English Premiership

Stoke, WBA share spoils

2013-03-16 20:29
Tony Pulis (File)

Stoke-On-Trent - Stoke City were unable to shake themselves out of their recent slump as they were held to a goalless draw at home to West Bromwich Albion on Saturday.

Tony Pulis' side have now picked up just five points from a possible 30 in 2013, having found their best efforts repelled by newly recalled England goalkeeper Ben Foster at the Britannia Stadium.

The point meant Stoke remained in 10th place in the Premier League table, six points below ninth-place Swansea City, while Steve Clarke's West Brom stay eighth.

The game began with a flurry of activity, with Stoke defender Ryan Shotton fortunate to escape punishment after chopping down recalled West Brom winger Jerome Thomas right outside the hosts' penalty area.

Stoke threatened when Cameron Jerome headed over from a Matthew Etherington cross, before Chris Brunt shot straight at Asmir Begovic at the other end following a slick West Brom move.

The two sides could not sustain their early momentum, however, and the game descended into an attritional tussle.

Stoke came close in the 28th minute, when Jon Walters saw a shot deflected narrowly wide of the post, but for all the hosts' endeavour, they could not find a way through.

West Brom procured a clear sight of goal early in the second period, but Romelu Lukaku could only head straight at Begovic from Thomas' cross.

The on-loan Chelsea striker then squandered an even better opportunity moments later when he was unable to apply a touch to Liam Ridgewell's left-wing centre.

The visitors continued to press and came within inches of breaking the deadlock when Billy Jones' drilled cross struck Lukaku and was somehow diverted over the crossbar by Begovic.

Peter Odemwingie tested Begovic with a low shot moments after coming on as a substitute in the 67th minute, before Youssouf Mulumbu shot narrowly off target.

With the rain beginning to fall in torrents, Marc Wilson spurned a good chance to put the hosts ahead in the 80th minute when he headed narrowly wide from a corner.

Stoke put the West Brom defence under sustained pressure late in the game, but their best chance saw substitute Kenwyne Jones foiled by the commanding Foster.

Read more on:    stoke  |  epl  |  tony pulis  |  soccer
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