Premier League: Stoke 2 Wolves 1
A second-half winner from Peter Crouch gave Stoke City a 2-1 win over Wolverhampton Wanderers at the Britannia Stadium on Saturday.
The loss leaves Wolves rock-bottom of the Premier League table and six points from safety.
Michael Kightly had given Wolves the lead in the first half, but they were pegged back for the third successive match - first by a Robert Huth volley before Crouch pounced to give the home side all three points.
Stoke started the game on the front foot and appealed for a penalty after just 90 seconds when Wolves skipper Karl Henry appeared to impede Jonathan Walters as the Irish international forward tried to get on the end of a Matt Etherington corner, but referee Mark Halsey waved away the home side's appeals.
Six minutes later and Walters had the first effort of the match, but his looping volley from 40 yards sailed harmlessly over the crossbar.
Wolves, with just one win in their past 17 Premier League encounters, gradually started to work their way into the game and had their first attempt on goal in the 13th minute, but while Sylvan Ebanks-Blake's first touch was exemplary, his tame shot was comfortably gathered by Asmir Begovic.
As is often the case with the men from Molineux, their main threat came through the wing-play of one-cap England international Matt Jarvis, but his delivery from wide was failing to trouble the Stoke backline.
Opposing left-back Marc Wilson showed Jarvis how to pick a cross in the 22nd minute, when stepping inside onto his right foot he sent over a lovely curling cross to Crouch who nodded across the six-yard box to his strike partner, but, with the goal gaping, Walters was unable to get the connection he wanted and failed to hit the target.
Just three minutes later and that miss looked worse as Wolves took the lead through Michael Kightly.
The former England under-21 winger clipped a pass with the outside of his right boot into the path of David Edwards, and when the Welsh international could not get a touch on the ball, it skidded off the turf and past Begovic to embarrass the goalkeeper and give the away side the lead.
Etherington and Kightly were both booked in the 35th minute for a scuffle, after a disputed foul by the goalscorer, and from the ensuing free-kick, the home side were level, having been behind for a mere 11 minutes.
Wolves failed to fully clear their lines from Etherington's delivery and when the ball was put back into the area by Glenn Whelan, Ryan Shawcross chested down for his central defensive partner Huth to blast a volley through the legs of Wayne Hennessey, sending the teams into half-time at 1-1.
Wolves had several opportunities to score immediately after the break but were unrewarded for their efforts.
And in the 60th minute, they went behind when left-back Stephen Ward slipped before sliding into a challenge and winning the ball from Jermaine Pennant.
However, Mark Halsey declared the challenge a foul and from the subsequent free-kick, Pennant's cross found the head of Crouch whose towering header found the top corner.
If Wolves supporters were despondent at seeing their side give away another lead, at least the form of their often-injured winger Kightly will have given them something to smile about, and it was from another of his driving runs, that they should have equalised.
Drifting down the right he appeared surrounded by opposing defenders, but with some neat footwork the Wolves number seven shifted past Etherington, Wilson and Huth before rolling the ball across the six-yard line. However, with Jarvis looking at a tap-in, Ryan Shotton was able to divert the ball behind for a corner.
With the game drifting away from his side Terry Connor waited until the 82nd minute to make his first change, bringing on Kevin Doyle for Ebanks-Blake, who had offered little in the way of goal threat.
The Ireland international, a key component of Giovanni Trappatoni's Ireland side that qualified for Euro 2012, drilled a low shot on goal in the 88th minute, but that apart, there was no real threat forthcoming from the away side.
In the end the performance from Tony Pulis' side was hardly vintage, but they did enough to secure another three Premier League points.