Match ends, Wolverhampton Wanderers 2, Derby County 0.
Wolves moved into the Championship play-off scramble with two second-half goals to beat promotion rivals Derby County.
After Tom Ince had hit the bar in a first-half shaded by the Rams, Wolves struck through Nouha Dicko three minutes after the restart.
Rams keeper Lee Grant's own goal then sealed Wolves' rise to seventh, level on points with sixth-place Brentford.
Derby remain fifth after their winless run stretched to six matches.
Although they were denied by a succession of saves in both halves from Wolves keeper Tomasz Kuszczak, Derby could not find a way through, leaving Steve McClaren's one-time promotion favourites just two points better off than Kenny Jackett's Wolves.
|Both Derby and Wolves have topped the Championship table this season, although the time spent on top by Steve McClaren's Rams at various times accounts for a lot longer. By comparison, Wolves's time at the top, after the 0-0 lunchtime draw with Birmingham City on 1 November, lasted just two hours|
Apart from one menacing run to the bye line by Bakary Sako, Wolves's promising start in front of a near capacity crowd had rather lost its way by the break.
Derby four times went close, with Ince, son of former Wolves skipper Paul, being denied first by the bar, then by home keeper Kuszczak, who also made full-length saves to block Jesse Lingard and Craig Bryson.
There was also a moment of contention when Darren Bent went down easily following a brush with Danny Batth on the edge of the box but, although referee Keith Stroud gave a free-kick, he chose not to punish the Wolves player.
Derby's growing authority vanished just three minutes into the second half when visiting left-back Craig Forsyth's loose pass triggered the opening goal.
Kevin McDonald fed Dicko and, after appearing to take the ball a little too wide, he turned to drill a left-foot shot which took a deflection off Cyrus Christie and Richard Keogh on its way in.
Benik Afobe might have made it two with a powerful right-foot shot which hit the bar before Wolves' opponents somehow engineered a scrappy second for their hosts
Richard Keogh's clearance span wickedly high up into the air and, with Batth making a nuisance of himself at the near post, Grant was sufficiently distracted to flap the viciously spinning ball into his own net.
Wolves head coach Kenny Jackett told BBC Sport:
"At times we rode our luck. Derby are an excellent team, but we did well to overcome them.
"After beating us five earlier in the season, it looked like there was a chasm between us, but for us to now be only two points behind them is an excellent achievement.
"We've got goals in us and we cause problems for opposition defences. But it was still important to make the substitutions we did and get Dave Edwards on in midfield.
"We're still in with a good shout of taking one of those three promotion places. Once again, the Easter weekend looks like it's going to prove vital."
Derby County manager Steve McClaren told BBC Sport:
"We've set standards at this football club in trying to be humble about accepting refereeing decisions. Tonight that was tested to the limit. It was difficult to take.
"This time the referee was totally wrong and, when he comes to look at the video, he'll realise that he made a mistake.
"Unbelievably, the player did not get a yellow card, never mind a red card, we did not get the goal, and it changed the game, so it was a triple whammy.
"You get what you deserve in the end in this game. We play the best football. And I'm sure we'll bounce back from this. There's a long way to go."
- 7HenrySubstituted forvan La Parraat 68'minutes
- 12AfobeSubstituted forDoyleat 90'minutes
- 40DickoSubstituted forEdwardsat 65'minutes
- 17van La Parra
- 2ChristieBooked at 45mins
- 11RussellSubstituted forDawkinsat 70'minutes
- Keith Stroud
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Wolverhampton Wanderers 2, Derby County 0.
Attempt missed. Bakary Sako (Wolverhampton Wanderers) right footed shot from the centre of the box is too high.
Corner, Wolverhampton Wanderers. Conceded by Simon Dawkins.
Foul by Craig Forsyth (Derby County).
Rajiv van La Parra (Wolverhampton Wanderers) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Substitution, Wolverhampton Wanderers. Kevin Doyle replaces Benik Afobe.
Foul by Simon Dawkins (Derby County).
Matt Doherty (Wolverhampton Wanderers) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Attempt blocked. Darren Bent (Derby County) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Simon Dawkins.
Attempt blocked. Will Hughes (Derby County) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Craig Forsyth with a headed pass.
Offside, Wolverhampton Wanderers. Danny Batth tries a through ball, but Benik Afobe is caught offside.
Will Hughes (Derby County) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Foul by Rajiv van La Parra (Wolverhampton Wanderers).
Attempt saved. Jesse Lingard (Derby County) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Cyrus Christie.
Foul by Raúl Albentosa (Derby County).
Benik Afobe (Wolverhampton Wanderers) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Will Hughes (Derby County).
Bakary Sako (Wolverhampton Wanderers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Attempt saved. Simon Dawkins (Derby County) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top right corner. Assisted by Cyrus Christie.