Adlene Guedioura celebrates after his shot finds its way into the net via Clarke Carlisle
By Phil McNulty
Chief football writer, Turf Moor
Wolves gave their Premier League survival hopes a huge lift and plunged Burnley deeper into relegation trouble with a crucial victory at Turf Moor.
Tyrone Mears presented Wolves with their first goal when his weak headed backpass fell short of Brian Jensen, allowing Matt Jarvis to win the race with the keeper and score in an unguarded net.
And they doubled their lead two minutes after half-time when Adlene Guedioura's angled shot took a decisive deflection off Clarke Carlisle and beat Jensen.
Burnley boss Brian Laws then felt the full fury of the Turf Moor crowd when he replaced the lively Chris Eagles and the not-so-lively Andre Bikey with Steven Thompson and Robbie Blake.
Thompson went some way towards justifying Laws' unpopular switch when he headed Burnley back into contention with 17 minutes left, diverting Graham Alexander's shot from the edge of the area past Marcus Hahnemann.
McCarthy grateful for slice of luck
Burnley enjoyed long spells of territorial supremacy and were unfortunate when both David Nugent and Blake hit the woodwork, but Wolves survived a predictable late surge to hold on for three precious points.
The signs are ominous for Burnley and Laws, who have now lost to Portsmouth and Wolves and drawn with Stoke City in a crucial phase of what they would have regarded as winnable games.
Their plight has worsened considerably after this latest reverse.
Wolves' supporters celebrated wildly at the final whistle and with good reason.
This result not only bolstered their own position, but delivered a serious blow to one of their closest rivals in the battle to avoid relegation.
Burnley were still without leading scorer Steven Fletcher, but they made the early running as Wolves keeper Hahnemann saved from Eagles and Alexander.
Laws preaches positivity after Burnley loss
The only response from Wolves was a David Jones header that was easily claimed by Jensen, who had earlier been booked for a wild charge at Kevin Doyle outside his area.
But they were gifted the lead after 26 minutes, courtesy of a calamitous piece of defending by Mears.
The former Derby player tried to find Jensen with a header, but it lacked power, and Jarvis pounced to nick the ball around the oncoming keeper before applying the simplest of finishes from right on the goalline.
Burnley suffered another setback six minutes before the interval when Danny Fox was helped off.
He received oxygen in the dug-out before being stretchered away to the dressing room.
And the home side were cursing their luck on the stroke of half-time when Nugent's shot on the turn in the area bounced into the ground and off the bar.
If Wolves' first goal owed almost everything to Mears' mistake, their second after 47 minutes contained a huge slice of good fortune as Guedioura's shot took a decisive deflection off Carlisle, and flew beyond the reach of Jensen.
Laws then decided to make changes, though to say Eagles' departure was unpopular is a masterpiece of understatement as Turf Moor reacted with undisguised fury.
Blake almost justified Laws' contentious move when he cut into the area and saw his shot strike the outside of the post and rebound to safety.
And the introduction of Thompson brought reward on 73 minutes when he set up a grandstand finish by turning a header past Hahnemann from eight yards, after Alexander had scuffed his 20-yard shot into the ground.
As the game entered four minutes of stoppage time, Blake fired in a shot that was too powerful for Hahnemann to hold, but no Burnley player was on hand to take advantage.
It was their last chance and a mood of resignation swept around Turf Moor as referee Steve Bennett sounded the final whistle.
Burnley manager Brian Laws:
"It was a poor mistake which gave them the first goal but nobody goes out there and deliberately makes a mistake - sometimes a judgement call can cost you.
"I can't for one minute criticise the players. We've got to have a spirit against adversity and against the issues we put against ourselves. We have got to be positive.
"It's a huge knock but the season doesn't end today and there are still eight games to go."
Wolves manager Mick McCarthy:
"It's tightened it up again with West Ham and Wigan losing and it gives us more of a fighting chance, a bit of confidence.
"We've been playing well and I said if we keep playing that way our luck will change. I knew we would get a slice of good fortune by playing that way."
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