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21:12 7th April 2012

Wolves Lose The Lead Again

Stoke City 2 (Huth 37, Crouch 61)

Wolves 1 (Kightly 26)

After a spirited performance at the Britannia Stadium, Wolves were left with nothing to show for their efforts as Stoke hit back from a goal down to take the points and leave the Molineux side needing a dramatic change of fortune if they are to retain their Premier League status.

Karl Henry returned as captain and there was also a place for Ronald Zubar with Roger Johnson and David Davis both named as substitutes.

The visitors kicked off defending the end of the ground that housed around a thousand supporters that had made the short trip up the M6 from South Staffordshire.

In the first minute Richard Stearman blocked from Jonathan Walters for a corner that was taken by Matthew Etherington and that flew out on the far side of goal and with no-one getting a touch.

Then Ryan Shotton attempted a 30-yard chip over Wayne Hennessey but his effort was far too high.

In the 11th minute, a short corner from Matt Jarvis was played back by Michael Kightly to Stephen Ward who fired over the bar.

Stearman blocked an Etherington cross at the near post and then Peter Crouch headed Marc Wilson's centre on to Walters who headed wide of the target.

On 26 minutes Wolves took the lead after Kightly had chipped the ball into the box. Dave Edwards took a swing at the ball and although he completely missed it, his movement, distracted home keeper Asmir Begovic and the ball ended up in the back of the net.

Ryan Shotton's long throw was hooked clear by Henry before Robert Huth could take advantage, and then Kightly and Shotton were yellow carded after a brief skirmish outside the Wolves box.

Etherington took the free-kick and Ronald Zubar headed the ball out but only as far as Glenn Whelan.

He nodded the ball back into the box and Dean Whitehead chested down for Huth to fire Stoke onto level terms.

In the minutes leading up to the break Marc Wilson sent a dipping volley inches over Hennessey's bar and Walters headed straight at the keeper after meeting an Etherington centre.

Half-Time: Stoke 1 Wolves 1

Three minutes after the restart Shotton's foul on Kightly led to a Stephen Fletcher free-kick that was comfortably saved Begovic.

Then, after a Huth foul on Sylvan Ebanks-Blake, Kightly lifted the free-kick into the box and Sebastien Bassong headed wide.

Fletcher just failed to meet a return pass from Jarvis as Wolves looked to regain the advantage with neither keeper being overworked.

A dubious free-kick decision saw Stoke take the lead in the 61st minute. Ward was harshly penalised for a challenge on Jermaine Pennant and when the former Liverpool man hoisted the free-kick into the box, Crouch rose and directed a header past Hennessey.

A great run by Jarvis took him past Shawcross but Huth was there to clear the winger's cross.

Jarvis fired into the side netting after Henry had set up a shooting opportunity, and Shawcross headed wide at the near post after a teasing centre from Pennant.

No-one could fault Wolves for their lack of effort but little went their way and in the dying seconds a Kightly shot the turn was saved by Begovic.

City: Begovic, Shotton, Shawcross (capt), Huth, Wilson, Pennant (Palacios 86), Whelan, Whitehead, Etherington (Jerome 69), Walters, Crouch (Delap (90+1).

Unused subs: Sorensen, Jones, Fuller, Upson.

Booking: Etherington (35 - unsporting behaviour).

Wolves: Hennessey, Zubar, Ward, Edwards, Bassong, Stearman, Kightly, Henry (capt) (Davis 86), Ebanks-Blake (Doyle 83), Fletcher, Jarvis.

Unused subs: De Vries, Johnson, Berra, Milijaš, Forde.

Booking: Kightly (35 - unsporting behaviour).

Referee: M. Halsey.

Attendance: 27,005.

    Data provided by Press Association


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