Home » EPL, Latest » Match Report: West Brom 0 Stoke 1

Both managers had said before the game that Stoke City’s impressive record against West Bromwich Albion would mean little on the day and for 89 minutes one could not have guessed that Stoke had suffered only one defeat by their hosts in 27 matches. It was only the visiting fans celebrating Ryan Shotton’s winner then by singing “We only beat West Brom” that gave the game away.

Until that point Stoke had produced very little. A wayward Jermaine Pennant header just before half-time and a Glenn Whelan toe-poke that skimmed over the line a yard or so wide of his left-hand post just after it was about all Ben Foster had seen to remember the game by. The Albion goalkeeper seemed to feel that Shotton, who chased a dropping forward ball for longer than Gabriel Tamas and poked it round Foster and into a then unguarded net, had pinched the ball from his hands, but replays suggested otherwise.

It was Asmir Begovic, in goal at the other end, who was far busier. Chris Brunt had a chance to give Albion the lead as early as the fifth minute but was unable to head Somen Tchoyi’s centre within a few yards of the goal. A couple of minutes later Paul Scharner did get his header on target, having wriggled goalside of his marker to meet Brunt’s free‑kick, but Begovic made an easy catch at his near post.

The keeper was on high alert again in the 12th minute, when Shane Long got between Ryan Shawcross and Jonathan Woodgate to dive head-first at a Tchoyi cross swung in from the left. The contact was perfect but Begovic spread himself in front of the striker to make a point-blank block. Long caused a moment of panic shortly before half-time, stepping between the goalkeeper and a chested ball from Robert Huth, but he could not quite find the time and space to make use of the ball.

Stoke were better in the second half but Albion still had the chances. Tchoyi, who was replaced by Marc-Antoine Fortuné in the 77th minute, twice shot wide and between times set up a Youssouf Mulumbu shot that Whelan blocked.

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