The magic of the FA Cup is about as effective as Tommy Cooper's these days, with financial imperatives superseding a tilt at Wembley glory.
Tony Pulis made a plea for English football to do more to safeguard the appeal of the competition after his Crystal Palace team had reached the fourth round but his comments were incongruous after a tie in which the two managers made a total of 13 changes from their Premier League lineups of the previous week.
Both managers spoke about the lack of atmosphere at The Hawthorns, where a paltry crowd of 12,700 was less than half the attendance for the corresponding Premier League fixture in November. Something had to be done, Pulis said, but then passed the buck to the league's executives.
Why the poor turn-out? Post-Christmas poverty was undoubtedly one reason but it would clearly help if managers did their bit by fielding their strongest teams. Palace's five changes left two of their crowd pleasers, Marouane Chamakh and Jason Puncheon, on the bench while Albion's eight absentees included the local favourite Morgan Amalfitano, Stéphane Sessègnon, Liam Ridgewell, Scott Sinclair, Chris Brunt and Nicolas Anelka, all of whom would feature in their first-choice starting XI.
For both clubs the priority is Premier League survival, with the FA Cup a distant second. Pulis was employed to keep Palace up, not to get them to Wembley. The romantics would ask why not go for both but, like Wigan last season, neither of these two look to possess the strength to compete successfully on two fronts and in order to keep the wolf from the door they need to concentrate their undivided attention on avoiding relegation.
Palace were under pressure for long periods but their goalkeeper, Julián Speroni, was in top form, motivated no doubt by his manager's declared interest in Wayne Hennessey, Wolves' experienced Welsh international.
At the other end Dwight Gayle's mishit shot, midway through the first half, was all that separated the two sides until the fifth minute of added time when Yannick Bolasie set up Chamakh for a simple second goal.
Man of the match Julián Speroni (Crystal Palace)