Gutsy Wolves hung on to make it four wins in five games with their third successive victory to beat Birmingham in a breathless derby.
Dean Saunders’ determined side clung on for their first success at St. Andrew’s in exactly 12 years as Blues hit the post three times and Wes Thomas missed four golden chances for the hosts, whose three-match winning run came to an end.
Man of the moment Stephen Hunt (20) broke the deadlock before Sylvan Ebanks-Blake’s double (27 and 37) made it 15 goals for the season and a dream first 45 minutes for Wolves.
But the second half couldn’t have been more different as Blues fought back through Wade Elliott’s double on 55 – the first a penalty – and in the sixth and final minute of time added on.
Wolves also lost Ebanks-Blake to an nasty-looking injury to his left foot in a challenge with Albion old boy Paul Robinson just after the hour.
Saunders kept faith with the same line-up that beat Middlesbrough 3-2, along with the same bench.
And they repaid that faith with a sumptuous first-half performance to take the game away from Blues.
The home side had the first chance in the fifth minute when Nathan Redmond cut inside from the right and let fly with his left foot but Dorus De Vries was equal to it, making a falling save to his left.
Wolves took the lead with their first chance, and it came from a decent move.
Ebanks-Blake played the ball to Bjorn Sigurdarson and he passed the ball back to the hugely impressive David Davis for a sidefooted shot from 25 yards that seemed to be arrowing towards the bottom corner of the net before Jack Butland pulled off a save, diving to his right.
The loose ball fell to Hunt, who scrambled it home for his first goal since December 17, 2011 and his first in open play since his chip to keep Wolves in the Premier League against Blackburn on Survival Sunday.
Three minutes later, Nikola Zigic wasted an excellent chance to level when he blazed over after getting to Wes Thomas’ cross first ahead of Kaspars Gorkss.
And Wolves made them pay by doubling their lead in their next attack.
Davis, who was enjoying his best game for Wolves in a man-of-the-match display, was the architect with a thumping, pacy cross to the far post where Ebanks-Blake darted in between Paul Caddis and Paul Robinson to head home from four yards.
Blues went within a whisker of a lifeline in the 31st minute when Shane Ferguson, who scored from a set-piece in Blues’ 4-0 win at Crystal Palace on Good Friday, curled a free kick against the post with De Vries at full stretch and beaten.
But again, things swung Wolves’ way to punish the hosts – and Davis was the engineer again, taking a pass from the tough-tackling Jack Robinson before sending Kevin Doyle racing clear only for the captain to be sent sprawling by Butland as he prepared to round him.
Butland was spared a red card and was booked, presumably as Doyle was deemed to be running away from goal.
But Ebanks-Blake wasn’t about to spare Blues more misery as he coolly curled home the spot kick to Butland’s left, sending the keeper the wrong way for his 15th goal of the season.
Former Blues defender Roger Johnson followed Jamie O’Hara into the book for a foul on Thomas in first-half injury time before the half-time whistle.
Blues, who were on the pitch ready for action a couple of minutes before Wolves appeared, made a determined start to the second period.
And after yellow cards to Wolves men Davis and Robinson for fouls on Redmond and Thomas respectively, they reduced the arrears from the spot.
Redmond’s overhead kick bounced against the outside of the post after Hunt cleared the free kick resulting from Robinson’s booking on the far side and O’Hara foolishly pushed Thomas in the back several yards from goal on the byeline.
Elliott rolled the penalty to De Vries’ left to reduce the deficit.
St Andrew’s roared a comeback but Blues struggled to maintain their attacking momentum against a determined Wolves outfit.
Lee Clark’s side should have had a second goal in the 59th minute but Thomas steered his shot straight at De Vries after Paul Robinson nodded down a deep cross at the far post.
Robinson played a part in the next flashpoint as Ebanks-Blake’s game ended in poignant circumstances in the 64th minute.
The striker hurt his left foot and couldn’t put any weight on it as he was helped off by the club’s head of medical, Phil Hayward.
He was replaced up front by new signing Nouha Dicko.
But it was Blues making all the running and they hit the post again when Thomas’ flicked header grazed the woodwork from Mitch Hancox’s cross on 76.
Wolves had a rare attack two minutes later and Hunt appealed in vain for a penalty when he went down perhaps too easily.
Blues quickly returned to the attack however and Thomas missed yet another chance, dragging his shot well wide after being left clean through.
Caddis then played Redmond through with a superb pass to split the Wolves defence but the young winger could only lift a rising shot well over the bar.
That was Redmond’s last piece of action as he was immediately replaced by Peter Lovenkrands on 82.
Thomas still wasn’t finished and he raced clear again in the 88th minute, rounding De Vries, but from a ridiculously tight angle, he could only find the sidenetting.
As well as trying to contain Blues, Wolves had to withstand six minutes of time added on at the end.
And Blues made them work to the final whistle after winning a penalty in the 96th minute for Robinson’s handball in an aerial challenge with Zigic.
Elliott bundled home after De Vries guessed right and saved his spot kick, diving to his right.
But Wolves clung on for another much-needed three points and complete a memorable Easter.Subscribe to our Newsletter