Baggies dominate first half but fail to break deadlock; Potters improve after break and steal it in the last minute after mistake from Tamas and calamitous FosterRyan Shotton grabbed Stoke their first victory of the season and comdemned West Bromwich Albion to their third consecutive defeat.
The home side had the better of the first half and went close through Chris Brunt and Paul Scharner but neither was able to beat Asmir Begovic. The second half was a much more even affair but neither goalkeeper had a shot to save as both sides looked to have settled for a hard earned point until Shotton popped up to embarrass Ben Foster and seal the win.
Nigerian striker Peter Odemwingie suffered a reaction to his ankle injury in the build-up to this match and was not risked by West Brom manager Roy Hodgson, so the Baggies were unchanged from the side who were beaten by Chelsea. Shane Long continued as the main striker following his haul of two goals in two games since his arrival from Reading, with Somen Tchoyi sitting in just behind him ready to break from midfield.
Stoke were unchanged from their last league game, with the only difference being the addition of Tom Soares on the subs bench after the midfielder impressed in their victory over FC Thun in the Europa League.
A lively start to the game saw both sides having a decent share of possession without really creating a clear opportunity, until the home side went close through their captain Brunt in the fifth minute. Steven Reid released Tchoyi down the right wing, he broke into the area before turning neatly to leave Ryan Shawcross on the floor before clipping a neat cross to Brunt but he headed wide from seven yards.
Three minutes later the home side had another chance, this time through Paul Scharner. The Austrian held off the challenge of Shawcross at the back post to head goalwards but his effort was straight at Begovic who saved easily.
The Baggies were in the ascendency and went close again in the 13th minute through Long, although much of the praise has to go to Tchoyi. The big Cameroon international raced down the left wing before crossing left footed for Long in the middle, the Irishman got himself in front of Marc Wilson but Begovic saved his header brilliantly at point blank range.
Stormy Walters | Stoke striker tries to cause trouble for Paul Scharner at HawthornsAll the chances were falling to the home side and five minutes later Youssouf Mulumbu missed a great chance to give his side the lead. Jonathan Woodgate rose above Long to head away a Nicky Shorey left wing cross but the loose ball fell to the Congolese midfielder on the edge of the penalty area. He steadied himself but leant back as he struck the ball and his attempt from the edge of the penalty area sailed harmlessly over Begovic’s crossbar.
The Baggies’ relentless assault on the Stoke goal continued and they were gifted a chance in the 27th minute as a push from behind by Wilson on Tchoyi gave the home side a free kick in a central position 25 yards from goal. Brunt stepped up to take it but sent his left foot shot wide of Begovic’s left hand post.
In the final minute of the half Robert Huth very nearly gifted the opening goal to West Brom as he casually chested the ball back towards Begovic. The defender didn’t get enough on the ball and Long managed to nick the ball under Begovic but the ball rolled just wide.
After failing to create a single attempt in the first half Stoke were clearly given a good talking to by Tony Pulis in the dressing room as they came out on the attack from the restart. Four minutes into the second period they created pressure which looked to threaten the Baggies' goal but Foster was still not called into action. Gabriel Tamas gave the ball away to Dean Whitehead, he found Walters who squared a pass to Glenn Whelan but his toe-poked effort rolled just wide.
Albion slowly began to work their way back into the match and the introduction of Jerome Thomas in the 65th minute injected some life into the game.
With 13 minutes to play, a cross from Reid found Scharner at the back post, he headed down nicely for Tchoyi but the midfielder blasted wide from the edge of the area. It was the Cameroonian international's last involvement in the game as he was replaced by Marc-Antoine Fortune with Roy Hodgson looking for all three points.
The deadlock was finally broken in the last minute of normal time as a mix up between Tamas and Foster gifted a goal to substitute Ryan Shotton. Tamas tried to shield a long ball back to his keeper, but as they both hesitated Shotton gambled and nicked the ball off Foster and rolled the ball into the empty net.