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WBA vs Stoke City
 0 - 1 
Date: 
Sun Aug 28 15:00:00 BST 2011
Venue: 
The Hawthorns
Attendance: 
22909
Referee: 
Mike Dean

SUPER-SUB Ryan Shotton poached his second goal of the season to extend Stoke City's excellent record against West Bromwich Albion at the Hawthorns.

The young defender, operating as a makeshift striker, seized upon a mix-up in the Albion defence to roll home his second goal of the season in the last minute.

It was the Potters' first Barclays Premier League win of the season and extended their unbeaten run to seven matches, with five wins and two draws now.

It was another triumph built around a solid defensive display in which they soaked up anything Roy Hodgson's side could throw at them and Asmir Begovic made one outstanding reflex save to prevent Shane Long scoring in the early stages of the local derby.

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The win means that the Potters have now won 20 of their last 29 meetings with the Baggies and seven other matches have ended in draws over the past 22 years.

At the final whistle, Pulis' side had climbed to ninth in the Premier League table with five points from their first three games to add to their four Europa League wins.

Kenwyne Jones battles away with Steven Reid as Ben Foster looks on. ACTION IMAGES

Pulis made four changes to the side that had secured their place in the Group Stages of the Europa League with Huth and Etherington recalled after their one-match suspensions, while Begovic and Woodgate were also recalled to the starting line-up.

There was an immediate threat to the Potters when Tchoyi found space on the right hand side and sent over a cross to the incoming Brunt, who sent a glancing header just wide of the target and injured himself in stretching off balance to get to the ball.

City responded by carving out an opening of their own as Jones headed a Wilson ball to the edge of the box into the path of Walters, but Foster was alert to the situation and came off his line to claim the ball of the Republic of Ireland international.

When Albion were awarded a free kick in a dangerous position, Brunt whipped over a dangerous cross from the left by Scharner directed his header straight at Begovic and the giant Bosnian had little difficulty in dealing with that attempt at goal.

Begovic was then called upon to make an outstanding reflex save to keep out a close range header from Long when he met Tchoyi's left wing cross.

Dean Whitehead closes down Youssuf Mulumbu. ACTION IMAGES

City were having to soak up a considerable amount of pressure and Mulumbu volleyed a shot over the bar from the edge of the box after Shorey's cross from the left hand side was only half cleared into the path of the Albion midfielder.

It was from that same flank that Brunt then delivered a low cross which skidded off the greasy surface and flashed across the six yard box.

There was a big scare for the Potters in the 27th minute when the home side were awarded a free kick within striking distance after Wilson had fouled Tchoyi and Brunt's curling effort wrong-footed Begovic but flew wide of his left hand post.

City were forced to make a change when Wilson tracking back to cover Tchoyi's run pulled up with a hamstring injury was immediately replaced by Wilkinson.

That meant a defensive reshuffle with Wilkinson taking up his normal place at right back and Huth switching into the left back position.

Andy Wilkinson collides with Paul Scharner. ACTION IMAGES

There was a let off for the Potters short before the break when Huth was a little too casual in chesting a left wing cross back to Begovic and Long nipped in to touch it past the 'keeper, but fortunately it skidded just wide of the near post.

City's best chance of the half was created right on the stroke of half time when they broke down the left hand side and Walters laid the ball back for Etherington to send over a cross from which Pennant sent a header flashing just inches past the upright.

The second half began with the Potters gaining further encouragement as Pennant found Walters and his neat lay-off was just right for Whelan bursting through the middle whose first time shot slid the wrong side of Foster's left hand post.

Matthew Etherington battles for the ball with Paul Scharner. ACTION IMAGES

City were able to retain possession well and they had their moments going forward as Walters almost got free only to be blocked by Tamas.

There was a delay in the action when Whitehead received treatment for a knock after he had been caught in possession as he to advance forward.

That was the signal for Albion to make their first change of the afternoon as captain Brunt was withdrawn and replaced by Thomas.

Albion were having no luck with their attempts to break down the Potters defence and their frustration was summed up by a long range shot from Tchoyi was ambitious and flew well wide of the target with Begovic covering it.

Whitehead fell awkwardly when he tried to clear an Albion attack and with him lying on the ground, the ball broke to Tchoyi who unleashed a fierce volley from 25 yards out which flew well wide of the target in a rare moment of danger.

Kenwyne Jones gets away from Paul Scharner. ACTION IMAGES

City made a couple more changes with Pugh and Shotton replacing the two wingers Etherington and Pennant which meant Walters reverted a position wide on the right, and then Albion made a further change with Dorrans coming on for Morrison.

It signalled a period of pressure from the home side in which they won three successive corners, but City were able to deal with that threat although Begovic had to save with an outstretched leg when Mulumbu tried a shot from a tight angle.

Although City had created very few chances, they seized upon a moment of good fortune to break the deadlock in the final minute of normal time.

Shotton chased a lost cause when Walters sent a long ball forward and when Foster failed to claim it, the young substitute nipped to score his second goal of the season. He could hardly believe his luck as rolled the ball into an empty net.

Foster protested that there was a foul but referee Mike Dean was having nothing of it and replays showed he had made the correct decision.

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Ryan Shotton celebrates his last minute winner at West Bromwich Albion. ACTION IMAGES
Ryan Shotton snatched a last-minute winner to give Stoke City a 1-0 victory over West Bromwich Albion.
 Match Information
 
  West Brom Stoke
Goals : 0 1
Possession : 48% 52%
Shots On Target : 7 1
Shots Off Target : 9 6
Corners : 5 1
Fouls : 9 12
Most Fouls : Scharner (2) Jones (2)
Yellow Cards : 0 0
Red Cards : 0 0
 
Scorers :
Shotton 89
 
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