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It all goes blank for sad Bull.

Steve Bull suffered another dose of soccer misery last night as promotional hopefuls Wolves slipped to a potentially damaging defeat.

While Richard Forsyth fired Stoke's winner with a fierce 22-yard drive a couple of minutes into the second half, record scorer Bull spent the evening wondering how he failed to hit the target.

Molineux hero Bull, facing a three- match ban after being sent off at Oldham, went so close on five occasions.

But he was denied by both post and bar, condemning Mark McGhee's side to their second loss in four days.

Stoke shrugged off their poor form to hang for a victory which pushes them back to the fringe of the play-off picture. After collecting only eight points from a possible 30, this success was sewn up by Forsyth following a bright run by Mike Sheron.

Although Neil Emblen halted Sheron's advance with a sliding tackle on the edge of the penalty area, the ball fell invitingly for Forsyth to swing his left foot effort wide of Mike Stowell.

While Forsyth - bought from Birmingham for a bargain pounds 200,000 - showed how to do the business, Bull spent the 90 minutes in torture.

The black night began for Bull after just 10 seconds when he put his shot wide after Steve Corica had smashed the ball against Stoke keeper Carl Muggleton's legs.

Then Bull was inches too high with a header when attack partner Iwan Roberts hoisted in a tempting cross from the left.

Bull's next agony arrived after 31 minutes. Put in by Simon Osborn, he lashed a volley which was somehow finger-tipped past the far post by the acrobatic Muggleton.

Bewildered Bull could have equalised within two minutes of Forsyth's goal, only to see his header flick off the top of the bar.

And 17 minutes from the end he seized on Ally Pickering's poor back pass, lobbed the ball over Muggleton - and held his head in horror as the ball bounced off the far post.

McGhee will be asking serious questions about what has gone wrong for Wolves, who now face a serious test of their nerves away to relegation battlers Bradford City.
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Title Annotation:Sport
Author:Moore, David
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Mar 19, 1997
Words:358
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