Leigh Griffiths' injury time penalty fired unconvincing Wolves to the top of League One – after late drama at Molineux.
The striker came off the bench to score the winner in stoppage time – after Kyle McFadzean’s handball – just 90 seconds after Billy Clarke looked to have earned a deserved point for Crawley.
The visitors levelled in the first minute of injury time after Bjorn Sigurdarson fired Wolves into an early lead.
But it was an unimpressive performance from the hosts as they lived dangerously against the enterprising Reds.
Carl Ikeme twice saved from Nicky Adams and Joe Walsh missed from six-yards.
Wolves were stilted after an early burst and were fortunate to escape with a win.
Sigurdarson replaced Griffiths, who was left on the bench due to a lack of training as he had been attending a court case in Scotland.
Crawley included ex-Walsall left back Mat Sadler and had Torres and Rooney on the bench in the shape of Sergio and Luke.
Wolves’ start belied what was to come when Sigurdarson’s effort was saved by Paul Jones after five minutes.
But the striker did not have to wait long for his first of the season.
Two minutes later Kevin Doyle jinked down the right and stood up an excellent cross for Sigurdarson to nod in from seven yards.
Crawley almost hit back instantly when Adams scuffed wide from 10-yards but it was a brief interruption in Wolves’ early dominance.
The hosts exploited the flanks with Zeli Ismail skinning Sadler before Bakary Sako headed Doyle’s teasing cross wide on 13 minutes.
Crawley recovered, though, and began to frustrate Wolves.
And they should have levelled on 23 minutes when Mike Jones’ cross caught the home defence napping and Gary Alexander teed up Walsh six yards out – only for the midfielder to shoot wide.
Buoyed, the visitors Crawley took charge with Wolves failing to impress and Ikeme saved low from Adams.
Kenny Jackett’s men had relaxed since the goal to allow Crawley the chance to fight back with Wolves’ chances now limited.
Sako’s drive was cleared after another Doyle cross but Wolves had lost their way and failed to spark after the break when Ikeme tipped Adams’ skidding drive wide.
Sam Ricketts finally roused the hosts with a rising effort Paul Jones turned over on 49 minutes but it was a rare moment of excitement.
Crawley continued to impress with Wolves wasteful in possession – but they should have gone 2-0 ahead on 61 minutes.
Davis slipped the ball wide to Ismail who burst through and crossed for the unmarked Sigurdarson only for the striker to weakly slide in to Jones’ hands.
Sako’s free kick was then beaten away by Jones but Crawley were still pressing, even if they failed to create clear chances.
Wolves improved and Ismail tested Jones with a cross-shot after Kevin McDonald and Leigh Griffiths had been introduced on 72 minutes.
Mike Jones was inches away from levelling 90 seconds later when his 30-yard effort whistled over.
And Crawley looked like they had snatched a deserved point in stoppage time when Clarke fired low past Ikeme from 15-yards.
But Wolves won it immediately after when debutant McDonald’s cross was handled by McFadzean and Griffiths smashed in the penalty.