Dean Whitehead's goal gives Stoke first away win of season over West Brom
Last Updated: 01/12/12 8:14pm
Dean Whitehead nipped in to seal Stoke's first away win of the season.
A goal from Dean Whitehead was enough to give Stoke City their first away win of the season with a 1-0 win over West Brom at The Hawthorns.
Tony Pulis' second-half substitutions paid off, with Michael Kightly finding fellow replacement Whitehead following a mistake by defender Jonas Olsson in the 75th minute of a disjointed encounter.
Stoke held on for their first win on the road since 2nd January, while West Brom slipped to their second consecutive defeat.
Asmir Begovic had tipped over a long-range Stephen Reid effort in the first half, while Graeme Dorrans forced the Stoke keeper into action with a fierce shot late in the game.
Best of the match
- Man of the match: Ryan Shawcross looked a cut above the rest, turning in a classy and composed performance where others looked tetchy. On this evidence he deserves another call-up when the next England squad selection rolls around.
- Goal of the match: Only one, on a day when it looked like there may have been none at all. Whitehead did superbly under pressure to direct Kightly's cross past Myhill for the winner, his first goal since January 2011.
- Save of the match: Asmir Begovic's save to deny Dorrans was not spectacular, but after a quiet day he showed his alertness to drop to his right to beat the fierce effort away. On a day when chances were at a premium, it proved crucial.
- Talking point: Steve Clarke made six changes to the side that started the defeat to Swansea in midweek, yet it did not have the desired impact. West Brom looked a pale shadow of the side that had stormed into third place a few weeks ago, although it's not quite time to go back to drawing board just yet.
Albion drew a blank at home for the first time this season and seldom looked like finding a way through the Stoke back four in which skipper Ryan Shawcross was outstanding.
West Brom head coach Steve Clarke made six changes from the side beaten at Swansea in midweek and handed a debut to Sweden striker Markus Rosenberg.
Kenwyne Jones came close to breaking the deadlock in the 14th minute after a quiet opening to the game. The Trinidad & Tobago international got on the end of a cross from Geoff Cameron and directed his header back across goal and only inches wide of the post.
Robert Huth blocked a fierce drive from Mulumbu after Dorrans had found him in space but neither goalkeeper had a save to make in the opening half-hour. Stoke keeper Asmir Begovic had to back-pedal to parry a speculative dipping 40-yard attempt from Steven Reid over the bar.
Pulis replaced Matthew Etherington with former Wolves winger Kightly after 59 minutes, then Clarke brought on forward players Romelu Lukaku and Peter Odemwingie for the ineffective Rosenberg and Gera.
McAuley produced a superb tackle inside the Baggies box to halt Jones in full flight. But after 75 minutes Stoke broke the deadlock after a rare mistake by Olsson.
The centre-back tried to keep the ball in play when challenging Jones but only succeeded in finding Kightly. He ran unopposed into the Albion area and his low cross was turned home by Whitehead.
Begovic parried a Dorrans drive but Stoke held out with relative ease for the three points.
|West Bromwich Albion||Team Statistics||Stoke City|
|0||1st Half Goals||0|
|5||Shots on Target||2|
|4||Shots off Target||2|
|55.3||1st Half Poss.||44.7|
|60.2||2nd Half Poss.||39.8|
Barclays Premier League
|10||West Ham United||28||39|
|13||West Bromwich Albion||28||30|
|18||Queens Park Rangers||27||22|