Derby County 5 (Shotton 16, Hendrick 28, 55, Russell 42, 61)
Wolves were second best to an impressive Derby County side that dominated this fixture from start to finish inflicting a first ever defeat on a Molineux team at Pride Park.
Samuel Ricketts returned to skipper the side and there was also a place for George Saville who came in for the injured Dave Edwards with Tommy Rowe dropping down to the bench. Wolves were backed by around 2,500 of their supporters who were situated in one of the corners of the stadium.
Steady rain was falling as Wolves kicked-off but it was the Rams that threatened first following a short corner from Johnny Russell.
The Derby man regained possession as he ran into the area and went down under a challenge from Ethan Ebanks-Landell but the referee, who was well positioned, quickly shook his head.
Matt Doherty fouled Chris Martin some 25-yards out and from Omar Mascarell’s curled free-kick, Ryan Shotton headed over the bar.
It had been all Derby and it was no surprise when they moved into a 16th minute lead. Doherty was booked for pulling back Simon Dawkins and from Mascarell’s free-kick midway in the Wolves half, Shotton powered in a header that Carl Ikeme managed to touch onto the post only for the ball to bounce back into the net.
Three minutes later, Wanderers won their first corner and from it a near equaliser. James Henry took the kick hitting a low ball to Bakary Sako on the edge of the box and his dipping shot just cleared the bar.
Then Sako’s determination saw him withstand two robust challenges before he played the ball through to Ricketts who squared it for Saville who shot wide from a good position.
Just as it seemed Wolves were starting to make an impression on the game, County went two up as Jeff Hendrick hit a low shot from 25-yards that flew past Ikeme.
Henry was shown the yellow card for kicking the ball away after conceding a free-kick and then Lee Evans had to receive treatment after he picked up a knock.
Three minutes before the break a shot by Russell took a massive deflection off Ricketts and drifted narrowly wide with Ikeme stranded.
But Derby and Russell weren’t to be denied. From the corner conceded, taken by Mascarell, the ball was only half cleared to Russell who was given the time and space to run into the area and fire unchallenged into the net.
A minute later, following another Mascarell corner, Richard Keogh was inches away from a fourth as his header dropped just wide of the far post.
Half-Time: Derby 3 Wolves 0
Kenny Jackett replaced Ebanks-Landell with Richard Stearman at the start of the second-half and a couple of Sako inspired attacks gave rise to a little hope for the travelling fans.
But on 55 minutes County netted a fourth as Will Hughes set up the opportunity for Hendrick to drill the ball home from the edge of the area.
Leon Clarke almost put his team on the scoreboard with a low shot from outside the area that took a deflection and hit the outside of the post before going out.
But the agony continued on the hour mark as Russell scored his second of the afternoon lashing the ball past Ikeme after running onto a cross from Craig Forsyth.
Cyrus Christie was yellow carded after he had fouled Henry and, after Liam McAlinden had taken the place of Clarke, Saville was also booked – for a late challenge on Keogh.
McAlinden had an angled shot turned around the post by Jack Butland and Sako’s corner went right through the six-yard box with no-one able to apply a finishing touch.
Butland then made a routine save smothering a low drive from Saville before a final change for the visitors saw Rowe replacing Evans.
McAlinden headed just off target following a Sako cross, but there was to be no late consolation for a well beaten side.
Credit must go, however, to the heavily outnumbered gold and black clad supporters who sang to the very end of what was a miserable afternoon.
Rams: Butland, Christie, Forsyth, Keogh (capt), Dawkins (Ibe 75), Hendrick, Martin, Russell (Calero 84), Hughes, Shotton, Mascarell (Coutts 90).
Unused subs: Roos, Buxton, Eustace, Best.
Booking: Christie (62 – foul).
Wolves: Ikeme, Doherty, Ricketts (capt), Saville, Batth, Ebanks-Landell (Stearman 45), Henry, McDonald, Clarke (McAlinden 67), Evans (Rowe 75), Sako.
Unused subs: Kuszczak, van La Parra, Jacobs, Dicko.
Bookings: Doherty (16 – foul), Henry (30 – kicking ball away after conceding free-kick), Ricketts (43 – foul), Saville (68 – foul).
Referee: G. Salisbury.