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Premier League

  • March 14, 2015
  • • 11:00 AM
  • • The Hawthorns, West Bromwich
  • Referee: K. Friend
  • • Attendance: 24323

West Brom striker Brown Ideye

West Brom 1-0 Stoke City: Pulis gets one over on his former employer

West Brom striker Brown Ideye

Getty Images

The Baggies moved 11 points clear of the Premier League's relegation zone after a win against Stoke.

West Brom took a huge stride towards achieving Premier League safety with a 1-0 win against Stoke City at The Hawthorns.

Brown Ideye headed the only goal of the game in the first half to secure a success that puts 11 points between Tony Pulis' side and the relegation zone.

The result also ended a three-match winning run in the league for Mark Hughes' men, who were second best before the break, but improved after halftime.

A flurry of injuries - to Ben Foster, Victor Moses and Jonathan Walters - disrupted the second half and Pulis' old club failed to sufficiently trouble replacement West Brom goalkeeper Boaz Myhill.

The home side could have extended the margin of victory, but wasted countless chances before hanging on to recover from two defeats in the space of four days to Midlands rival Aston Villa.

Pulis made one change to the West Brom side beaten at Villa in its previous league match, as Stephane Sessegnon replaced Claudio Yacob.

Hughes also made a solitary switch, restoring captain Ryan Shawcross to his defense in place of Philipp Wollscheid.

That back line was soon threatened by Saido Berahino, who fired in two early shots from the edge of the box, which both forced good saves from Asmir Begovic.

The visiting side responded with better possession, but no real penetration, and West Brom took a deserved lead in the 20th minute.

Craig Gardner was given space to cross from the right and took full advantage, before Ideye evaded the marking of Phil Bardsley to steer a stooping header into the far corner.

Berahino should have doubled the home side's tally 10 minutes later.

The striker latched onto a wonderful through ball from Craig Dawson to get in behind Marc Wilson, but snatched at the opportunity, and lashed across goal from a tight angle.

Hughes recognized his side's defensive struggles in the first half and introduced Geoff Cameron at halftime in place of Erik Pieters, moving Wilson to left back.

That sparked a positive start to the second half, but Stoke's momentum was punctured temporarily as first Foster, and then Moses, required lengthy treatment before having to be withdrawn.

Foster's replacement, Myhill, was thrust straight into the action as he had to backpedal and turn Walters' flicked header over the bar in the 62nd minute - the visiting team's first shot on target.

Begovic was called upon moments later to parry Ideye's low shot at the end of a flowing counterattack.

Walters was soon added to the injury list, replaced by Mame Biram Diouf in the 68th minute, having taken a heavy blow to the face in an aerial challenge with Dawson.

James Morrison almost added a second for West Brom 10 minutes from time, but Begovic was equal to his powerful effort from 20 yards.

Stoke threw everything forward in the closing stages, and there was a nervous moment for Myhill as he felled Peter Crouch on the edge of the box, but it was not enough and West Brom clung on to beat Stoke for just the second time in 12 Premier League meetings.