Stoke surely secured their Barclays Premier League status for a fourth successive season with an emphatic 3-0 victory over relegation battlers Wolves at the Britannia Stadium.

It is a fine time for Tony Pulis' side, who also have an FA Cup final at Wembley to look forward to for the first time on May 14 against Manchester City.

Kenwyne Jones opened the scoring in the 16th minute, Ryan Shawcross extended their lead on the stroke of half-time and Jermaine Pennant added a third in the 51st minute leaving Wolves rooted in the bottom three after their 13th defeat in 17 away league games.

Once Stoke made the breakthrough they never looked back against their local rivals.

Jones headed in his 11th goal of the season following a cross from Pennant after getting between Richard Stearman and Jody Craddock.

Although goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey got a hand to the ball he could not prevent it going into the net.

Stoke maintained the momentum and three minutes later Hennessey did well to turn away a shot from Andy Wilkinson after he had been released by Pennant.

This was a testing time for a Wolves side, who had won only two league games on the road this season.

Stoke were in the driving seat but suffered a blow in the 28th minute when Matthew Etherington pulled up sharply clutching his hamstring.

The winger, such an influential figure in the side, was carried off on a stretcher and replaced by Dean Whitehead.

Four minutes later Jones should have extended their lead but headed over from close range after good work by Jonathan Walters.


 

Stoke pushed forward again in the 39th minute and Marc Wilson tried to pick out Walters only for Hennessey to intercept and make the clearance.

Then hard-pressed Hennessey tipped over a header from Shawcross before the skipper added a second on the stroke of half time.

Glenn Whelan rattled in a shot that was deflected by Stoke midfielder Karl Henry into the path of Shawcross, who only needed to nudge the ball over the line.

Stoke were not content to sit on their lead and Walters skipped away from Stearman in the 48th minute only to drag his effort wide of the post.

However Wolves suffered another blow three minutes later when the home side made it 3-0 following good work by Jones and Walters.

Walters delivered the ball into the middle and Pennant got an excellent first touch to find the target with Hennessey again wrong-footed by a deflection.

It was a fitting reward for Pennant, who had troubled Wolves with his pace and movement.

It was a long way back now for the visitors but to their credit they continued to work hard.

Midfielder Matt Jarvis whipped in a cross after 62 minutes and Christophe Berra escaped his marker but headed high over the bar.

Play switched back down the other end and Pennant picked out Shawcross with his corner only for the defender to send his effort off-target.

Stoke kept pushing forward and Walters sent a thunderous 30-yard shot inches wide of the post.

Substitute Danny Pugh had a half chance of adding a fourth in stoppage time but cleared the bar with his effort.

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Topics:
#Stoke City
#Premier League
#Wolverhampton Wanderers
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