Clarke Carlisle's unfortunate own goal proved the difference as Mick McCarthy's Wolves clung on to win 2-1 for three potentially priceless points against Burnley at Turf Moor.
Carlisle deflected a shot by Adlene Guedioura past helpless home keeper Brian Jensen in the 47th minute to add to an even more error-strewn opener from Matt Jarvis.
Jarvis had snatched his opportunity to fire the visitors in front in the 26th minute when a back-header from Tyrone Mears fell short and left Jensen stranded.
Brian Laws' men hit back through substitute Steven Thompson in the 73rd minute but the home side failed to grab a point and blew their bid to clamber out of the drop zone at Wolves' expense.
The last chance fell to substitute Robbie Blake in injury time but the striker's rising shot from eight yards was parried by Marcus Hahnemann and the home side's hopes were over.
Burnley had started well with early efforts from Chris Eagles and Graham Alexander but the first real chance fell to David Jones whose header was well caught by Jensen.
Jensen was booked in the 12th minute for racing out of his box and upending Doyle who was chasing a through ball, with referee Steve Bennett deeming it was not a clear goalscoring opportunity.
Eagles continued to prove a handful on the left for the Clarets and he raced past Ronald Zubar in the 17th minute before firing a cross which was cleared under pressure by Karl Henry.
But Wolves snatched the lead in farcical fashion in the 26th minute when Mears' dismal back-header allowed Jarvis to nip in and round Jensen before dribbling the ball into the empty net.
Burnley came close in the 44th minute when Mears knocked the ball down in the box for David Nugent, who swung a shot from eight yards which bounced down then up against the bar.
But the home side's hopes of piling on the pressure were dashed within two minutes of the restart when Guedioura's poor shot from the right deflected into the net off Carlisle.
Home frustrations mounted when referee Steve Bennett denied strong handball appeals against Christophe Berra, then when the popular Eagles was replaced by Thompson.
It almost got worse for the home side as Wolves came close to scoring a third in the 59th minute, Kevin Doyle trickling a shot across goal from a tight angle.
Wolves were intent on sitting on their lead with McCarthy introducing Michael Mancienne to sit in front of the back four but their tactics threatened to cost them.
Substitute Blake breathed new life into the home side and he came close in the 65th minute when he found space on the left but struck the post from a tight angle.
Burnley's lifeline arrived in the 73rd minute when Graham Alexander ended a spell of pressure by lofting the ball into the Wolves box for substitute Thompson to head home.
Blake fired low into Hahnemann's arms as Wolves suffered a severe attack of nerves which got worse when the same player hit his last desperate shot in injury time.
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