Premier League - Jones stunner helps Wolves win

Eurosport - Mon, 16 Aug 00:10:00 2010

David Jones scored a brilliant free-kick before his Wolves side held on to record a 2-1 win against Stoke in their Premier League opener at Molineux.

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The midfielder, receiving the ball from Karl Henry, flicked it up and volleyed in off the bar from 20 yards out with 37 minutes on the clock.

Two minutes later it was 2-0, 7 million signing Steven Fletcher bundling in from close range on an impressive debut.

Stoke improved after the break but could only reply with a solitary goal, Abdoulaye Faye heading home a corner on 55 minutes.

The result was not the only tale of woe Stoke took away with them, as 8 million striker Kenwyne Jones was forced out of the game after only 10 minutes with a serious-looking injury following a hefty challenge from Jody Craddock.

Miss a Match? We didn't

Wolves 2 Stoke 1

He had looked lively in the opening stages, striking the crossbar from an angle after scampering free down the right.

Wolves had the ball in net on eight minutes, but Jones's finish was redundant as Fletcher had clearly impeded Stoke keeper Thomas Sorensen following Stephen Ward's cross.

Fletcher looked the part despite being hit with another strong tackle, courtesy of Abdoulaye Faye, which resulted in an ankle injury and eventually saw him withdrawn early in the second half.

After the half-hour he teed up strike partner Sylvan Ebanks-Blake, who could not quite find a finish as Sorensen dived out to meet him, before the English-born Scotland international used quick feet to go close from the rebound.

Then came the opener. It was clear that Wolves had cooked something up on the pre-season training ground, but no one among the 27,000-plus inside Molineux could have anticipated Jones's sublime flick and volley with his left foot which left Sorensen floundering behind his line.

Stoke were hit quickly for a second goal, Christophe Berra sending over a deflected cross from the right by-line which looped over the Danish shot-stopper and Fletcher arrived perfectly at the far post to nod home under pressure from half a yard out.

Rory Delap was restricted to only a couple of long throws in the first half, but had plenty in the second. He helped create the chance for the Potters' goal, his hurled ball put behind for a corner which Matthew Etherington - Stoke's best player - bent in flat for Faye to nod home undisturbed.

Wolves struggled to create with Fletcher off the pitch for almost the entire second period, although they did hit the woodwork themselves when Stephen Ward's volley was somehow tipped on to the crossbar by Sorensen.

In the ensuing melee the ball clearly struck Danny Higginbotham on the hand, but referee Lee Probert - who somehow waited until two and four minutes afterwards, the 76th and 78th, to produce the only yellow cards of the game - refused to point to the spot.

Those cards went to Robert Huth - for a flagrant rugby tackle on the touchline on the sprightly Matt Jarvis - and Dean Whitehead as Stoke became frustrated at their lack of bite in attack.

David Jones went close with a bending strike late on, but before that Wolves had to hold on for their victory under a deluge of rain and Delap set-pieces.

Jonathan Symcox / Eurosport

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