Belfast Telegraph

Etherington effort enough for Stoke

Matthew Etherington scored the winner as Stoke edged past a stubborn Norwich side 1-0 to claim all three points at the Britannia Stadium.

The Potters enjoyed the better of the first half but were unable to convert the opportunities that came their way, with John Ruddy making saves to deny Jon Walters, Dean Whitehead and Peter Crouch.

Tony Pulis' men continued to press after the break and Etherington struck in the 72nd minute after collecting the ball from substitute Cameron Jerome, who had flicked on a throw-in it appeared the hosts had been fortunate to be awarded.

Walters had the game's first attempt in the ninth minute, unleashing a fierce strike which Ruddy saved.

Six minutes later, Robert Huth got on the end of Ryan Shotton's cross but the German could not direct his header.

Norwich had offered little going forward, but called Asmir Begovic into action on the half-hour mark when Grant Holt met a free-kick with a header.

Holt hacked a shot wide five minutes later, but it was the Potters who went close just before the break, Peter Crouch having a header blocked and then a shot kept out by Ruddy.

In the second period Crouch flicked a header wide before Holt won a free-kick in a useful position which was taken by Andrew Surman and caught by Begovic.

Walters and Crouch were replaced with Jerome and Kenwyne Jones, and within three minutes the hosts finally broke Norwich's resistance. From a throw-in Jerome headed the ball to Etherington, who touched it past Elliott Ward before firing beyond Ruddy.

Russell Martin got in the way of a shot by Jerome in the final 10 minutes, but Stoke had done enough.


From Belfast Telegraph