George Saville struck his first goals for Wolves as Derby County brought the curtain down on February with a 2-1 defeat at Molineux.

The 22-year-old sweetly struck the hosts in front from the edge of the area, before Chris Martin levelled matters against the run of play on the cusp of half time.

Much better in the second, Darren Wassall’s side looked the more likely to edge in front on the back of Martin's free kick, before Wolves fought back with Saville heading a winner beyond Scott Carson with just four minutes remaining.

The late blow meant Derby failed to take their opportunity of closing the gap on the leading pack in the Sky Bet Championship.

On the back of two successive wins, Derby began the early stages strongly as a seemingly nervous Wolves sat back and soaked up the visitors’ early pressure and compressed the space across the park.

Jacob Butterfield registered the only shot in the first third of the opening 45 minutes, but his effort from 25-yards was easily saved by Carl Ikeme in the Wolves goal.

After that, though, the hard working hosts were much the better side and opened the scoring after stealing possession on the halfway line bef[ore breaking at pace.

George Thorne, restored to the starting line-up, was the man dispossessed before the ball was played out to Nathan Byrne, who was lurking on the right side. The wideman turned one way, then the other, before playing a ball to Saville on the edge of the box, who with time and space bent a delicate shot beyond Carson and into the far corner.

For large periods, Wassall’s side lacked the intensity that had served them so well in their previous two fixtures as Wolves’ work ethic shone through in a strong first half showing.

For all their endeavour, Kenny Jackett’s side rarely put Carson’s goal under serious pressure and with just two minutes until half time, Derby levelled matters to ensure into the interval on level matters.

After Graham Scott awarded the Rams a free kick on the edge of the box, Martin placed the ball down before spectacularly bending his set play over the wall and beyond the outstretched hand of Ikeme.

Coming so close to half time, Derby came out reinvigorated for the second half, showing so much more imagination and quality going forward.

In the early stages, Martin, from a lot further out, sent another free kick narrowly wide with Ikeme rooted to the spot, before Butterfield and Hendrick both chanced their arms with speculative efforts, the former of which was easily saved, before the other flew over.

After the hosts had a goal from a tight angle correctly ruled out for offside, Tom Ince, the substitute, bent a superb first time effort agonisingly wide, before Bradley Johnson tamely shot straight at Ikeme with a half volley.

As the contest entered the final 15 minutes, Wolves grew in confidence and took back control, creating then better of the late chances as Bjorn Sigurdarson pulled an effort from range well wide after smartly turning away from danger and the same man looked to have scored a late winner soon after.

A lazy pass back from Johnson was seized upon by the hosts and after Iceland forward collected the ball, and with Jason Shackell backing off, he shot across Carson but was left denied by the far post.

Jackett’s side, however, did not have to wait much longer as Saville struck again to edge to send Molineux into raptures.

From the left, Matt Doherty picked the ball and swung a pinpoint cross into the area for the former Chelsea midfielder to head beyond Carson, via the underside of the crossbar.

Wassall reacted immediately by throwing Nick Blackman on and going for the jugular, but Wolves held on for a priceless win as they ended their seven-game run in the Championship without a win.

Wolves: Ikeme, Iorfa, Batth (C), Ebanks-Landell, Doherty, Coady, McDonald, Saville, Byrne (Mason, 75), Helan, Sigurdarson

Substitutes not used: Martinez, Hause, Rowe, Price, Hunte, Le Fondre

Derby County: Carson, Christie, Keogh (C), Shackell, Olsson; Thorne (Ince, 56), Hendrick, Butterfield; Russell (Weimann, 56), Johnson (Blackman, 87), Martin

Substitutes not used: Grant, Bryson, Buxton, Hanson

Attendance: 19,389 (1,714 Derby supporters)

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