Poor Stoke City turfed out of FA Cup by hungry Wolves

Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /

Stoke City were dismissed from this season’s FA Cup competition after losing 2-0 to Wolves at the Bet365 Stadium.

Manager Mark Hughes fielded a strong Stoke City side, but his charges were unable to prevent the Championship outfit from causing an upset.

Helder Costa and Matt Doherty scored to send Wolves through to the fourth stage, while Stoke failed to progress past the third round for the first time since the 2008-2009 season.

Stoke City not at the races

Hughes put out a surprisingly strong side for the third-round clash.

Four changes were made to the side that beat Watford last time out. Joe Allen, Jon Walters, Charlie Adam and Mame Biram Diouf all made way.

In their place, chances were afforded to Ibrahim Afellay, Gianelli Imbula, Bojan and a return for Xherdan Shaqiri.

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The visitors were by far the better side in the game’s opening period. Icelandic hero Jon Bodvarsson was causing problems for the Stoke City defence, twice going close early on.

Stoke were struggling to get into the game, and on the half-hour mark, Wolves took a deserved lead.

A well-taken low, driven strike by Costa beat Stoke keeper Lee Grant at his near post.

Both Ryan Shawcross and Peter Crouch should have done better their respective chances, as the away side took the lead into half-time.

Huff and puff for Stoke City

Stoke needed to be better in the second period.

Hughes made his intentions clear, as he introduced Allen and Adam in a double substitution for Imbula and Bojan.

The changes paid dividends, as the hosts started to apply some pressure. Shaqiri won and took a free-kick on the edge of area, only to see his effort smash into the wall.

The Swiss then had a low drive saved by Wolves keeper Carl Ikeme as Stoke City began to knock on the door.

Marko Arnautovic was next in line to be denied, as Ikeme did well to stop his fierce effort. Afellay was next to be thwarted, as his long-range shot was swatted away.

Crouch and Allen also went close, as all the signs started to show it just wasn’t to be Stoke City’s day.

Wolves dug-in well, and their efforts were rewarded by a fabulous strike of a free-kick by Doherty.

The full-back pin-point effort flew past Grant and into the far side of the net to put the game to bed and see Wolves safely into the hat for round four.

Stoke City not good enough

The incredibly pedestrian start from Stoke City showed a lack of intent from a side that, on paper, should have handled matters on Saturday.

The home side deserved to be going into half-time behind, and Hughes was clearly unhappy with the performance – or lack thereof.