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Clinical Stoke deepen Wolves' drop fears

football Updated: Apr 27, 2011 07:45 IST
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FA Cup finalists Stoke's fine run of form continued on Tuesday as they dealt a huge blow to Wolves prospects of staying in the Premier League with a 3-0 win.

Goals by Trinidadian international Kenwyne Jones, Ryan Shawcross and the outstanding Jermaine Pennant easily saw off a woeful Wolves side, who are second from bottom a point adrift of safety with four matches remaining.

The hosts took the lead just after the quarter-hour mark as Jones headed home from a great cross by Pennant, who had beaten a couple of weak challenges down the right flank.

Jones, a record signing for Stoke last August for £8 million, wasted a better chance eight minutes later as Shawcross found him with a brilliant long pass but unmolested he shot well wide with just goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey to beat.

Stoke, though, suffered a potential hammerblow in terms of their FA Cup final hopes when winger Matthew Etherington - man of the match in their semi-final demolition of Bolton - had to go off after suffering what looked like a hamstring injury on the half hour mark.

Stoke doubled their lead before half-time as Shawcross bundled the ball past Hennessey from a corner - cruel luck on the Welsh international goalkeeper as he had pulled off a superb double save in giving away the corner.

Wolves, though, could find no answers in the second-half either as they produced a listless performance worthy more of a side in mid-table security than fighting for its Premier League survival.

It was no surprise when Stoke added a third in the 51st minute as the outstanding Pennant scored striking the ball home from a Jon Walters cross.

Pennant was to exit later to a deserved standing ovation as the match petered out.

Stoke should have had a fourth but for a dreadful miss by Jones with a point blank header.