedro Neto surged at the away defence before seeing his effort blocked out for a corner.

A Premier League debut from Lloyd Kelly then came with eight minutes remaining as he replaced Stacey – with the visitors’ fifth and final substitution.

But the hosts almost added a second late on. Neto charged forward in stoppage time but dragged his effort wide of goal.

Wolves: Patricio, Saiss, Coady, Boly, Jonny, Doherty, Neves, Moutinho (Gibbs-White, 90), Jota (Neto, 62), Traore (Dendoncker, 73), Jimenez (Podence, 90).

Unused subs: Jordao, Kilman, Vinagre, Buur, Ruddy (g/k).

Booked: Saiss, Neves, Moutinho.

Cherries: Ramsdale, Stacey (Kelly, 82), S Cook, Ake, Smith, Billing (Gosling, 50), L Cook, Lerma (Solanke, 66) Brooks (H Wilson, 66), Stanislas (Danjuma, 66), Wilson.

Unused subs: Rico, Mepham, Surman, Boruc (g/k).

Booked: Brooks, S Cook, C Wilson.

Referee: Michael Oliver.