Wolves won an opening game of the season for the first time in eleven years as goal from Jones and Fletcher gave them a half time two nil lead.
New Stoke signing Kenwyne Jones hit the bar early on after a through ball by Fuller. That was to be it for Jones as he hobbled off after a strong tackle from Jody Craddock. It was David Jones that got the Wolves’ first goal of the season. Kevin Foley was fouled on the edge of the area leaving Wolves with a good chance to score. Karl Henry laid the ball off for Jones to flick the ball up and volley it off the upright and in. This wasn’t the first time Jones had tried this, but it was the first time a goal had come of it.
It wasn’t long before Wolves got another. Good work from Jelle Van Damme, Matt Jarvis and Christophe Berra resulted in Stephen Fletcher nodding in from a looping cross. Wolves came close again with Jarvis having a shot blocked and Ebanks-Blake also came close.
After half time Stoke came out fired up. Fletcher was forced off with an injury and the game swung in Stoke’s favour. They pulled one back through Faye from an Etherington corner but they couldn’t sustain the pressure. Wolves came back into the game and controlled it, keeping the ball well.
Wolves came close to extending their lead through Stephen Ward. He had a ferocious shot tipped spectacularly onto the bar by Thomas Sorensen and then had another go from the rebound. A goal for him would have capped off an excellent performance from both left back and left wing.
Stoke rarely threatened to equalise, and weren’t even getting anywhere with their throw ins. One clip to look up on youtube would be Delap’s throw in in the dying seconds. He slipped while taking it and conceded a foul throw.
Comfortable game, relieves the pressure from the defence by collecting the ball at crosses and today, throw ins. 7
Another typical Foley performance. Solid in defence and good on the ball. Had a hand in the first goal. 7
Keeps on improving, and dealt with Fuller who’s pace could have caused problems but he hardly had a sniff. 7
Carried on where he left off, another heroic performance at the back. 7
Expected to start at left wing, but had one of his best games in an Old Gold shirt. Unlucky not to score. 8
Not in his usual position but caused endless problems and created a lot of chances. 7
Swept up across the midfield and won that crucial midfield battle. 7
As said, superb. Is looking the part in the top flight. 8
Jelle Van Damme
Played on the wing opposed to in defence but gave us height defending and attacking. Good debut. 7
Fully justified the fee we paid for him. Classy on the ball and a debut goal, hopefully more to come. 8
Had a point to prove and flourished next to Fletcher. A goal would have been very deserving. Can count himself unlucky if he doesn’t play at Everton.
Had little impact and almost gave away a goal. Was subsitute towards the end. 5
Came on to seal the win, defended ok. 6
Had little time to do anything.
Mick made the right choices. The 4-4-2 worked, and the decision to play Ward full back and Van Damme on the wing was right. 8
Lost his main man after ten minutes, but not a typical Stoke performance as they lost nearly all the battles all over the pitch. 6