Nine-man Wolves were left fuming at referee Mike Jones as Bournemouth came from behind to hand Wanderers a fifth defeat on the spin.
Wolves ended their month-long goal drought – they last scored at Ipswich on November 4 – as loan man Danny Graham opened his account for the club by heading them ahead before the break.
However, Jones sent off Rajiv van La Parra early in the second half for what appeared at first glance to be an accidental clash of heads with Bournemouth defender Steve Cook.
Wolves defended doggedly in the aftermath of the sending-off but Harry Arter’s deflected equaliser and Matt Ritchie’s winner meant the heroics of keeper Carl Ikeme were for nought.
And Wanderers ended the game with nine men as Matt Doherty saw red in injury time for a bad tackle on Cherries striker Brett Pitman.
Wolves boss Kenny Jackett made four changes from the 4-0 thrashing at Brentford as he looked to halt their recent rotten run.
Youngster Dominic Iorfa, just 18, was handed his Wolves debut at left-back after Scott Golbourne suffered a recurrence of his foot injury less than 45 minutes into his comeback at Brentford.
But Sam Ricketts, Lee Evans and George Saville were all dropped from the matchday squad by Jackett who handed recalls to Richard Stearman, Kevin McDonald and James Henry.
Defender Kourtney Hause and midfielder Jack Price were on the bench after being recalled from their loan spells with League One outfits Gillingham and Leyton Orient respectively.
Bournemouth, meanwhile, were unsurprisingly virtually unchanged from last weekend’s draw at Millwall, which made it ten games unbeaten for the Cherries in all competitions.
Thanks to all for the tribute to Malcolm Finlayson today. pic.twitter.com/3z2srnBv2T— Wolves (@OfficialWolves) December 6, 2014
The only change Bournemouth did make was no shock either as top scorer Callum Wilson – a striker Wolves looked at in the summer – returned from injury in place of Yann Kermorgant up front.
After a minute’s silence in memory of legendary Wanderers keeper Malcolm Finlayson, who died last week aged 84, Wolves began brightly and had the game’s first real chance six minutes in.
A careless Bournemouth pass out of defence presented Henry with the ball 25 yards out and his fierce strike was well fisted away by full-stretch Cherries keeper Artur Boruc.
Bournemouth responded in kind as Ritchie let fly from 25 yards with an effort that while not quite as well-struck as Henry’s seconds earlier still required a smart save from Carl Ikeme.
Ritchie looked the dangerman for the visitors and his through ball found Brett Pitman in space in the area but he flashed his shot well over Ikeme’s crossbar from a tricky angle 12 minutes in.
The action soon switched to the other end as Iorfa almost made it a dream debut as he cut inside and saw a deflected effort just about parried by Boruc with van La Parra only able to divert the loose ball into the side netting from a tight angle.
Wolves were gradually getting on top and only a superb fingertip save from Boruc stopped them going ahead nine minutes before the break as he foiled Graham’s flicked header from a floated van La Parra cross.
Bournemouth were still a danger on the counter, though, and after Simon Francis beat Stearman all ends up, he squared for Wilson, who lifted a delicate dinked effort just a couple of feet over the bar from 12 yards.
But it was Wolves who broke the deadlock four minutes before the break as loan man Graham opened his account for the club and ended Wanderers’ own near 350-minute wait for a goal.
Henry crossed from the left and Graham stooped to flick a header with almost the back of his head that beat Boruc and nestled in the net off the inside of the post.
There was an early scare for Wolves at the start of the second half as Richard Stearman gave away a free-kick 25 yards out but Ikeme got his body well behind a fierce low drive from Ritchie.
And the game changed 13 minutes into the second half as van La Parra received his marching orders for what appeared to be an accidental clash of heads with Bournemouth defender Cook.
Both players seemed to have their eyes firmly fixed on a high ball and, after Cook got there first, he was struck by van La Parra’s head.
Referee Jones, however, deemed the contact deliberate and flashed a red card to the disbelieving Dutchman.
Ritchie looped a header just wide and substitute Adam Smith lashed a vicious effort into Ikeme’s side netting from distance with his first touch as the Cherries tried to capitalise on the one-man advantage.
Cook, whose every touch was greeted with boos by a loud and aggrieved home following, lifted an instinctive effort just over from six yards as Bournemouth piled on the pressure.
And it finally paid off with the equaliser 16 minutes from time as the ball fell to Arter on the edge of the box and his slightly deflected effort beat a wrong-footed Ikeme.
Despite defending valiantly Wolves could not hold out and after Ikeme pulled off a stunning double save to foil a Ritchie rocket and Wilson header, he was beaten at the third attempt as Ritchie’s strike found the bottom corner five minutes from time.
And Wolves’ misery was compounded deep into stoppage time as full-back Doherty was shown a straight red card for a reckless lunge on Pitman.
Wolves: Ikeme, Doherty, Stearman, Batth, Iorfa, van La Parra, Henry (Jacobs 75) McDonald, Sako (Clarke 86), Edwards, Graham (McAlinden 83).
Subs not used: Kuszczak, Hause, Price, Rowe.
Bournemouth: Boruc, Francis, Elphick, Cook, Daniels (Smith 68), Ritchie, Surman, Arter, Pugh (Kermorgant 73), Wilson (Gosling 90), Pitman.
Subs not used: Camp, Fraser, O’Kane, Stanislas.Subscribe to our Newsletter