Writer: Charlie Bennett
Date:Saturday October 31 2009
A brace from Jody Craddock saw Wolves come from 2-0 down to salvage a point at the Brit. A rampant Stoke opened a two goal cushion before the break and looked in cruise control but Wolves kept going and took full advantage of Stoke`s slack play.
After last weeks memorable victory at Spurs, Stoke boss Pulis made two changes by recalling last week`s hero Glenn Whelan in place of the injured Salif Diao, and as expected Thomas Sorensen returned between the sticks.
In the Wolves side were former Potters fan favourite Chris Iwelumo and former midfielder Karl Henry. Jody Craddock who lined up at the back spent a month on loan with the home side two years ago.
The game started at a frantic pace as Wolves tried to stamp their authority on the match, Michael Kightly had the game`s first shot from 20 yards which went straight at Sorensen.
At the other end Stoke almost opened the scoring as Danny Collins headed Matty Etherington`s in-swinging corner back across goal but neither Shawcross nor Beattie could get on the end of it and it was just about scrambled away.
The home side were out playing the visitors, who clearly couldn`t match the physicality the Potters have.
It was however a flowing break away move which saw the Potters hit the front. After collecting a Wolves corner Sorensen launched a throw out towards Danny Collins who looked up and fed Etherington on the left. The nifty winger showed his pace as he sped down the wing leaving the Wolves defenders for dead.
He then dug out a beautiful low curling cross for Beattie at the far post. The big man just held off George Elokobi and crisply struck the ball past Wayne Hennessy in the Wolves goal.
Jubilation then almost turned to despair as the former England man went down heavily while challenging for a header. Luckily the injury wasn`t as bad as first feared as he managed to carry on.
On the left of midfield, Etherington was having a field day terrorising the Wanderers back line. His accurate through ball for Fuller almost cultivated in a second but for brilliant defending from Christoph Berra.
Beattie almost added his and Stoke`s second but his point blank header from Shawcross`s cross was sublimely kept out by Hennessey.
Just before the half-time interval Etherington produced a piece of brilliance to double the lead.
After Wolves cleared an out of sorts Rory Delap throw, the ball fell to Matty on the edge of the box and after chesting down he unleashed an unstoppable volley into the top left hand corner of the net.
Half-time and the Potters were dreaming, Wolves didn`t look anywhere near causing us problems let alone scoring.
How things changed in the second half.
1 minute gone and Wolves were right back in it after substitute Nenad Milijas free kick was touched on to the far post where Craddock was waiting, he calmly prodded the ball home and even he was surprised that we was not flagged for offside. He clearly was.
This knocked the Potters confidence and both central midfielders Glenn Whelan and Dean Whitehead failed to get a strangle hold on the game as they so impressively did during the first half.
A nervous atmosphere swept across the Brit as we could all see what was coming but it was just a matter of when.
Well we had to wait until the 64th minute for Craddock yet again to beat Sorensen. A seemingly poor corner was flicked at the near post by the Wolves defender and this evaded everyone and nestled in the corner.
Stoke were diabolical for the rest of the half and neither Tuncay or Mamady Sidibe could alternate the proceedings.
There was however a golden chance for Abdoulaye Faye to win it. The captain broke free of his marker and ballooned a free header wildly over the bar.
When that happens you just know its not your day.
For the first time in a long time boos rang around the Brit at full-time. Stoke stay 9th, don`t know why were complaining, and next up is a trip to Hull live in front of the Sky Cameras.
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Date:Saturday October 31 2009
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