Kenwyne Jones heads Stoke into the top half of the EPL [GALLO/GETTY]

Stoke City moved into the top half of the English Premier League on Tuesday night with a dominant 3-0 win over lowly Wolverhampton Wanderers.

The FA Cup finalists continued their solid recent run of form with goals by Kenwyne Jones, Ryan Shawcross and Jermaine Pennant. 

The only downside of the night for Stoke was a hamstring injury to winger Matthew Etherington. Etherington was man of the match in Stoke's FA Cup semifinal demolition of Bolton.

Stoke moved up to ninth place and 42 points. Wolves are second from bottom and nine points further back with just four games to play in their battle for Premier League survival.

Poor performance

Wolves manager Mick McCarthy bemoaned the result.

"That's as poor as we have played here. They were better than us. They stopped us playing."

"It is a difficult time when you are in the bottom three and playing against a good side who have just got to Wembley.

"Playing for Premier League survival should be enough to motivate us. We will play better in the remaining four games."

Stoke took the lead just after 15 minutes as Jones headed home from a great cross by Pennant, who had beaten a couple of weak challenges down the right flank.

Jones wasted a better chance eight minutes later as Shawcross found him with a brilliant long pass but he shot well wide with just goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey to beat.

Etherington's injury follows those suffered by striker Ricardo Fuller (ruptured Achilles) and defender Danny Higginbotham (knee), with both of them already ruled out of the FA Cup final clash with Manchester City.

"It (Etherington's injury) is a massive disappointment for us. We won't know the extent until tomorrow when he has a scan," said Stoke manager Tony Pulis.

"But we will do our damnedest to make sure (he is ready) as he has 17-18 days yet. The first week is very important as we will get it sorted out.

"Then he will have 10 days after that to get it as strong as he possibly can to play in the final."

Stoke doubled their lead before half time as Shawcross bundled the ball past Hennessey from a corner - an unlucky blow for the Welsh international goalkeeper as he had pulled off a superb double save in giving away the corner.

Wolves, though, could find no answers in the second half either as they produced a listless performance worthy more of a side in mid-table security than fighting for Premier League survival.

It was no surprise when Stoke added a third in the 51st minute as the outstanding Pennant scored striking the ball home from a Jon Walters cross.

Source: Agencies