Potters Beat Baggies Again.
By P.A.
Sunday 02 Dec 2012 12:15:00
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Stoke continued their dominance against West Brom as substitute Dean Whitehead scored a late winner in the Barclays Premier League clash at The Hawthorns

Whitehead converted a cross from fellow substitute Michael Kightly to earn the Potters their first away league win since January with a 1-0 success.

Tony Pulis' side have taken 13 points from the last five games, while for the fourth-placed Baggies it was a second setback in the space of 72 hours following Wednesday night's 3-1 loss at Swansea.

Stoke's victory means Albion have failed to defeat them in front of their own fans for nine years and they have triumphed only twice in the last 30 league meetings.

They have won all four Premier League encounters at The Hawthorns without conceding a goal.

Kenwyne Jones made his first Premier League start of the season in place of the injured Peter Crouch and was a constant threat to the West Brom defence.

Albion drew a blank at home for the first time this season and seldom looked like finding a way through the Stoke back four in which skipper Ryan Shawcross was outstanding.

Youssouf Mulumbu gave his usual solid display in midfield while defender Gareth McAuley made several crucial challenges.

But Albion lacked their usual spark in the attacking third of the pitch as they missed the opportunity to reclaim third spot after Chelsea's lunchtime defeat against West Ham.

West Brom head coach Steve Clarke made six changes from the side beaten at Swansea in midweek and handed a debut to Sweden striker Markus Rosenberg.

Jones came close to breaking the deadlock in the 14th minute after a quiet opening to the game.

The Trinidad & Tobago international got on the end of a cross from Geoff Cameron and directed his header back across goal and only inches wide of the post.

Shawcross produced a fine tackle to halt the run of Graham Dorrans on the edge of the Stoke box after a reverse pass from Rosenberg.

Robert Huth blocked a fierce drive from Mulumbu after Dorrans had found him in space but neither goalkeeper had a save to make in the opening half-hour.

Huth became the first player to be yellow-carded after 35 minutes for bringing down Shane Long.

Stoke keeper Asmir Begovic had to back-pedal to parry a speculative dipping 40-yard attempt from Steven Reid over the bar.

Charlie Adam became the second Stoke player to be booked a minute before half-time for a foul on Zoltan Gera.

Shawcross followed him into referee Kevin Friend's notebook shortly after the restart after bringing down Long.

Begovic dealt comfortably with Jonas Olsson's looping header from Long's cross as clear-cut chances continued to be at a premium.

Pulis replaced Matthew Etherington with former Wolves winger Michael Kightly after 59 minutes.

Clarke then brought on forward players Romelu Lukaku and Peter Odemwingie for the ineffective Rosenberg and Gera.

McAuley produced a superb tackle inside the Baggies box to halt Jones in full flight.

But after 75 minutes Stoke broke the deadlock after a rare mistake by Jonas Olsson.

The centre-back tried to keep the ball in play when challenging Jones but only succeeded in finding Kightly.

He ran unopposed into the Albion area and his low cross was turned home by Whitehead.

Begovic parried a Dorrans drive but Stoke held out with relative ease for the three points.



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