Wolves grind out point
Molineux stalemate lifts McCarthy's men closer to security
Last Updated: 11/04/10 3:46pm
Wolves battled hard for a draw
Wolves inched closer to securing their Premier League survival by playing out a goalless draw with Stoke.
Chances were few and far between in a fiercely competitive but rather turgid stalemate at Molineux.
Stoke dominated the early stages but could not make their pressure count as Wolves managed to deal with everything that was thrown at them by Rory Delap.
Mamady Sidibe then squandered the game's best chance early in the second half when he smashed over from close range.
Wolves had a few bright moments of their own but had to settle for a point that takes them six clear of the relegation zone.
A short back pass from Wolves defender George Elokobi almost played keeper Marcus Hahnemann into trouble early on but he came quickly off his line to clear from the recalled Dean Whitehead.
Stoke sent a series of early long throws from Delap into the Wolves box and, from one of them, Abdoulaye Faye had a free header but sent his effort wide of the post.
Most of the early pressing came from the visitors and a back header from Robert Huth flew straight at Hahnemann following another high up and under ball into the box.
Stoke continued to dominate possession and Whitehead headed wide from Matthew Etherington's centre.
Faye squandered another good chance to put Stoke in front after 23 minutes. Glenn Whelan hooked a loose ball back into the box and Faye climbed above the home defence but directed his header wide from close range.
Stoke keeper Thomas Sorensen was well positioned to cling on to a near post header from David Edwards from a Jones centre in Wolves' most dangerous moment of the opening 45 minutes.
Wolves were relieved again when a Huth header was blocked from an Etherington corner.
The chances continued to fall for Faye from the Delap throws and the centre-back sent another header wide when well placed 10 yards out.
Sidibe wasted a good chance to put Stoke ahead after 54 minutes. A cross from Higginbotham found Sidibe unmarked just to the right of the Wolves goal but he sliced his shot wildly over the bar.
In a rare moment of danger for Stoke, Edwards brought down a cross from Ronald Zubar but his shot flew straight at Sorensen.
Mick McCarthy made his first change after 59 minutes with Chris Iwelumo replacing Edwards to give extra support up front for Kevin Doyle.
Then Tony Pulis brought on Tuncay Sanli for Dave Kitson and was quickly forced to replace hamstring victim Sidibe with Liam Lawrence.
Wolves started to look more menacing and Sorensen gathered a powerful Zubar header from a Jody Craddock centre.
But Whelan was only just too high with a 20 yard pile-driver before McCarthy brought on Nenad Milijas for Dave Jones with 11 minutes left.
Matt Jarvis did well to block a volley from Higginbotham as Stoke searched for a late winner. The Wolves fans had their hearts in their mouths when Whelan curled a 25 yarder just wide.
In injury-time Sorensen needed two attempts to keep out a Milijas free-kick.
|Wolverhampton Wanderers||Team Statistics||Stoke City|
|0||1st Half Goals||0|
|4||Shots on Target||1|
|2||Shots off Target||9|
Barclays Premier League
|4||West Ham United||16||28|
|14||West Bromwich Albion||16||17|
|18||Queens Park Rangers||16||14|