Stoke City claimed a less than convincing three points against West Bromwich Albion following a 3-0 win thanks to two penalties awarded by Chris Foy.
The first of these penalties was extremely dubious, with Kenwyne Jones going down under, at best, minimal contact from Scott Carson, and was dispatched by Matthew Etherington. The second was more clear-cut, with Jonathan Walters sending Carson the wrong way.
Jermaine Pennant was an early casualty, leaving the pitch after only ten minutes with a hamstring strain, with Tuncay Sanli replacing him.
Youssouf Mulumbu had a shot that came close to finding the top corner, but in truth the first opening exchanges were poor, with neither keeper put under pressure.
Etherington wasted the clearest opening, after getting clear down the left, but he got his cross completely wrong, picking out the ball boy behind the goal rather than Jones in the centre.
Giles Barnes was looking dangerous on the right wing, looking to impress in his first Premier League start for West Brom, and he delivered two teasing crosses in as many minutes but Ryan Shawcross made a good clearing header with James Morrison was lurking in behind.
A piece of skill from Peter Odemwingie was the most exciting exchange in the opening 45 minutes, though his shot at the end of a mazy run was woeful, and both teams will have left the pitch frustrated with their performances.
Jerome Thomas started the second half brightly, taking on three players on the left wing before delivering a cross that Odemwingie couldn’t control under pressure from Shawcross.
However, a lightning counter attack from Stoke proved to be deadly though, as well as controversial.
Following good work from Etherington down the left, Ricardo Fuller fed Jones on the edge of the area, Jones poked it round Carson as he rushed out, and went down under the softest of contact.
The referee Chris Foy pointed to the spot, and the penalty was coolly dispatched into the bottom right corner by Etherington for his first goal of the season.
The goal was totally against the run of play, and was testament to accounts from fans and players alike that West Brom really haven’t had the rub of the green this season.
Asmir Begovic produced a fine save from the substitute Somen Tchoyi’s shot from the right side of the penalty area as West Brom pushed for an equalizer, but Stoke’s defense were producing a great display to keep the Baggies at bay.
Begovic was called upon again as Thomas’ assault down the left and cross landed on Tchoyi’s head, but his looping header was tipped over.
Stoke’s steely tactics paid off, as the referee Foy gave Stoke another penalty. The substitute Simon Cox was penalized for blocking Dean Whitehead as he ran onto Tuncay’s ball. The penalty was again dispatched into the bottom right corner, this time by Walters, who replaced Etherington, with Carson sent the wrong way.
Begovic was again in action, getting down well to smother following a free kick which was fired across the goalmouth by Odemwingie.
Pablo Ibanez then put a free header over the bar from another free kick, and while they can rightly complain about the decision to award the first penalty, West Brom were wasteful in front of goal, spurning good opportunities with Begovic in good form right into stoppage time.
Walters then added an unfair gleam to the score line in the 93rd minute. Jones was penned in by the goal line, and back-heeled to find Walters in space, and following a brilliant save by Carson, the ball dropped at his feet to smash it into the roof of the net.
For more news on England, visit Goal.com's England section and join Goal.com USA's Facebook fan page!