Stoke 0 West Brom 0: Potters claim battling point despite misfiring for the 13th time

By Ian Ridley

|

Ben Foster marked his return to the England squad with a clean sheet in exactly the kind of test he could face if Roy Hodgson picks him against San Marino on Friday.

Stoke barely registered an attempt on target and the West Bromwich Albion goalkeeper competently caught and cleared the high balls thrown at him between his bouts of inactivity.

Ben Foster of West Bromwich Albion in action with Cameron Jerome of Stoke City

Safe hands: West Brom keeper Ben Foster collects the ball

MATCH FACTS

Stoke: Begovic, Shotton, Shawcross, Wilson, Cameron, Jerome (Adam 75),Whelan (Whitehead 46), Nzonzi,Etherington, Walters,Crouch (Jones 63). Subs Not Used: Sorensen, Owen, Kightly, Wilkinson.

Booked: Shotton,Etherington.

West Brom: Foster, Jones, McAuley, Olsson, Ridgewell, Thomas (Odemwingie 67), Yacob, Morrison (Fortune 84), Mulumbu, Brunt, Lukaku (Long 76). Subs Not Used: Myhill, Popov, Rosenberg, Tamas.

Booked: Brunt,Morrison.

Att: 26,137

Ref: Mike Dean (Wirral).

CLICK HERE TO SEE THE LATEST PREMIER LEAGUE TABLE, FIXTURES AND RESULTS

'He did well in difficult conditions,' said Albion manager Steve Clarke.

'Since he came back from his second operation, his performances have been top level.'

Foster, who suffered a double hernia last November, was fortunate in added time when Kenwyne Jones's close-range volley was straight at him, but a Stoke win would have been undeserved.

They look safe, but five points from 10 games this year, during which they have scored just six goals, mean that their notorious direct style is coming under more scrutiny.

Noted for its noise, the atmosphere at the Britannia has turned to a subdued concern.

It will worry Stoke chairman Peter Coates, but should apathy turn to anger, the pressure could grow on manager Tony Pulis.

'You get good times and you get bad times,' said Pulis. 'Sometimes, when things are not going well, you need people to get behind you and support you.'

Jonathan Walters of Stoke City in action with Liam Ridgewell of West Bromwich Albion

In control:Stoke's Jonathan Walters holds off Liam Ridgewell

Snap happy: Stoke fans take pictures as their team walk on to the pitch

Snap happy: Stoke fans take pictures as their team walk on to the pitch

His side's confidence was clearly low, with the quality of their early balls forward and crosses towards a misfiring Peter Crouch poor.

A Jonathan Walters shot, deflected wide, was the nearest they came.

Double trouble: Stoke's Matthew Etherington (C) battles with West Brom's Liam Ridgewell (L) and Chris Brunt

Double trouble: Stoke's Matthew Etherington (C) battles with West Brom's Liam Ridgewell (L) and Chris Brunt

Touch and go: Stoke City manager Tony Pulis (L) and West Bromwich Albion manager Steve Clarke

Touch and go: Stoke City manager Tony Pulis (L) and West Bromwich Albion manager Steve Clarke

The 29-year-old Foster, hoping to add to his five caps after making himself available for England after a two-year absence, made his only real save from Ryan Shawcross's close-range shot, though the Stoke player was ruled offside.

Albion could well have won had they shown more ambition, Romelu Lukaku's header at Asmir Begovic their best chance, but were content with any return against a bogey team they have beaten just twice in 31 league games.

'Poor game, good point,' said Clarke.

Under wraps: Stoke's Steven Nzonzi

Under wraps: Stoke's Steven Nzonzi


 
 
 
 
 
 


 

The comments below have not been moderated.

At least we didn't lose, come on Stoke.

Click to rate     Rating   7

Stoke have to be the most boring team ever. Always having 0-0 score lines. Yawn

Click to rate     Rating   4

You can knock Stoke all you want ,at the end of the day sad but true you have to play for survival which is what Stoke are doing.Not very pretty and even boring but the TRUE supporters will stay supporting them, UNLIKE the bigger clubs who have a mass of supporters who have never been inside the ground of the team they claim to support what I call glory hunters. So red arrow this statement all you want because WIN-LOSE-OR DRAW TRUE STOKIES will never desert their team.

Click to rate     Rating   18

Mable Thorpe - Typical copy-and-paste tickbox anti-Stoke comment. Rugby reference? Check! Thuggery accusation - Check! Reference to Shawcross incident from several seasons back? Check! Give it a rest. These tired, repeated comments are now as tedious as most find our style of play. We are in the BPL. We play our own style - not everyones tastes but each to their own - and it has paid dividends for us. Don't like it, don't watch it.

Click to rate     Rating   9

Stoke City will never do any good because they are just a thug outfit, led by ace thug Shawcross. They have no footballing skills, they would be fairly good at Rugby though.

Click to rate     Rating   23

Bill, Wasp in the South, United Kingdom, Gareth is just some crayon-muncher who is too useless to even be a troll

Click to rate     Rating   5

The sooner Stoke are relegated from the league the better, dire rugby tactics.

Click to rate     Rating   13

Just come back from this bore draw. For the love of god and for the sake of Premier league sanity, Stoke City PLEASE get relegated next season ! They are the most boring same old same team, season in season out who just hoof it up in the air. For heavens sake, it's a joke, you are killing good flowing football and you are going nowhere with that idiot in charge, that pillock in a shell suit and cap. No matter how Albion played Stoke got physical and started bleating when we dished it out to them and it was just dire....A-G-A-I-N to watch. BOING BOING

Click to rate     Rating   16

Stoke's Review of the Season DVD is going to be a cracker isn't it? 0-0, 0-0, 0-0, 0-0, 0-0, 0-0, 0-0...

Click to rate     Rating   14

A terrible game. Both sides deserved to lose. As a neutral, I didn't care who won - and nobody did, because it was a draw - which means that nobody lost either. Well, both teams deserved to lose after this inept display. I think the league should look at this and deduct points for this appalling display. It was like watching a bunch of 5 year olds who didn't care. Me and my old Dad could have shown them a thing or two - and he's in his 40s. I won't be going back to Stoke in a hurry - I'm going to stick with the Villa. - Gareth , Ashford, 16/3/2013******** In an Everton article you try to make out that you're a Man City follower, In the So'ton v LFC article you make it sound like you watched the match, and on here you're making out that you attended the game, were their any games today that you DIDN'T go to, or are you still suffering delusions from the French gas cloud you inhaled a couple of months back.

Click to rate     Rating   35

The views expressed in the contents above are those of our users and do not necessarily reflect the views of MailOnline.

We are no longer accepting comments on this article.