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West Bromwich Albion
West Ham United
December 1, 2012
• The Hawthorns, West Bromwich
Referee: K. Friend
• Attendance: 24739
West Bromwich Albion
D. Whitehead 75'
Alex Fisher at the Hawthorns: "Victory at the Hawthorns today has seen Stoke extend their unbeaten run to five games, they have won four of those five games and this was their third straight win. Tony Pulis' side have also extended their unbeaten record at the Hawthorns to six games, they have won on their last four visits here, and haven’t conceded a goal here for over five years."
Alex Fisher at the Hawthorns: "Stoke's impressive record at the Hawthorns goes on as they record a 1-0 victory that they deserved for creating and converting the best chance of a rather poor encounter. West Brom tried in vain to get back into the game but they looked toothless in attack, so it is Dean Whitehead's goal that seals all three points for Tony Pulis' side."
Stoke collect their first away win of the season putting an end to a run of 16 matches with no successes away from home, while West Brom have now lost successive matches despite starting the day in third place. Steve Clarke's decision to make six changes from the team that lost mid-week in Swansea will come under scrutiny after the Baggies struggled to build moves in attack. He brought on Peter Odemwingie and Romelu Lukaku after going behind but fans will wonder why James Morrison remained on the bench. Tony Pulis' side however were impressive in defence, and Ryan Shawcross and Robert Huth provided a solid foundation to take their first away win. Substitutes Michael Kightly and Dean Whitehead combined to set up the only goal of the match after the presence of Kenwyne Jones forced an error from Jonas Olsson after communication problems with goalkeeper Boaz Myhill. The forward was not given much support but was full of running after he was called on to replace the injured Peter Crouch, and has much proud of in his contribution to the Potters' away win. Steve Clarke now has to try and regain momentum after today's disappointing defeat at home.
90' + 5'
Stoke win a free kick on the left flank and hold the ball near the corner flag before eventually West Brom get a goal kick. Myhill hits the kick long and the ball finds its way to Chris Brunt, who delays before eventually hitting a cross which Lukaku reaches, but is unable to turn on goal. The referee blows for the final whistle after briefly adding to the original four minutes of stoppage time.
90' + 2'
Shane Long cuts inside from the left flank and blasts an ambitious left footed shot wide of the right post.
Mulumbu receives a precise pass from Odemwingie and dribbles into the box before winning a corner on the left flank. The delivery is headed into Dorrans, who blasts his shot over the bar.
Chris Brunt hits a cross from the left wing but his teammates are unable to capitalise on his work.
Walters shields the ball by the left corner flag as Stoke run down the clock. West Brom hit the ball long as soon as they win back possession but the attack is repelled.
Peter Odemwingie disappointingly overhits a cross on the right flank after his side commit players forward in the box.
Graham Dorrans impressively controls a pass from Jonas Olsson before shifting the ball to his left side and blasting a shot with his left foot. Begovic makes the save, and Dorrans hits another effort under pressure moments later but Stoke withstand the pressure.
Kenwyne Jones takes a shot, forcing a save from Boaz Myhill.
Shane Long drifts into the box from the right flank before going down in the box and appealing for a penalty, but nothing is given.
Alex Fisher at the Hawthorns: The deadlock is finally broken at the Hawthorns in the 74th minute and it's two of Tony Pulis' subs who have combined to give them the lead. Jonas Olsson's clearance only went as far as Michael Kightly, he dances through two challenges and flicks the ball into Dean Whitead and the midfielder fires first-time past Boaz Myhill."
Assist Michael Kightly
Goal Dean Whitehead
Goal Dean Whitehead! Jonas Olsson hesitates when dealing with a long ball from the back, appearing to wait for the keeper's call, eventually heading towards the corner flag under pressure from Kenwyne Jones. He runs towards the ball attempting to shepherd it out of play, but the ball doesn't travel far enough for him as Jones wins the challenge before passing to Michael Kightly. Kightly dribbles towards the right edge of the box before neatly hitting a cross with the outside of his right foot towards Dean Whitehead, who beats his marker to the ball to finish the opportunity and put his side in front.
Whelan mis-hits a low corner from the right flank. It's demoralising for the fans who see yet another set piece wasted.
West Brom appear invigorated by the changes and are now keeping possession in Stoke's half. Kenwyne Jones single-handedly launches a counter-attack after receiving the ball under pressure from Gareth McAuley before turning and running towards the box, but the centre-back recovers before winning the ball with a fine sliding tackle.
Zoltan Gera and Markus Rosenberg are taken off for the increased pace and power of Peter Odemwingie and Romelu Lukaku as the Baggies move to a 4-3-3. Tony Pulis makes a more conservative change bringing off Charlie Adam for the more defensive-minded Dean Whitehead.
Mulumbu shows impressive technique as his side keep the ball on the ground after winning the ball from Michael Kightly, who had dribbled around Steven Reid on the left flank and into the box. The Baggies quickly aim long however, and concedes possession.
Stoke make the first change in a like-for-like swap on the left wing. Michael Kightly comes on in place of Matthew Etherington.
Alex Fisher at the Hawthorns: "The Albion fans sing the names of Peter Odemwingie, Romelu Lukaku and James Morrison to let manager Steve Clarke know what they want to see in order to spark this game into life. You can't blame them."
Claudio Yacob heads a right-wing corner into the hands of the jumping Asmir Begovic. He beat his man in the air and got a good contact on the ball but his effort was straight at the keeper.
Zoltan Gera receives the ball in the middle of Stoke's half and chips a through ball over the defence hoping to find Shane Long, but the ball is overhit.
Alex Fisher at the Hawthorns: "The quality hasn't improved at the Hawthorns after the break. Both sides are struggling to get any rhythm going forward. Ryan Shotton sums up the game by blasting a cross high and wide over the bar when he had time and space in the final third of the pitch. This game needs a spark."
Walters drives up the right flank, then hold the ball up and waits for his teammates to get into the box before passing back to Ryan Shotton, whose cross is wayward.
Mulumbu impressively gets clear of Whelan and gets the ball wide to Shane Long, whose cross is headed clear.
Yellow Card Ryan Shawcross
West Brom attack down the left flank and win a free kick after Ryan Shawcross is yellow-carded for a foul on Shane Long. The delivery is long, but the Baggies get another opportunity and Jonas Olsson heads wide.
The second half gets underway, and West Brom win a free kick on the right flank in the first passage of play. Dorrans' free kick is headed away by Jones.
Stoke have been without Peter Crouch after a dental injury in the middle of the week, but his replacement Kenwyne Jones has competed hard and been the subject of several complaints from opposing centre back Jonas Olsson. The striker headed narrowly wide from a left-wing cross in his team's best effort of the match.
Steve Clarke made several changes to his team, bringing in Goran Popov at left-back in place of Liam Ridgewell, the recovered Steven Reid at right back. and Zoltan Gera, Graham Dorrans, and Markus Rosenberg behind Shane Long in attack. James Morrison starts on the bench. The changes have made the Baggies have looked disjointed in possession in what became a very scrappy game, and been unable to create many opportunities aside from free kicks and corners.
45' + 1'
Matthew Etherington advances down the left flank and exchanges passes with Charlie Adam before he is dispossessed. The referee blows the whistle on an uneventful first half.
Yellow Card Charlie Adam
Charlie Adam receives a yellow card after a pointless foul in the centre of the pitch. The booking followed a string of petty fouls, but the delivery from free kicks has been poor so far.
Walters heads the ball clear from a West Brom corner but the Potters have another corner from Dorrans. Each corner is disrupted by jostling in the centre of the box.
Shotton wins the ball from Shane Long with a classy slide tackle after Long attempts to beat him on the outside.
Goran Popov concedes a free kick on the left flank after challenging for a header with Jon Walters. Whelan takes the free kick aiming for Shawcross but West Brom head clear.
Yacob displays great quality in midfield to mastermind a series of exchanges before helping move the ball wide for Steven Reid who swings a cross in which cleared, but the Baggies retain possession in a pleasing spell.
"West Brom go very close to opening the scoring here with an audacious long range effort from Steven Reid. The full back fires a free kick from the half way line that looks destined for the top corner, but Asmir Begovic is able to touch the ball over his crossbar."
Steven Reid spies Asmir Begovic off his line and hits a long shot that the keeper struggles to save, conceding a corner, but Stoke are unable to make use of the opportunity.
Yellow Card Robert Huth
Robert Huth needlessly fouls Shane Long to concede a yellow card.
Steven N'Zonzi controls the ball after watching it come down on to his foot, and passes to Matthew Etherington who darts to the byline and hits a low cross into the box which wins a corner. The corner is played short but the eventual cross is wayward.
Huth aims a free kick forward from inside his own half and Stoke win a throw in. Shotton winds up for a long throw but instead plays short, but the visitors give the ball away and allow West Brom to counter.
Mulumbu dribbles forward from midfield and strikes a shot from the right edge of the box but it is blocked.
Alex Fisher at the Hawthorns: "For a Premier League game the level of quality at the Hawthorns today is terrible, neither side seem capable of holding onto possession and we've only seen one attempt on goal in 27 minutes. Stoke will be quite pleased with how things are going as the away side, but West Brom do not look like a side fourth in the Premier League."
Steven Reid and Claudio Yacob work a neat series of triangles in the centre of the park before passing to Jonas Olsson who brings the ball out of defence from his position as the left of the two centre backs.
The hosts clear the danger from the corner but are unable to keep the ball in play.
Charlie Adam wins a corner after his shot from the edge of the box is deflected.
Markus Rosenberg neatly slips Graham Dorrans into the box down the right channel, and Shawcross has to be alert to slide in to win the ball.
Glenn Whelan draws an ironic cheer from the crowd when he blasts the ball high over the bar after Jones headed down Ryan Shawcross' long ball.
Youssouf Mulumbu fouls Jones for a free kick in the centre of the pitch. The Potters win a throw-in on the right flank which is headed clear by Mulumbu.
Olsson gives away a free kick just inside the West Brom half after a foul on Jones. Matthew Etherington lays the ball off for Glenn Whelan who looks for Jones, but the delivery flies harmlessly over his head.
Kenwyne Jones rises high in the box to meet a perfectly flighted cross from the left wing. He accurately heads the ball back across goal and his effort bounces just wide of the left post.
Stoke cause problems for when they commit forward in numbers to chase a high ball that looped up into the West Brom box, and West Brom look to counter when Graham Dorrans aims a high ball to Shane Long, but Robert Huth heads clear beating the isolated Long in the air.
Alex Fisher at the Hawthorns: "10 minutes played here at the Hawthorns and absolutely nothing has happened so far. West Brom look much more comfortable in possession but it is not getting them beyond the Stoke back line, the visitors look content to contain their hosts and play on the counter attack."
After West Brom are denied a free kick following a strong challenge in the middle of the park, the away fans are excited as Stoke commit men forward expecting a cross from Ryan Shotton, but his delivery is poor and goes out for a goal kick.
Geoff Cameron is dispossessed by Shane Long as he attempts to bring the ball up the left flank, but West Brom lose the ball after a miscommunication between Long and Markus Rosenberg.
West Brom look to work their way into the game exchanging passes in the centre of the park.
The referee gets the game underway at the Hawthorns.
Alex Fisher at the Hawthorns: "Stoke have an excellent record here which will give Tony Pulis’ side plenty of confidence, the Potters are unbeaten on this ground since 2003 and have taken all three points on their last three visits. However West Brom are a different challenge this season, they have won six of their seven home games in the league with only Manchester City tasting success against Steve Clarke’s side."
Stoke: Begovic; Shotton, Shawcross, Huth, Cameron; Walters, Nzonzi, Adam, Whelan, Etherington; Jones. Subs: Sorensen, Palacios, Whitehead, Upson, Kightly, Wilkinson, Jerome.
West Brom: Myhill, Reid, McAuley, Olsson, Popov; Yacob, Mulumbu; Dorrans, Rosenberg, Gera; Long. Subs: Daniels, Ridgewell, Morrison, Brunt, Lukaku, Odemwingie, Tamas.
Hi and welcome to Goal.com's Live commentary as West Brom take on Stoke at the Hawthorns. I'm @arthurvirgo and you can make your voice heard on Twitter @GoalUK
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