George Elokobi's 75th-minute sending-off for a tough challenge on James Coppinger left the Barclays Premier League visitors clinging on for their second chance.
Off the mark: Kyle Walker (third left) gave Aston Villa the lead
Hunt's penalty had cancelled out Rovers' half-time lead with Billy Sharp and James Coppinger scoring twice in as many minutes to cancel out Nenad Milijas' stunning long-range opener.
But with the action swinging from end to end and both sides having clear-cut chances, it provided rich entertainment for Rovers' lowest crowd of the season, 8,616.
If the Doncaster public did not give the game much importance the same could not be said of Wolves boss Mick McCarthy, who made only four changes to the side that humbled Chelsea last time out.
And his faith almost paid off instantly when Stephen Ward flashed a left-foot shot wide of target within the opening 30 seconds, setting the tone for an action-packed tie.
At the other end, a poor third-minute clearance by Richard Stearman fell to Joseph Mills and his cross from the left found Billy Sharp, who mis-kicked in the box.
As the end-to-end action continued, Stearman took a run towards the Rovers goal and tried a rising left-foot shot which was knocked out for a corner by Rovers keeper Neil Sullivan.
No chance: Marc Albrighton beats Blades keeper Steve Simonsen to double Aston Villa's lead
Then it was Rovers' turn to come close again when Hird rounded off a spell of penalty-box pressure by dipping a left-foot shot which dropped just wide of Marcus Hahnemann's left-hand post.
Sharp had the ball in the net in the 12th minute when he turned home a cross from the lively Mills but referee Anthony Taylor ruled it out for afoul by Sharp on Christophe Berra.
A diving James Hayter was close to connecting with a cross from the right by James Coppinger in the 19th as O'Driscoll's side threatened to take control.
The excellent Mills drilled a low shot at Hahnemann but it was Wolves who grabbed the lead in the 38th minute when Milijas hit a stunning 35-yard effort past Sullivan from the left flank.
Any thoughts that the visitors could rest easy until the break were extinguished three minutes later when Sharp was fed by a short pass fromCoppinger and drilled home the equaliser.
Crisp: Jamie Ward gives United hope from the spot
And the npower Championship side went ahead in the 43rd minute when JohnOster's header into the box fell to Hayter, whose swinging right-foot volley beat Hahnemann again.
The pace slackened a little after the break as Wolves took control, David Jones hitting a long-range effort over the bar before McCarthy's men notched their inevitable equaliser.
Sam Hird could have few complaints following the trip on Matt Jarvis which led to referee Anthony Taylor pointing to the spot, and Hunt duly squeezed home the spot-kick to Sullivan's left.
Ward twice came close to putting Wolves in front and Jarvis also fired just high but the visitors' most dominant spell was brought to a shuddering end in the 75th minute.
Elokobi clattered into Coppinger on the halfway line and after lengthy treatment and plenty of frayed tempers on the touchline, the Wolves man was handed a straight red by Taylor.
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