In the first minute of five added on at the end, and minutes after a diving header from Steven Fletcher had set up a grandstand finish, there came a crucial decision.
Ref Mark Halsey relied on one of his assistants to make the call on a left-wing cross from Adam Hammill that was nodded back by Matt Jarvis and turned home by Kevin Doyle.
Asked if his side deserved the win, Pardew replied: "I don't think deserved is the word I'd use today.
"We did play well in the first half which gave us a platform to win the game, but Wolves were very good.
"I watched their last two performances here when they were beaten, but they were a lot better today, and they can take great heart from it.
"In my view, if you want to use the word deserved, they deserved something from the game themselves.
"We were a little fortunate with that decision at the end. I've seen it. It's really tight."