STOKE CITY FC 3 WOLVERHAMPTON WANDERERS 0
If you believe what you are told then this result gives us another year in the Premier League and possibly European football too .Romping up to 9th in the table with 42 points there would have to be a bizarre sequence of results to see us relegated (West Ham were the last to go down with that points total.).
There was absolutely no doubt Stoke wanted this one.No one epitomised that more than Man of the Match Jermaine Pennant.Kenwynne Jones set him free down the right.Pennant's superb mid height cross under pressure from two defenders was headed home by Jones from close range for the opener.
Forever probing a poor Wolves defence Pennant bagged the final goal himself early in the second half.Walters crossed from the right,the ball found Pennant on the left side of the penalty area.He hammered a shot on goal,which Craddock attempted to block,but the ball looped up into the air, over the stranded keeper Henessey and into the net.
Sandwiched between those goals, towards the end of the first half, Ryan Shawcross netted for the first time this season.From a central position just outside the Wolves box Glen Whelan attempted one of his trademark thunderbolt low shots.He may have miscued but the ball shot left, reaching our captain six yards out.He had little trouble diverting the ball firmly into the net.
It has to be said that by the end Wolves were looking a pretty poor outfit,but still with enough points to play for to beat the drop.
Happy as we were with the outcome,there has to be real concern about Matty Etherington.He went down with what appeared to be a hamstring problem,to be stretchered off in what looked like considerable pain.His body language suggested he knew that this was a serious injury.On last night's evidence there must be real doubts that he will make the Cup Final, which would be a real pity.
So in a sense pressure off for our visit to the seaside on Saturday.Somehow,though,I think Stoke will be going for it against Blackpool....six points needed to better last season's total!