Wolves 2 (Costa 61, Edwards 82)
Derby County 3 (Ince 6, Bent 15, 76-pen)
A highly controversial refereeing decision was to prove costly for Wolves who were fighting back after conceding twice to Derby in the opening 15 minutes.
Helder Costa put Wanderers back into the game but the attacking sting was taken out of Rob Edwards’s men by the awarding of a penalty that incensed the home players and supporters.
Rob Edwards made four changes from the team that took a point from Blackburn. Andy Lonergan stepped in for the injured Carl Ikeme, and Dominic Iorfa, Ivan Cavaleiro and Joao Teixera came in for Kortney Hause, Romain Saiss and Jed Wallace.
Wolves kicked-off attacking the North Bank end on an afternoon that reminded the crowd that winter is fast approaching.
The first chance of the game fell to Darren Bent but his volley was way too high. However, in their next attack, in the sixth minute, the visitors took the lead. Lonergan did well to push out Will Hughes’ header but the ball dropped at the feet of Tom Ince who thumped it into the roof of the net.
A Costa cross wasn’t properly cleared by the Derby defence and when the ball broke to Cavaleiro he was inches away from equalising with a curling effort from 20-yards that went over the far angle.
Costa was well over the bar with a first time effort after meeting a deep cross from Teixeira before Derby went two up in the 15th minute as Bent sent a spectacular volley into the net after taking a return pass from Hughes.
Teixeira got in a decent shot but it went straight into the arms of Scott Carson before County went close to a third when Bent stooped at the near post to send a header across the face of goal and narrowly wide following another Ince corner.
On the half-hour Jacob Butterfield struck the inside of the post with a low shot and the ball rolled across the face of goal before being cleared.
George Saville replaced Teixeira in the 32nd minute and his first involvement saw him getting the yellow card for a late tackle on Ince, and shortly afterwards Hughes suffered the same fate after he had felled Matt Doherty.
Cameron Borthwick-Jsackson then had to clear over his own crossbar as Ince threatened and five minutes before the break Ince was wide with a shot on the turn from the edge of the area after Cyrus Christie had squared a low pass to him.
Costa chased Doherty’s pass to the by-line but his cross was deflected behind for an unproductive corner and Johnny Russell wasn’t far off the mark with a long distance effort at the other end.
Half-Time; Wolves 0 Rams 2
Christie, who had taken a knock just before the interval, lasted less than two minutes of the new half before he limped off to be replaced by Jamie Hanson.
After a lack-lustre opening 45 minutes, Wolves were now starting to look more of a threat and it took a goalline clearance from Max Lowe to prevent Cavaleiro from halving the deficit.
A neat flick from Jon Dadi Bodvarsson sent Cavaleiro away but the striker delayed his shot when he got into the box and he was crowded out. But Wolves finally got back into the game in the 61st minute.
Conor Coady launched a long ball into the box and Costa knocked it forward to Bodvarsson who had his back to goal. The Icelander pushed the ball back to Costa who slotted it past Carson.
Derby were, by now, on the backfoot and Wolves won free-kicks in dangerous positions twice in a minute. Cavaleiro took the first after Hughes had fouled Saville but the ball was cleared.
Then a Costa free-kick from near the right-hand corner flag fell to Saville who tried a near post flick only to by thwarted by Carson. Midway through the half Nouha Dicko took over up front from Bodvarsson.
In the 70th minute Saville’s looping header was cleared off the line by Hughes following a Costa corner and then Costa got in a rising drive that flew over the far angle.
Lonergan made a fine save in keeping out Ince’s fierce shot but the keeper was beaten in the 76th minute after the referee decided that Cavaleiro had fouled Ince.
Contact looked to be minimal but Ince went down and then sent Lonergan the wrong way from the spot. The crowd left Ince and the official in no doubts to their view of the incident whilst Edwards was booked for dissent.
The anger of the home support increased further two minutes later in a role reversal as Cavaleiro went down under a challenge from Ince. This time the referee waved away the claims.
Emotions were high and after Doherty had been booked for a foul on Russell, before play restarted, Coady also went into the book for dissent.
Dave Edwards gave his side a glimmer of hope when he glanced home a near post header in the 82nd minute after good work from Cavaleiro wide on the left.
Wolves were leaving gaps at the back as they threw everything forward in the hope of salvaging a point and Lonergan twice in the space of a minute came to the rescue. First he somehow deflected a close-range shot from Matej Vydra onto a post with his legs before making a diving save to claim a Bradley Johnson header.
The five added minutes included a further Wolves booking – for Borthwick-Jackson’s challenge on Ince - and more penalty appeals when Doherty fell under a tackle from Lowe.
Wolves: Lonergan, Doherty, Borthwick-Jackson, Edwards, Batth (capt), Iorfa, Costa, Teixeira (Saville 32), Bodvarsson (Dicko 67), Coady (Wallace 89), Cavaleiro.
Unused subs: Flatt, Silvio, Stearman, Saiss.
Bookings: Saville (34 – foul), Edwards (76 – dissent), Doherty (79 – foul), Coady (79 – dissent), Borthwick-Jackson (90+3 – foul).
Rams: Carson, Christie (Hanson 47), Keogh (capt), Russell, Ince, Bent (Vydra 84), Johnson, Pearce, Butterfield, Hughes (Bryson 90), Lowe.
Unused subs: Shackell, Anya, Weimann, Mitchell.
Bookings: Hughes (36 – foul).
Referee: P. Tierney.