Slick Stoke savage Wolves
By Mark Kendall
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Stoke City got their Championship campaign off to an impressive start following a deserved 2-1 victory over Wolves at the Britannia Stadium.Stoke City got their Championship campaign off to an impressive start following a deserved 2-1 victory over Wolves at The Britannia Stadium.
Second half strikes from Darel Russell and Clive Clarke (a penalty) earned maximum points, although Kenny Miller did reply late on with another spot-kick.
The hosts started the brighter of the two sides and could have gone ahead in the 13th minute when Gifton Noel-Williams failed to direct a near-post header on target from a right-wing corner.
Wolves' first effort of note came three minutes later when Miller met Mark Clyde's deep cross with a looping header that Ed de Goey gathered at full stretch.
Ade Akinbiyi, a constant menace with his pace and power, could not get sufficient power on a header to trouble Paul Jones on the half hour mark, and then spurned a glorious opportunity to open the scoring on 36 minutes.
Russell (pictured) showed great persistence to get over a teasing cross from the right but Akinbiyi got his finish all wrong and failed to connect with a left-foot half-volley; Jones made a smart stop as Lewis Neal fired the rebound goalwards.
Wolves began with more purpose after the break and should have hit the front on 53 minutes; a neat interchange between Colin Cameron and Kenny Miller allowed the former a shooting opportunity from 15 yards but de Goey was the equal of his left-foot effort.
Stoke went ahead moments later when Russell latched on to a loose ball on the edge of the box to drill home a sweet angled drive that flew past Jones and into the bottom corner.
They doubled their advantage 20 minutes from time after a dubious penalty award by referee Alan Kaye.
The official adjudged that Clyde had brought down Akinbiyi - and Clarke dispatched the spot-kick although Jones got a hand to the ball.
Wolves were given a lifeline three minutes from time when Noel-Williams was penalised for handball from a corner. Miller dispatched the penalty with aplomb but Stoke held on to clinch the spoils.
Click below for a match summary:
Stoke v Wolves