Wolverhampton Wanderers South Korean striker Hwang Hee-chan (2nd R) vies with Nottingham Forest s English defender Steve Cook (R) during the English Premier League football match between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Nottingham Forest at the Molineux stadium in Wolverhampton, central England on October 15, 2022. AFP
Neves converted from the spot after 56 minutes at Molineux to secure the manager-less home team only its second league win.
Forest missed an opportunity to share the points when Brennan Johnson's 79th-minute penalty was saved by Jose Sa.
Interim managers Steve Davis and James Collins are in charge of Wolves until a successor is found for Bruno Lage, who was fired this month.
The pair has lifted the mood around the club after securing a crucial win against a rival that is also fighting for survival.
Wolves were close to going ahead in the first half when Max Kilman's header struck the post.
But the game came down to two penalties, both awarded after VAR checks.
Adama Traore's shot struck Harry Toffolo's arm and, after a lengthy review, referee Thomas Bramall went to the monitor to eventually award the penalty, which Neves fired home.
VAR intervened again after Matheus Nunes pulled back Ryan Yates, but Johnson couldn't beat Sa from the spot.
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