Wolverhampton 2-3 Derby: Match Report
Rams revival under Steve McClaren goes on as they increase the misery for Wolves
Derby's revival following the return of Steve McClaren continued as two goals from Tom Ince helped to beat managerless Wolves 3-2 in the Sky Bet Championship.
The Molineux success means McClaren has now won three of his five games since succeeding Nigel Pearson as boss of the Rams.
Ince gave the visitors the perfect start after only six minutes before a spectacular volley from Darren Bent doubled their advantage nine minutes later.
Helder Costa gave Wolves hope in the 61st minute before Ince won and converted a 76th minute penalty.
The hosts reduced the arrears again through Dave Edwards after 82 minutes - but Derby were able to hold on.
Wolves are widely expected to appoint former Norwich, Aston Villa and Blackburn boss Paul Lambert as their new manager and they badly need some form of inspiration to get back on track.
They have not won for seven games, have taken two points from the last 21 and have lost three successive home matches for the first time since 2012.
Bent wasted a golden chance to give Derby the lead after only three minutes when he volleyed a cross from Johnny Russell over the bar from 12 yards.
But McClaren's side did not have to wait much longer to cash in on their positive start.
Max Lowe's left-wing cross was headed goalwards from close range by Will Hughes. Wolves goalkeeper Andy Lonergan managed to palm out the header from Hughes but the ball fell perfectly into the path of Ince at the far post - and he rifled his shot into the roof of the net from six yards.
Wolves had an immediate chance to bounce back, only for Ivan Cavaleiro to see his rising drive fly over the bar.
Their task then became even harder when Bent produced a classy piece of finishing to double Derby's advantage.
The striker was left in acres of space on the edge of the area and when Hughes lifted the ball forward, the former England international struck a first-time volley that whistled past the stranded Lonergan.
Bent was unlucky not to increase Derby's advantage in the 27th minute when his deft header dropped inches the wrong side of the post, before Lonergan tipped a Jacob Butterfield shot on to the post before being relieved to see the ball roll to safety.
Wolves belatedly came to life after the restart and Cavaleiro hinted at a revival when his 57th minute shot was cleared off the line by Derby skipper Richard Keogh.
The hosts grabbed a lifeline when Rams keeper Scott Carson was caught out of position and Jon Dadi Bodvarsson's pull-back was converted by Costa.
For the first time in the match, Derby were under real pressure and they were relieved to see the well placed Hughes clear a goalbound Edwards header from a Costa corner in the 71st minute.
That was a turning point as five minutes later Derby regained their two-goal cushion.
Ince chased down a long clearance from Carson and was bundled to the ground by Cavaleiro, before getting up and converting the spot-kick himself.
That looked to have ended Wolves' challenge once and for all but Edwards set up a rousing finale when he headed home a Cavaleiro corner.