Stoke City 1 Wolverhampton Wanderers 1

Last updated : 13 January 2007 By Footymad Previewer
Wolverhampton Wanderers came within five minutes of inflicting a rare home defeat on Stoke City at the Britannia Stadium, but had to settle for a point at the end of the game.

Stoke were set for only their second defeat in 11 outings on home turf before Clint Hill's last-gasp header earned a share of the spoils.

The defender struck late on to cancel out Neill Collins' first Wolves goal, after the visitors seemed to be cruising to a fourth win in five attempts away from Molineux.

The mouth-watering prospect of a Midlands dust-up between two clubs jostling for play-off contention fell victim to a disruptive gust which was sweeping through the Potteries.

At least that should be Darel Russell's excuse after an un-characteristic misplaced pass gave Michael McIndoe a shooting chance on the 10th minute.

Luckily for Russell the same blustery conditions carried the Scot's resulting shot over the bar, before Stoke should have claimed the lead.

Liam Lawrence speared over the visiting rearguard leaving Ricardo Fuller to turn on the turbo before thumping a low drive at the foot of the post.

Wolves took note and the same route-one approach had similar rewards. Michael Kightly watched his rocket crash back off the hosts' bar after latching on to Karl Henry's direct play.

In a meeting between two clubs with 25 clean sheets between them clear-cut chances were seldom coming, but with the second half only three minutes old it opened up.

Fuller somehow jinked his way into the danger-zone to lay it on a plate for Mamady Sidibe, prompting a last-gasp intervention from Gary Breen.

And as the hour mark loomed the Britannia Stadium should have been celebrating the opening goal when Matt Murray abandoned his station. The keeper was left flapping at thin air as Lawrence lifted the ball into an unguarded net only to watch a mischievous gust drag his effort inches wide.

But the hosts were left rueing their spurned opportunities as Collins was gifted his first goal of the season. The unmarked defender powered in McIndoe's flag-kick on the 63rd minute to give the visitors a somewhat undeserved lead.

McIndoe was revelling in his more advanced role and was being granted plenty of space to conduct his assault by a usually water-tight rearguard.

The winger arrived, again without escort, minutes later to bring an acrobatic reaction from City keeper Steve Simonsen before parity was finally restored.

City skipper Michael Duberry applied a crucial flick to Lawrence's angled centre for Hill to nod in his second of the season from the back post.