Wolves dump Stoke out of FA Cup

By dsguser
07 January 2017

Wolves won an FA Cup tie for the first time in six years to stun Stoke 2-0 at the bet365 Stadium.

Well-taken goals from Helder Costa and Matt Doherty, who sealed the upset 10 minutes from time with a lovely free-kick, gave Wolves a first victory in the competition since 2011 - the year that Stoke made the final under Tony Pulis.

The Championship club looked sharper than their Premier League hosts from the outset and were dangerous on the break early on, and Stoke could not say they were not warned prior to going behind.

Twice in the opening 10 minutes Jon Dadi Bodvarsson burst forward down the right before sending efforts narrowly wide of the far post.

Stoke looked laboured but began to have some success out wide as the midway point of the first half approached, but the final ball from Xherdan Shaqiri and Marko Arnautovic could not find Peter Crouch.

It had all been rather rushed and scrappy until Costa provided the first moment of class after 29 minutes. He cut inside on the edge of the area and, after riding a challenge from Arnautovic, fired a shot into the bottom corner of the net, giving goalkeeper Lee Grant no chance.

It was hard to argue Wolves deserved their lead and it was not until the 39th minute that Stoke mustered their first real attempt on goal. Ryan Shawcross won a header from Shaqiri's corner but his effort looped over the crossbar.

Stoke created another chance shortly afterwards when Arnautovic picked out Crouch with a lovely cross but the big striker put his volley over from just eight yards out.

Some home fans booed their team off at half-time and manager Mark Hughes obviously was not happy with what he had seen in the first half either as he made two changes at the break, with Giannelli Imbula and Bojan replaced by Joe Allen and Charlie Adam.

Bojan was already frustrated by a lack of starts, with a move away being mooted, and his representatives recently met with Hughes to discuss the issue. Whether this is the last we see of the Spaniard in a Stoke shirt remains to be seen.

Adam was involved straight away, working Carl Ikeme with a deflected shot. Ikeme was about to become very busy and the Wolves goalkeeper produced fine saves to keep out driven efforts from Arnautovic and Ibrahim Afellay, before denying Crouch from close range.

Allen was next to be frustrated by Ikeme as his shot was helped over the crossbar as Stoke piled on the pressure with 20 minutes remaining.

However, the hosts' hopes were dashed in the 80th minute when Bruno Martins Indi gave away a needless free-kick on the edge of his own area, fouling Bodvarsson, and Doherty clipped his shot perfectly over the wall and beyond Grant's reach and into the back of the net.

It was the cue for many Stoke supporters to exit, so those who left will not have seen Grant deny Nouha Dicko when one-on-one with the Wolves striker.

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