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Premier League

  • October 15, 2011
  • • 10:00 AM
  • • Bet365 Stadium, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire
  • Referee: M. Atkinson
  • • Attendance: 26890

Stoke City 2-0 Fulham: Walters & Delap strike in late show as Potters win first league game in four attempts

The Republic of Ireland internationals' strikes saw all three points handed to the home side in a game that was poor on the eye and devoid of any real quality

Late goals from Jonathan Walters and Rory Delap secured a 2-0 victory for Stoke City in a drab Premier League encounter with Fulham.

After a dire first half, Walters first tapped in from three-yards out after he converted a cross-shot from Matthew Etherington and in a final 10 minutes to forget for the travelling support, Rory Delap was then allowed to head in unopposed to secure the three points for the hosts.

The crispness of the autumnal weather at the Britannia wasn't reflected in the passing on the pitch in a desperate opening period. The lack of class was reflected in the 21st minute when Peter Crouch poorly scuffed a volley wide when unmarked from 10 yards out after Jermaine Pennant's cross evaded the leap of Hughes.

Fulham had threatened even less than the hosts until the 40th minute when a delicate header from Bobby Zamora just looped to the right of the goal with Asmir Begovic well beaten.

A move of Premier League class finally appeared in injury-time when Pennant - the most dangerous player in the pitch - zipped inside Clint Dempsey and played a one-two with Crouch. An excellent first touch and drop of the shoulder got him clear through, but his composure deserted him at the death and he could only shoot agonizingly wide from right side of the six-yard box.

  Delap's revenge | Rory Delap loses out to Dembele but scored Stoke's second of the afternoon

The second half continued in the same bitty fashion as the team talk from both managers didn't seem to stretch to keeping the ball on the floor.

Stoke began to turn the screw and Delap then hit the post in the 67th minute, his cute turn inside Dempsey on the edge of the box leading to a shot that deflected off Steve Sidwell and on to the woodwork.

The tide was well in the home side's favor and the Stoke pressure finally told with a goal in the 80th minute from Walters. The striker showed his predatory instinct to slot home a skewed shot from Etherington after Fulham failed to clear a corner.

Stoke continued to push and were rewarded with a second goal through Delap in the 87th minute. The center midfielder brushed past the non-existent challenge from Riise to nod in Etherington's free-kick from the left flank.