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Craddock´s double earns battling Wolves a point

Jody Craddock hit a second-half double as Wolverhampton came back from two goals down to earn a battling 2-2 draw at Stoke on Saturday.

Mick McCarthy’s side endured a dismal first half at the Britannia Stadium as an own goal from George Elokobi and Matthew Etherington’s stunning volley put Stoke well in control.

Craddock, 34, had scored only eight league goals in six seasons at Wolverhampton, but he was in the right place at the right time twice in the second half to salvage a point for his struggling side.

Stoke had started at a lively pace and Ricardo Fuller glanced a header wide from a long Rory Delap throw-in.

Tony Pulis’s side took the lead in the 18th minute. Thomas Sorensen started the move with a quick throw out to Etherington and he crossed into the penalty area, where Elokobi could only deflect the ball into his own net under pressure from James Beattie.

Former Southampton striker Beattie forced a fine save from Wayne Hennessey as he met a deep cross from Ryan Shawcross.

And Stoke’s pressure told again in the 44th minute when Etherington doubled their lead.

Christophe Berra headed clear a Delap throw but Etherington chested the ball down and volleyed home from the the edge of the area.

But McCarthy made a crucial half-time substitution, bringing on Nenad Milijas in place of Segundo Castillo.

Within 60 seconds Milijas had played a role in reducing the arrears. His inswinging free-kick was flicked on by Berra and Craddock was on hand to bundle the ball over the line despite Stoke’s appeals for offside.

Beattie was only just off target after attacking a near post cross from Shawcross. But Craddock struck for the second time in the 64th minute to equalise.

Milijas was the provider again with a near post corner and no-one picked up Craddock whose flicked header flew past Sorensen.

Sat 31 October, 2009
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