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West Bromwich Albion
West Ham United
March 16, 2013
• 11:00 AM
• Bet365 Stadium, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire
Referee: M. Dean
• Attendance: 26137
West Bromwich Albion
Alex Fisher at the Britannia Stadium: "No goals here at the Britannia Stadium and chances were limited as well as Stoke and West Brom share the spoils. Neither goalkeeper had a real save to make as the strikers suffered from a lack of service and defenders worked well to clear their lines."
The referee blows the full-time whistle and a draw appears the fair result. The West Brom defence came under heavy pressure from Stoke's aerial bombardment at various points in the match, but restricted the Potters to few clear chances and posed a threat of their own on the counter-attack. West Brom were pushed back into their own half but arguably had more chances breaking away through Romelu Lukaku, but Marc Wilson headed narrowly wide for Tony Pulis' side before Kenwyne Jones' late effort was denied by Ben Foster. The Baggies goalkeeper did well to command his back line and Steve Clarke will likely be the more pleased with the result, given that his team were on the back foot for much of the match. Stoke looked the more desperate to collect a win at home to end their poor run of form and climb clear of the bottom four, but are forced to settle for a draw in the end at the Britannia Stadium.
90' + 3'
Charlie Adam's delivery from the left flank flies over the head of Jones, but ball is quickly put back into the box and Kenwyne Jones neatly controls the ball before his awkward shot on the turn is saved by Foster in the last meaningful act of the game before the referee blows the final whistle.
90' + 1'
Shotton takes a throw-in from the right flank but the Baggies win a free kick and the chance for keeper Foster to clear.
West Brom break away down the right flank but Stoke get men behind the ball and Geoff Cameron dispossesses Billy Jones.
Walters challenges Ridgewell in the air for a high ball from the left flank, and after the referee awards a foul Charlie Adam again takes the effort, but this time his delivery is cleared by the wall.
Adam steps up to take a free kick from just outside the box. His effort slams low into the wall and Shawcross gets first to the rebound before shooting powerfully into Foster who does well to make the save. The defender is called offside however.
Charlie Adam takes a free kick from the left flank but his delivery flies in front of Jon Walters and Begovic is able to claim.
An effort on goal by Charlie Adam from just inside the area clears the crossbar.
Odemwingie's shot is saved by Begovic.
Alex Fisher at the Britannia Stadium: "The best chance of the game for Stoke goes begging as Marc Wilson rises to meet Dean Whitehead's corner, but the central defender heads just wide of Ben Foster's left hand post."
Etherington wins a corner after a his cross from the left flank is blocked. His delivery is headed narrowly wide of the far post by Marc Wilson who had timed his run well to beat Billy Jones in the air.
Stoke win a free kick in the West Brom half but are unable to take advantage.
Despite Stoke's obvious commitment to finding a winning goal it is West Brom who look the calmer of the two sides on the ball, and the Potters are struggling to keep the ball at the right end of the pitch.
Shane Long arrives in place of Romelu Lukaku as West Brom opt for pace and energy in attack, while Tony Pulis brings on the passing ability of Charlie Adam in search of a winner.
Odemwingie crosses from the left flank but Begovic is quick to catch his delivery.
Lukaku receives the ball on the break on the left flank, and puts in a low cross for Morrison. Although Stoke are applying good pressure in search of the win it looks like West Brom are growing in confidence and the Baggies have previously demonstrated a great ability to hit teams on the on the counter.
West Brom keep men behind the ball before keeping the ball when the Potters' attack breaks down, taking their time to calm down before building an attack down the left flank during which Lukaku impresses with his hold-up play.
Peter Odemwingie arrives on the pitch in place of Jerome Thomas, who has faded since a bright first half. The striker is booed by away fans in light of his desire for a transfer in January but he is full of pace and invention and could be what the Baggies need to boost their threat on the break.
Alex Fisher at the Britannia Stadium: "Peter Odemwingie is introduced by West Brom and is greeted by chants of "QPR" from the Stoke fans."
Substitute Kenwyne Jones, adding pace following his substitution in place of Crouch, attempts to get on the end of a loose ball in the box, but West Brom clear.
Begovic comes far off his line to claim a corner, as his team have begun to come under pressure from West Brom mid-way through the second half.
Alex Fisher at the Britannia Stadium: "How West Brom are not ahead I do not know, they get a little bit of luck as Chris Brunt's free kick is deflected into the path of Billy Jones but that luck soon disappears as the full back's cross strikes Romelu Lukaku in the face and balloons over the crossbar."
Chris Brunt slams a free kick low into the wall from outside the edge of the box, and the ball deflects to Billy Jones on the right of the box. Jones' cross looks bound for Lukaku to put into the net, but the striker is unable to control his effort which flies wide after striking him in the face.
Yellow Card Matthew Etherington
Etherington swings in a pair of crosses from the left flank but the West Brom defence clears confidently. The crowd are now vocal in their support for the Potters.
Alex Fisher at the Britannia Stadium: "This is more like it! West Brom really pushing for the opening goal and somehow Romelu Lukaku misses a golden opportunity to score. Liam Ridgewell breaks down the left hand side and delivers an inch perfect cross for the young Belgian but he mistimes his leap and can't get any power in his header."
N'Zonzi attempts to break into the left edge of the box but his first touch is loose and the Baggies claim possession.
Ridgewell does well to overlap and deliver an accurate cross towards Lukaku, but the striker is unable to connect with his header.
West Brom break quickly and Morrison receives a pinpoint pass from Chris Brunt on the right flank before beating his marker and swinging in a low cross towards Lukaku which is cleared by Marc Wilson. It shows the Baggies will always retain a threat on the break.
West Brom are looking nervous. The Baggies give the ball away in their own half for the second time within a minute and Etherington is able to cross towards Crouch. The cross falls to Ridgewell who nervily heads back towards Foster, with the keeper having to move quickly to his left to avoid an own goal.
Olsson disappointingly puts the ball out for a throw-in in his own half.
Etherington displays excellent technique to accelerate away from his marker towards the left corner flag and deliver a cross towards Crouch, who challenges Foster for the ball but the keeper withstands the pressure to claim.
Crouch in turn gets the opportunity to head at goal after a cross from the left wing but is unsuccessful.
Jerome Thomas cuts inside onto his right foot and crosses into the box, where Lukaku beats his marker and heads on target, but keeper Begovic is in position to save.
The referee begins the second half.
Stoke bring on Dean Whitehead in place of his fellow midfielder Glenn Whelan.
Alex Fisher at the Britannia Stadium: "Half time and it's goalless between Stoke and West Brom, and to be honest both teams are lucky to have 0. The home side have probably edged the half and have found some good openings but Ben Foster has yet to make a save; the Baggies need to get Romelu Lukaku into the game more after the break. This game being last on Match of the Day tonight is a certainty at the moment."
45' + 2'
Marc Wilson steps up to take the free kick and shoots low and powerfully into the wall, the ball does deflect beyond the defensive line but the Potters are unable to capitalise, and the referee blows the half-time whistle.
45' + 1'
Yellow Card James Morrison
45' + 1'
Morrison is given a yellow card after a high foot in a challenge with Glenn Whelan.
Alex Fisher at the Britannia Stadium: "Half time approaches here at the Britannia Stadium and to be honest I think most will be delighted to hear Mike Dean blow his whistle. West Brom have worked their way back into the game with some neat passes and movement but they are unable to work an opening to test Asmir Begovic."
Yellow Card Ryan Shotton
The Baggies retain possession through Mulumbu and Shotton receives a yellow card for a foul on the left flank. Morrison's inswinging delivery is disappointing however and Begovic takes a free kick after Lukaku is called offside.
Walters disappointingly overhits his inswinging delivery towards Crouch at the back post, and Foster clears the ball with a goal kick.
Foster does well to claim the ball under heavy pressure from Stoke's giant strikers following a throw-in.
West Brom attempt to attack down the left flank but when the move breaks down Stoke counter quickly, and Jerome wins a throw-in on the left flank, having switched places with Jon Walters who is now playing on the right.
N'Zonzi concedes a free kick near the centre circle and West Brom attempt to build an attack down the right flank but their efforts are repelled.
Jerome looks to beat his marker down the left flank but he overruns the ball and Foster clears with a goal kick.
Romelu Lukaku has struggled to get into the game but makes two neat touches within a minute to help his side switch play from left to right and build an attack. He combines neatly with Morrison on the edge of the box, but the move breaks down.
Yellow Card Chris Brunt
West Brom win a foul inside the Stoke half and Chris Brunt is surprisingly given a yellow card, possibly for time-wasting, before the Baggies delivery is cleared.
Alex Fisher at the Britannia Stadium: "Stoke beginning to exert some pressure on the Albion defence here at the Britannia as first Peter Crouch heads over from a left wing corner and then Jonathan Walters sees a long range effort deflected inches wide of Ben Foster's right hand post."
The Baggies head away the corner at the near post but Morrison is unable to clear and heads the ball into Jerome, who flashes the ball across goal but no one is able to connect.
Stoke win the ball back quickly and soon win another corner. The Potters are in the ascendancy and limiting the Baggies to their counter-attacks.
Etherington's inswinging delivery is headed away and cleared by a defender, and Youssuf Mulumbu shows composure on the ball to allow his team to advance up the pitch.
Walters controls the ball with a good first touch on the right edge of the box and his shot almost loops into the top left corner following a deflection off Olsson. Stoke's corner is headed back over the bar for another corner and Olsson complains of an infringement by Crouch.
Stoke win a corner on the left flank and Crouch heads wide following good movement to meet the inswinging delivery at the near post.
Claudio Yacob fouls Steven N'Zonzi by the centre circle, but Walters concedes a free kick when challenging for the ball following the high delivery.
Liam Ridgewell gives away a free kick near the corner flag after a foul on Crouch, but Foster claims the delivery comfortably.
Etherington gets beyond his marker on the left flank and puts in a low cross which is cleared at the near post.
Glenn Whelan looks to thread a pass through to Crouch on the edge of the box but the tall striker is unable to control the ball. With each team playing a high line in an attempt to keep the tall strikers away from the box, neither side's midfielders have found it easy to keep the ball under the resulting pressure.
Jerome is unable to hold the ball up on the right flank and the ball rolls off the pitch for a goal kick.
Stoke repel an effective West Brom attack down the left flank when Liam Ridgewell's cut-back is intercepted.
Glenn Whelan clips in a lightly hit cross and Claudio Yacob's header looks like it's going out for a corner before Ben Foster rushes from his line to catch the delivery. Cameron Jerome pushes him in the back forcing him to drop the ball as he slides outside the box, but the keeper is given a foul.
Jon Walters wins a foul off Jonas Olsson outside the right edge of the box.
Geoff Cameron, at left-back today, takes a long throw from the left flank and moves into the pitch to intercept the clearance before shooting well over the bar from the edge of the box.
The game has slowed down after a fast-paced tempo, but neither side are holding onto the ball for long periods before possession changes hands following an unsuccessful long pass.
Ryan Shawcross puts the ball out so Walters can receive treatment following a challenge.
After the Baggies' defence repel a Stoke cross, Ben Foster looks to feed Jerome Thomas quickly but this time Shotton deals with the threat effectively.
West Brom work an excellent series of short passes on the counter-attack that leaves Stoke unable to react. Romelu Lukaku lays the ball off to James Morrison who puts Chris Brunt through with a ball in between the Baggies' defenders. Brunt turns neatly but his powerful shot is straight at keeper Begovic.
Stoke pass the ball back to keeper Asmir Begovic and his long ball to Peter Crouch is headed down to Jon Walters. Walters finds Matthew Etherington on the left wing and he crosses into Cameron Jerome who had run into the box from the right wing, but his header flies over.
Alex Fisher at the Britannia Stadium: "Shaky start from the home side here at the Britannia and Ryan Shotton very nearly gives a penalty away with a dreadful tackle on Jerome Thomas. Luckily for the full back West Brom fail to create anything from the set piece."
Jerome Thomas, granted a rare start on the left flank, combines intelligently with left-back Liam Ridgwell and draws a foul from Stoke right-back Ryan Shotton right on the edge of the penalty area. Lucky not to give away a penalty there.
West Brom kick off at the Britannia Stadium!
Alex Fisher at the Britannia Stadium: "The Baggies are unbeaten in their last two visits to the Britannia Stadium, but it was the Potters who won their first meeting this season at the Hawthorns, Dean Whitehead scoring the only goal of the game in early December."
Alex Fisher at the Britannia Stadium: "After seven games without a win at the start of 2013 West Brom have turned their form around and have won three of their last four matches, with on-loan striker Romelu Lukaku finding a rich scoring vein with four of their last six goals."
Alex Fisher at the Britannia Stadium: "Stoke fans will be worried about the fact that their side haven’t kept a clean sheet since 22nd December in the Premier League and since the 24th November at the Britannia Stadium. And although they have only lost twice at home this season it is the standard of football and the approach taken by Tony Pulis that has been frustrating the Potters fans recently."
Alex Fisher at the Britannia Stadium: "One change apiece for Stoke and West Brom today and both are in the attacking third of the pitch. Matthew Etherington returns for the Potters in place of Andy Wilkinson which means Ryan Shotton will revert to full back. Jerome Thomas returns to West Brom’s starting line-up in place of the injured Graham Dorrans."
West Brom: Foster; Jones, McAuley, Olsson, Ridgewell; Yacob, Mulumbu; Thomas, Morrison, Brunt; Lukaku. Subs: Myhill, Long, Rosenberg, Popov, Fortune, Tamas, Odemwingie.
Stoke: Begovic; Shotton, Shawcross, Wilson, Cameron; Jerome, Whelan, Nzonzi, Etherington; Walters, Crouch. Subs: Sorensen, Jones, Owen, Adam, Whitehead, Kightly, Wilkinson.
Alex Fisher at the Britannia Stadium: "Good afternoon from the Britannia Stadium where West Brom make the 40 mile journey north to face Stoke buoyed by three wins in their last four games. Things aren’t all rosy in the Stoke garden at the moment; the Potters have only recorded one win in 2013, which leaves them third bottom of the form table."
Hi and welcome to Goal.com's Live coverage as Stoke face West Brom. I'm @arthurvirgo here to talk through the events.
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