Wolves 2 (Kightly 21, Edwards 31)
Aston Villa 3 (Bent-pen11, Keane 51, 84)
Wolves succumbed to a second half double from old boy Robbie Keane after they had come from behind and played some sparkling football against Aston Villa in the opening 45 minutes.
And to compound the misery for home supporters, the in-form Emmanuel Frimpong suffered a potentially serious eye injury, Karl Henry was sent-off for kicking out at Marc Albrighton, and the Molineux men slipped into the relegation zone for the first time in the season.
Mick McCarthy named the team that had started at Tottenham a week earlier meaning that only Christophe Berra remained from the side that went out of the FA Cup after losing to Birmingham.
Before the game started a wreath was placed in the centre circle by Roger Johnson and Henry in memory of former Molineux kitman Dave Plant who had passed away during the week.
Villa kicked-off attacking the North Bank end and they could have been ahead inside the first minute as Gary Gardner headed narrowly wide following a cross from Ciaran Clark.
Wolves responded with two Michael Kightly corners and then, after six minutes, the winger delivered a low cross that was helped on by Dave Edwards to Steven Fletcher whose shot went straight to Shay Given.
But disaster struck five minutes later when Berra hesitated making a clearance just inside the home area. He was closed down by Darren Bent and as the Scot attempted to clear he took the striker's legs. Bent sent Wayne Hennessey the wrong way from the spot.
Up to that point Wolves had been playing some good football and the setback didn't put them off their stride.
The inspired Kightly was the man that levelled matters in the 21st minute after a neat piece of work from Frimpong in midfield. He flicked Henry's pass over his own head and ran between two men before laying the ball of for Kightly.
He wasted little time in cutting into the area and curling a low shot into the far side of the net beyond the outstretched fingers of Given.
Wolves continued to press forward and from a Kightly corner Johnson powered a header goalwards. Given punched clear but only as far as Henry whose bouncing shot was headed off the line by Albrighton.
Edwards fired straight at Given from near the penalty spot after Matt Jarvis had squared the ball to him, before Wanderers deservedly moved ahead in the 32nd minute. Kightly lofted over another corner and again Johnson got in an on target header which was nodded home from close range by Edwards.
Gardner curled a free-kick over the bar from 25-yards, and then Jarvis cut into the left-hand side of the area but his angled shot was far too high.
Half-Time: Wolves 2 Villa 1
A two minute spell shortly after the break proved to be disastrous for Wolves.
After 51 minutes Clark's header fell to Keane who hit a shot on the turn into the net from 20-yards.
The response from Wolves was a Kightly corner from the right but Frimpong, as he connected with a diving header, took a boot in the face from Stiliyan Petrov.
Frimpong was down for around five minutes, surrounded by medical staff, before he was carried off on a stretcher and taken to hospital with an eye injury.
Nenad Milijaš was sent on as his replacement and seconds later Stephen Ward almost diverted a low centre from Bent into his own net with Hennessey just managing to boot clear as he lay on the ground.
Albrighton was off target after a surging run through midfield, and then Kightly was well wide with a header after a cross from Jarvis.
Wolves were reduced to ten men when Henry was red carded following an incident with Albrighton. The Villa man appeared to hold Henry's legs and he responded with a back heel to the chest.
Richard Stearman replaced Edwards for the closing stages but Villa stole into the lead in the 84th minute as Keane rifled a 22-yard rising drive into the net via the underside of the bar.
Kightly was booked for a late challenge on Albrighton, Milijaš saw a fierce goalbound shot bounce clear off Alan Hutton, and Keane was inches away from a hat-trick after a low shot flew wide.
The Irish star received a mixed reaction from the crowd when he was substituted as the game moved into the eight minutes of stoppage time.
Villa pulled men back to defend their advantage and they coped with some late Wolves pressure as the home side desperately sought an equaliser.
Wolves: Hennessey, Foley (Ebanks-Blake 90), Ward, Edwards (Stearman 82), Berra, Johnson (capt), Kightly, Frimpong (Milijaš 58), Fletcher, Henry, Jarvis.
Unused subs: Elokobi, Hunt, Doyle, De Vries.
Booking: Kightly (86 - foul).
Sending-Off: Henry (74 - serious foul play).
Villa: Given, Hutton, Dunne, Collins, Bent, Agbonlahor (Warnock 45), Albrighton, Petrov (capt), Keane (Weimann 90), Clark, Gardner (Bannan 87).
Unused subs: Delfouneso, Guzan, Cuellar, Baker.
Referee: M. Oliver.
Wolves Academy Under 18s 2 (Whittall, Parry) Stoke City 1