Wolves 2 (Afobe 17, McDonald 24)
Queens Park Rangers 3 (Austin 38, Phillips 52, 72)
After taking a two goal lead against Queens Park Rangers and looking well on top playing some superb one touch football, Wolves let it slip and the newly relegated Londoners hit back three times to grab an unlikely victory.
Kenny Jackett’s side was unchanged for the visit of the Londoners who included one-time Molineux servant Karl Henry in their line-up.
Wolves kicked-off attacking the South Bank end and, as against Hull, they almost got off to a perfect start with Benik Afobe heading wide from a Dave Edwards cross with just over a minute on the clock.
Dominic Iorfa’s shove on Charlie Austin saw the visitors awarded a free-kick some 22-yards out with Tjaronn Chery’s kick striking the wall and bouncing away to safety.
It took a fine save from Emi Martinez to keep out a fierce angled drive from Massimo Luongo in the seventh minute – the keeper parrying the ball and dragging it back into his possession from virtually on the goal line.
Wolves took the lead in the 17th minute. James Henry’s low cross from the right was deflected to Edwards and when his shot hit a defender the ball bounced to Afobe in the six-yard box and that was that.
Martinez needed two attempts hold on to Chery’s shot on the turn but Wolves were soon back on the attack with Iorfa powering a header over the bar following a Henry corner.
It was 2-0 in the24th minute thanks to a terrific goal from Kevin McDonald. Henry’s cross was headed clear by a defender but only as far as the Scottish midfielder whose volley was a blur as it flew into the net from the edge of the box (pictured).
Robert Green just managed to cling on to a snap shot from Nouha Dicko as Afobe closed in, and then the keeper was grateful that Grant Hall’s miskick dropped into his arms as the defender attempted to clear a cross from Edwards.
Out of the blue, Rangers pulled a goal back in the 38th minute as prolific striker Austin bulleted home a header after a fine cross from Matt Phillips.
Just before the break, Kortney Hause went into the book for a late challenge on Austin.
Half-Time: Wolves 2 Queens Park Rangers 1
There was a change at the start of the new half with Adam Le Fondre replacing Dicko up front for Wanderers.
An early chance for Afobe saw him run onto a flick from McDonald but Green had spotted the danger and he blocked at close quarters.
But the visiting fans were cheering in the 52nd minute as the R’s pulled level. Phillips grabbed possession on the edge of the box and he sent in a low shot that crept into the far corner of the net in front of a stunned Sir Jack Hayward Stand.
Nedum Onuoha was booked for fouling Edwards just outside the Rangers box - Afobe’s free-kick curling into the side netting. Then came another change with Rajiv van La Parra replacing Henry.
The game was swinging from end to end and after Karl Henry had been booked for tugging at Afobe’s shirt, Chery spurted forwards and hit a low drive that forced a diving save from Martinez.
Afobe shot narrowly wide after running onto van La Parra’s forward pass before disaster struck for Wolves in the 72nd minute when Martinez could only help Phillips’s speculative shot from 25-yards into the net.
After La Fondre had been yellow carded for a foul on Luongo, Martinez had to dive full length to turn a Chery free-kick around the post.
In the 79th minute McDonald was unlucky not to force an equaliser when his shot hit a defender and spun just the wrong side of the post with Green stranded.
Martinez saved from Luongo with his legs and, for Rangers, Green managed to beat away Scott Golbourne’s cross-shot.
Five minutes of added time failed to offer a chance let alone an equaliser and Wolves were left to rue the three points they let slip from their grasp.
Wolves: Martinez, Golbourne, Iorfa, Edwards, Stearman (capt), Hause, J. Henry (van La Parra 63), Coady, Afobe, Dicko (Le Fondre 45), McDonald.
Unused subs: Ikeme, Doherty, Price, Ebanks-Landell, Ojo.
Bookings: Le Fondre (75 – foul), Coady (90+5 – foul).
QPR: Green, Hall, Onuoha (capt), Phillips, Chery (Doughty 77), Austin, Faurlin (Polter 87), K. Henry, Luongo, Perch, Konchesky.
Unused subs: Lumley, Hill, Gladwin, Emmanuel-Thomas, Hollett.
Bookings: Onuoha (61 – foul), Henry (65 – foul).
Referee: P. Bankes.