The Stoke side had a decidedly makeshift look about it.At the start you would have taken a point,by the end it could well have been - and a little disappointing not to have been - three!
The back four were fairly solid.Zakuarni, as last season, looked steady.Dickinson similarly did not give a great deal away.The central pairing of Hill and Shawcross was impressive.Hill deserved his Man of the Match award from the sponsors.For his age Shawcross has to be one of the best loan signings.Not a lot got past him yesterday.
The midfield four put in a great deal of effort covering.Delap and Captain Matteo lack pace but worked really hard for the team..Cresswell and Lawrence did some good work outside them.
Upfront Ricardo Fuller looked threatening,but because of poor service,not on as many occasions as usual.
The key difference between our win against Charlton and this draw was the performance of Sidibe.The Stoke system depends on him winning aerial balls,and also sometimes carrying the ball forward.Against Charlton he was superb,largely because the opposition were unable or unwilling to take him on physically.
Last week at Southampton Sidibe took a battering from ex-Stokie Wayne Thomas.Yesterday Wolves centreback Darren Ward took him on and came out on top, thus largely snuffing out the link to Fuller.
Any chances to win the game? Stoke had the best ones.During the first half Shawcross played the ball back to Fuller on the edge of the Wolves box.After a few steps right (see top photo) he hit a stinging shot,which struck Wolves defender Breen,cleared the keeper,and unfortunately for Stoke,the bar too.Just before the halftime whistle Fuller got away from chasing defenders down the right,cut the ball across to Lawrence who struck the ball on target,but straight at goalkeeper Hennessey.
He was to do this again with a chance in the second half.Right at the death Delap broke through into the Wolves penalty area,partially evaded the goalkeeper,but fell over in an attempt to clip the ball toward an empty net.