Jay Simpson’s remarkable second-half strike put the seal on a fifth win in six matches for Hull as they maintained the pressure on the npower Championship frontrunners.
Simpson netted from a seemingly impossible angle six minutes after the interval to condemn Wolves to a fifth match without a win.
Sone Aluko gave the hosts the lead after 29 minutes with a precise free-kick before Simpson’s moment of magic, but James Chester’s own goal midway through the second half ensured they did not have it all their own way.
Tigers boss Steve Bruce has now taken 18 points from the 24 available at the KC Stadium.
City had the first sight of goal after seven minutes when Liam Rosenior’s curling cross was met by Chester, but his header was weak and easily claimed by Carl Ikeme. Bjorn Sigurdarson gave Ben Amos a test of his nerve at the other end, racing underneath a bouncing ball and challenging him in the air, but the Tigers’ goalkeeper was equal to the challenge.
The hosts began to up the tempo after a pedestrian start and when Simpson latched onto Stephen Quinn’s neat pass and laid the ball back for Ahmed Elmohamady, the Egyptian’s cross picked out Rosenior only for the full-back to head wide from a good position.
It proved only a momentary reprieve for Wolves as Hull took the lead with 29 minutes gone. Rosenior was upended by Tongo Doumbia, and Aluko stepped up to curl a 20-yard free-kick into the bottom corner.
Wolves could have been level before the interval when Kevin Doyle squared across goal for Dave Edwards, but Amos was out quickly to block his toe poke.
In the 51st minute, Simpson showed first endeavour and then ingenuity, racing onto a Robert Koren ball that looked to be going out of play before steering a powerful shot across goal and in off the far post for his sixth of the campaign.
The stunned visitors were almost handed a route back into the match when Bakary Sako whipped in a cross that deflected off Paul McShane’s heels but fell kindly for Amos to gather.
McShane was less fortunate in the 67th minute when he allowed a weak cross through his legs and in the subsequent scramble Chester diverted into his own net.
That signalled an uncomfortable last quarter of the game for Hull, with Sako’s deflected free-kick flying over the bar and Doyle narrowly failing to connect with Stephen Ward’s cross. Simpson dragged wide from 18 yards in injury time, but victory means the Tigers are still within striking distance of the leaders.
Hull City: Amos, Elmohamady, Chester, McShane, Bruce (Faye 87), Rosenior (Brady 74), Evans, Koren, Quinn, Simpson, Aluko (McKenna 87). Unused substitutes: Jakupovic, Mclean, Olofinjana, Proschwitz.
Wolverhampton: Ikeme, Stearman (Pennant 77), Berra, Johnson, Ward, Edwards, Doumbia (Forde 64), Henry, Sako, Sigurdarson (Ebanks-Blake 65), Doyle. Unused substitutes: De Vries, Batth, Davis, Foley.
Referee: David Webb (County Durham).