Rock-bottom Wolves moved closer to the Barclays Premier League relegation trapdoor as Peter Crouch's header condemned them to a 2-1 defeat at Stoke.
Results earlier in the day had presented Wanderers with an opportunity to reduce the six-point gap between them and safety, but for the third successive match, they took the lead only to end up with nothing.
Winger Michael Kightly put Wolves in front in the 26th minute with a lofted pass that drifted straight in, but Robert Huth drove home an equaliser with eight minutes of the first half remaining before Crouch - following up his recent wonder-strike against Manchester City - nodded in the winner just after the hour mark.
Stoke started to step things up after a cagey start and Jon Walters was guilty of a terrible miss as he headed wide right in front of goal from Crouch's knock down.
The hosts were swiftly made to pay for that profligacy, with Kightly putting Wolves in front within three minutes.
He chipped the ball into the box and although Dave Edwards failed to connect at full stretch, his swing at the ball seemingly succeeded in putting off Asmir Begovic, who allowed it to go straight in.
Kightly then had an effort blocked, but the Potters looked to respond quickly and after Karl Henry had cleared a Robert Huth header off the line and Crouch struck wide, they drew level.
Wolves were unable to deal with a free-kick and the ball came to Ryan Shawcross, who teed up Huth to power in off Wayne Hennessey's legs.
Wanderers went behind when Crouch met Jermaine Pennant's free-kick with a header in the 61st minute that looped over Hennessey.
Wolves needed to react and Kightly burst forward with a mazy run, but Jarvis could not put his pass in at the far post.