Wolves survived a second-half onslaught from Bradford to make it two wins in a week to overshadow Jamie O’Hara’s controversial retuen to the squad.
Kenny Jackett’s side did it the hard way too as they came from behind for the first time this season after goals from James Henry (28) and Richard Stearman three minutes later cancelled out Raffaele De Vita’s 13th-minute opener.
It was the first time this season – at the 16th time of asking – that Wolves had conceded in the first half.
Carl Ikeme denied half-time substitute Nahki Wells three times as the Bantams launched a near non-stop offensive on the Wolves goal.
But victory and the change in Wolves’ play owed much to a tactical switch in the 24th minute that transformed them.
Kevin Doyle replaced Lee Evans as Wolves switched to 4-4-2 from 4-3-3 and they immediately looked more comfortable.
Jackett made two changes to the side that beat Oldham 2-0 in midweek – but it was the controversial return of O’Hara that was the big talking point beforehand.
The exiled midfielder was on the bench for the first time since relegation from the Championship in May, just days after Jackett said he wasn’t in his plans.
As expected, Stearman replaced the injured Matt Doherty at right-back, while David Davis came in for Jack Price, who travelled but wasn’t available for selection.
Valley Parade was buzzing in the early stages of the game and seem to be a club riding the crest of the wave after promotion and reaching the Capital One Cup final last season.
That momentum swept them into the lead from the first attack of the game after a fairly even start.
Kyel Reid, the man who scored the goal that clinched promotion to the Premier League for Wolves in a 1-1 draw at Barnsley in April 2009, created it with a hanging cross from the left.
A ruck of heads went up to challenge for it, but it dropped to De Vita, and although his first shot was hacked off the line by Danny Batth, he made no mistake with his second, curling beyond Carl Ikeme to his left into the corner of the net.
Wolves fans, who look to have sold virtually all their 2,650 tickets across two sides of the ground, had to wait until the 18th minute for their first effort on goal.
It came from Leigh Griffiths, who smacked a low effort well wide of Jon McLaughlin’s left-hand post from Lee Evans’s short pass.
Griffiths also had the visitors’ next effort, which was much better as he dragged an early volley a few feet off target from Henry’s lobbed pass over the top of the Bradford defence.
But despite the openings, Wolves still looked a bit tentative compared to a determined and muscular Bradford outfit.
It wasn’t lost on Jackett either, and the head coach decided on a tactical switch midway through the first half which changed the game.
Kevin Doyle came on for Evans as Wolves switched from 4-3-3 to a more orthodox 4-4-2.
Immediately, Wolves looked more comfortable and within four minutes they were level.
The goal owed much to the poor defending and goalkeeping of Bradford however rather than anything special Wolves did.
McDonald won the ball after a dreadful mix-up between two Bradford defenders on the edge of their own box and he found Henry, whose rather weak sidefooted effort squirmed right through McLaughlin on the line for his second goal in as many games.
Rory McArdle sent a free header over the bar from Gary Jones’s free kick on the half hour before Wolves took the lead.
Stearman was the scorer, ghosting in to meet Henry’s cross at the near post to glance a header across McLaughlin and into the far corner of the net after Henry’s corner had been cleared.
Henry was looking in inspired form again and he tried his luck from 25 yards in the 35 minutes, his turn then curling shot flashing inches wide.
Bradford brought on striker Nahki Wells for De Vita at half-time as they looked to get back in the game.
They got on top and created two half chances, both falling to burly striker James Hanson.
From the first, he slid in at the far post but couldn’t get to Reid’s cross on 47 minutes.
Then he rose unmarked but headed straight at Ikeme from James Meredith’s cross seven minutes later.
Wolves’ defensive wall blocked a Reid free kick on 56 before McDonald, who had arguably his best game for Wolves, was booked for a foul in the centre circle.
Jackett brought on Ethan Ebanks-Landell for his Wolves League debut on the hour for Stearman to help deal with the increasing threat of Reid down the visitors’ right.
Bradford enjoyed most of the second half, but Wolves broke for an isolated attack on 75 for a shot at the far post that fizzed a foot wide after Scott Golbourne’s deep cross dropped to him.
But the Bantams returned to the attack and Ikeme blocked with his legs from Wells from a tight angle a minute later before Nathan Doyle’s goalbound shot hit one of his own players on 81.
Seconds later, Wolves broke through Henry, whose curling effort bounced a yard wide.
But Bradford piled forward and Ikeme twice blocked from Wells on 88 after the striker’s shot somehow won a corner that Wolves hotly disputed.
Wolves however survived to record their fifth successive away win to maintain their promotion push.
Wolves head coach Kenny Jackett said: "It was a good win. This is a hard place to come and Bradford had their biggest crowd today so that drove their fans.
"I admire what Phil Parkinson has done here, he's done a good job and they are a handful to place against. They'll be up there at the end of the season.
"We knew it would be a tough game but we scored two good goals. But we need more quality in decision making and counter attacking.
"The tactical change was nothing against Lee Evans, he understands that. I just felt this game needed two upfront so we tweaked it in the first half and got a good response from it.
"They came out strong in the second-half and we weathered the storm. Credit to Carl Ikeme, he has had some games where we haven't needed as much input but today we needed him and he gave us a strong performance.
Jackett was questioned about Jamie O'Hara's inclusion to which he said: "We lost Jack Price yesterday. He's had some issues with migraine's and blurred vision so we needed another midfielder.
"In his own words, Jamie (O'Hara) has said that these past four months have humbled him. His under 21 performances have been pleasing.
"We'll bring him back into the squad, he is appreciated of being given a second chance by the club."