Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 26 July 2014

Shotton snatches win for Potters

Ryan Shotton

Stoke substitute Ryan Shotton scored a late winner after a defensive mix-up between keeper West Brom Ben Foster and centre-back Gabriel Tamas handed the Potters a 1-0 Barclays Premier League win at the Hawthorns

There appeared little danger when Jonathan Walters pumped a harmless ball into the box but Foster and Tamas allowed Shotton to nip in and score with only a minute remaining.

It earned unbeaten Stoke their first league win of the campaign and means Albion have lost their opening three matches.

Until then it looked as if Stoke goalkeeper Asmir Begovic's superb save from Shane Long would be the most notable action. The Bosnian international's reflex first-half stop denied summer signing Long a third goal in three games.

The first decent opportunity fell to West Brom after good play by Somen Tchoyi who retained his place after Peter Odemwingie suffered a recurrence of his ankle problem. He used his physical strength to hold off the challenge of Ryan Shawcross and his cross was met by Chris Brunt but the Albion skipper sent his header wide.

A superb save from Begovic prevented West Brom taking the lead after 12 minutes. Tchoyi delivered a testing cross from the left flank and Long's bullet header from six yards drew a fine stop from Begovic.

The visitors were forced to make a change after 36 minutes when Marc Wilson limped off with what appeared to be a hamstring injury and was replaced by Andy Wilkinson. He slotted in at right-back with Robert Huth reverting to the left-back role vacated by Wilson.

Stoke created their first worthwhile opening of the game after 49 minutes. Glenn Whelan took a pass from Jonathan Walters in his stride and his low shot flew just wide.

There was a rare moment of excitement when Tchoyi volleyed just wide after Paul Scharner had nodded a cross from Steven Reid invitingly into his path.

West Brom forced three successive corners in a late spell of pressure but could not find a way through - and then came Shotton's decisive intervention.

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