Benik Afobe netted his eighth goal for the club less than 30 seconds into the second half, before former Forest transfer target Bakary Sako demonstrated what they were missing by winning and converting a penalty, with 18 minutes left.
Substitute Dexter Blackstock netted with what was almost the last kick of the game, in the 94th minute, but it was too little, too late for the home team as Wolves moved into seventh spot.
It was Forest’s first defeat at the City Ground under Dougie Freedman, following five consecutive home wins, and he had warned his side that they needed to target two wins over the Easter weekend if they were to maintain their slim promotion hopes.
Instead it was Wolves who were left to look upwards once more, as they avenged the 3-0 defeat they had suffered at Molineux back in November.
Chuba Akpom, making his debut after joining Forest on loan from Arsenal, was immediately at the centre of things, heading over an early half chance, before then seeing a decent penalty claim denied. The 19-year-old was felled by a lunging tackle from behind from Danny Batth in the penalty area, with the Wolves skipper seeming to make little, if any, contact with the ball. But referee Andy D’Urso was unconvinced.
When Michael Mancienne pushed forward from right back he brought the best from Carl Ikeme, who had been restored to the Wolves goal following injury. The former Wolves man let fly with a driven 25-yard shot, but Ikeme was equal to it, plunging full-length to his left to push it away in spectacular fashion.
Afobe had already offered a reminder of Wolves’ attacking threat when he flicked a header narrowly wide and the striker was denied again when a slip from Kelvin Wilson gave him a sight of goal, with keeper Karl Darlow saving bravely at his feet – before Eric Lichaj made a vital clearance, almost off the line, as Nouha Dicko looked to force home the loose ball.
Henri Lansbury sent a dipping shot over and Dicko bent a shot straight into the arms of Darlow, as the two sides continued to trade blows right up until half time.
Wolves were to land the first real blow just 30 seconds into the second half, however, as Afobe raced powerfully through the centre of the Forest defence, after being fed by Dominic Iorfa’s flick, before driving an equally forceful shot beyond Darlow and into the bottom corner of the net, to put the visitors ahead.
Antonio, so often the driving force for Forest this season, came close to an equaliser as he drove a shot into the side netting. But the home side then shot themselves in the foot, as a clumsy challenge from Lansbury felled Sako as he cut into the box, with D’Urso right to point to the spot.
It was Sako who dusted himself down, before sending Darlow the wrong way with the penalty, to double Wolves’ lead in the 72nd minute.
Forest did pull one back in injury time, after Jamie Paterson’s shot had been blocked, with Blackstock sweeping home, but it was too late for a comeback.