A first-half brace from Kazenga LuaLua was enough to condemn them to football in England's third tier for the first time since 1989. It meant that Wolves have suffered back-to-back relegations, the first team to do so twice from the top flight, after they finished bottom of the Barclays Premier League in 2011/12.
Both managers made four changes with Brighton boss Gus Poyet looking to shuffle his pack having already secured a play-off place with a win against Leeds last time out.
The visitors looked ready for the fight in the early stages and Bakary Sako fired a warning shot when he struck the foot of the post inside three minutes.
That sinking feeling soon returned though when LuaLua, against the run of play, drilled in a fine finish from the edge of the box to silence the travelling fans moments later.
Wolves responded with efforts from Nouha Dicko and Roger Johnson but neither could find a way past Albion goalkeeper Tomasz Kuszczak. LuaLua then added his second for the home side six minutes before the break with another fine strike from the edge of the area.
Saunders lost Sako to a hamstring injury at the break and opted for the experience of Stephen Hunt as they looked to reimpose themselves from the restart. Wolves suffered another injury blow just after the hour mark when Matt Doherty, another victim to a hamstring injury, had to be replaced by Bjorn Sigurdarson.
Kevin Doyle stung the palms of Kuszczak shortly after but no-one was on hand to bundle home the rebound as they finally began to turn up the heat on Albion.
Bizarrely for the visitors, George Elokobi completed a hat-trick of injuries on his return to action when he limped off in place of Stephen Ward.
That final change was evidently one too many as Brighton started to threaten again through efforts from Ashley Barnes and Jose Ulloa. Vicente was next to go close as The Seagulls closed out their season in style in front of a stadium record crowd and finally put Wolves out of their misery.
- Sports & Recreation
- Kazenga LuaLua
- Bakary Sako
- Tomasz Kuszczak