Desperate times call for desperate measures but not even Neil Warnock could have imagined his plan to employ right-back Danny Butterfield as a makeshift striker could have such extraordinary results.
Butterfield had scored just once in six years coming into this tie but his second-half hat-trick ensured that Crystal Palace, still reeling from being placed into administration last week, progressed towards an FA Cup fifth round meeting with Aston Villa at the expense of Premier League opponents.
More importantly the injection of around £500,000 in television fees and prize money has been secured.
"It's a great night for everyone connected with the club," Palace manager Warnock said. "I told Danny he would score, but I didn't expect him to get three. He's been lively in training. I don't know what he's been on, but we all want some of it." The victory was no more than Warnock's side deserved against a desperately poor Wolves side.
He added: "Everyone knows Clyne almost went yesterday and I was disappointed with the offer we got for him. But the money we would have got for him, we'll get from the cup run."
An awful first half almost brought a goal for home midfielder Nick Carle but after the break Palace took control.
Butterfield claimed his first when he stooped to head home after Wolves keeper Wayne Hennessey parried Matt Lawrence's header then finished well after Alan Lee and Darren Ambrose combined to send him clear.
Three minutes later, Lee got a crucial flick and Butterfield, profiting from woeful defending, completed an astonishing win. Karl Henry's injury-time goal was scant consolation for Wolves manager Mick McCarthy. "We were outplayed, outfought, out-everything."
Crystal Palace (4-5-1): Speroni; Clyne, Lawrence, Davis, Hill; Butterfield (Djilali, 88), Carle (Comley, 84), Derry, Danns, Ambrose; Lee (Andrew, 75). Substitutes not used: Scannell, Wynter, Mann (gk).
Wolves (4-5-1): Hennessey; Zubar, Craddock, Berra, Stearman; Foley, Henry, Mancienne (Jones, 76), Milijas, Mujangi Bia (Ebanks-Blake, 59); Vokes (Iwelumo, 59). Substitutes not used: Hahnemann (gk), Surman, Halford, Castillo.
Referee: L Mason (Lancashire).Reuse content