Belfast Telegraph

Stoke snatch late win

Stoke survived another impressive comeback by Birmingham to bring their losing run to an end in a dramatic finish with a 3-2 win at the Britannia Stadium.

The Potters, who had lost their last four Barclays Premier League fixtures, took a deserved first-half lead through Robert Huth and looked home and dry when Ricardo Fuller made it 2-0 in the 71st minute.

The Blues, as they had on Saturday against West Ham, swiftly reduced the deficit thanks to Keith Fahey and Cameron Jerome, but Dean Whitehead netted five minutes from time to win the contest.

Ben Foster came to Birmingham`s rescue several times before Stoke's pressure finally paid off as they took the lead through their skipper Huth a minute before the break.

Fuller's drilled shot from the edge of the box ricocheted off a couple of Birmingham players and Huth was there to lash the ball home.

Birmingham looked more potent after the break as Jerome cut into the box and hit a low shot which Asmir Begovic got down to save and they went the closest to date when Roger Johnson saw the Bosnian keeper tip his bullet header over.

Fuller then twisted and turned before producing a wonderful strike into the top corner to put Stoke 2-0 ahead.

The points looked safe for Stoke but only three minutes later substitute Fahey pulled one back after a mistake by Higginbotham.

Alex McLeish's side had come back from 2-0 down in their last game and before Stoke knew what was happening, they had repeated the trick as Jerome glanced Sebastian Larsson's cross past Begovic.

But the hosts emerged triumphant as Matthew Etherington's cross slipped between the legs of Scott Dann and Whitehead pounced.


From Belfast Telegraph