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22:34 26th April 2011

A Gloomy Night In The Potteries

Stoke City 3 (Jones 16, Shawcross 45, Pennant 51)

Wolves 0

Wolves missed the chance of moving out of the bottom three of the Premier League after they suffered a 3-0 defeat at the hands of a buoyant Stoke City side at the Britannia Stadium.

A one sided affair could have been worse had it not been for a superb display by Wayne Hennessey who was in superb form.

Mick McCarthy made two changes from the team that had drawn with Fulham - Michael Kightly and Michael Mancienne came in taking the places of Adlene Guedioura and Nenad Milijaś.

Wanderers kicked-off defending the end of the ground that housed around 2,500 travelling supporters. After just three minutes came the first Rory Delap long-throw of the evening but Richard Stearman was there to head clear.

A Matt Jarvis centre flicked off the top of Steven Fletcher's head over to Kightly on the far side of the box. He played a one-two with Jamie O'Hara before hitting a low shot a yard wide.

Jermaine Pennant's corner caused a brief scramble before Robert Huth prodded the ball wide but Stoke's pressure paid off in the 16th minute as Kenwyne Jones headed them into the lead.

Pennant supplied the cross from the right and although Hennessey got a hand to the striker's bouncing header, he had little chance of keeping the ball out.

The keeper was at his best four minutes later as Pennant's clever chip left Andy Wilkinson through on goal but his angled shot was brilliantly turned aside by the Welsh keeper.

Seconds later Jones beat the offside trap and although he was completely unmarked, he hurried his shot and was well off target.

Stoke lost the services of Matthew Etherington when he slipped and fell on the far touchline. It was immediately evident that his injury was serious and he was eventually carried off on a stretcher with Dean Whitehead taking his place.

Jones was a fraction too high with a header from Jonathan Walters' centre as Stoke continued to turn the screw.

Just before the interval, Stephen Ward's speculative scissors kick was high and wide after Jarvis had knocked a Kightly cross to him.

But, then, two great saves from Hennessey preceded a second Stoke goal. Pennant's perfect through ball put Whitehead clean through but Hennessey spread himself to block with his legs.

Kightly was then shown the yellow card for a foul on Marc Wilson on the left side. Pennant pumped the free-kick into the box and Ryan Shawcross's header looked sure to double City's score until Hennessey somehow touched it over the bar.

But a goal did arrive from the corner conceded. Pennant laid the ball into the path of Wilson whose drive took a deflection on the way to Shawcross who turned the ball home from close quarters.

Half-Time: Stoke 2 Wolves0

Wolves enjoyed a spell of possession at the start of the new half without threatening the City goal.

When Walters broke for the home side he fired wide of the far post from the edge of the box but there was no respite and Pennant made it three when he blasted the ball home after Walters' cross had deflected off Jody Craddock and dropped nicely for the winger.

Facing a mountain to climb, Wolves then enjoyed their best spell of the game forcing four corners in succession but sadly none of them yielded any reward.

After Christophe Berra had headed over from a Jarvis cross, Wolves lost the services of Fletcher. The striker went down after challenging Shawcross who was shepherding the ball behind. Sam Vokes took his place.

Glenn Whelan went into the book for a foul on Karl Henry and Wilson for a scything tackle on Jarvis. In between the yellow cards Stephen Hunt was sent on for Kightly and Guedioura for Ward.

Walters was inches away from a fourth for The Potters with a tremendous 25-yard drive that flashed inches wide.

There was a brief altercation between Hunt, Huth and Shawcross with Huth perhaps fortunate not to suffer the same yellow card fate as the other two.

A night of misery for Wolves and their supporters was almost compounded in stoppage time when substitute Danny Pugh fired inches over the bar from 20-yards out.

Stoke: Begovic, Wilkinson, Shawcross (capt), Huth, Wilson, Pennant (Pugh 72), Whelan, Delap (Diao 80), Etherington (Whitehead 31), Walters, Jones.

Unused subs: Sorensen, Collins, Carew, Faye.

Bookings: Whelan (72 - foul), Wilson (81 - foul), Shawcross (88 - flare up).

Wolves: Hennessey, Stearman, Ward (Guedioura 79), Henry (capt), Craddock, Berra, Kightly (Hunt 74), Mancienne, Fletcher (Vokes 69), O'Hara, Jarvis.

Unused subs: Hahnemann, Milijaś, Mouyokolo, Foley.

Bookings: Kightly (44 - foul), Hunt (88 - flare up).

Referee: I. Cooper.

Attendance: 27,030.

    Data provided by Press Association


    For the first 50 years of their existence, England played their home matches all around the country.