Stoke keep up promotion push

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STOKE CITY moved into third place in Division Two on Friday night with a 3-1 win over promotion rivals Brighton at The Britannia Stadium.

Gudjon Thordarson's side started the day in fourth place in the table, five points behind Peter Taylor's visitors, but goals from Chris Iwelumo, Arnar Gunnlaugsson and Clive Clarke (pictured) moved Stoke to within two points of The Seagulls.

Chris Iwelumo gave The Potters the lead just before the half hour when he rose to meet Clarke's cross from the left to guide the ball passed Michel Kuipers in the Albion goal.

Lee Steele's storming run was then haulted illegally by Peter Handyside in the 53rd minute, but Neil Cutler bailed out his side by saving Robbie Pethick's penalty well down to his left.

However, the keeper then turned from hero to villain when he failed to hold onto Junior Lewis's header, and the fumble allowed Steele to prod in his ninth goal of the season to level the scores at 1-1.

Icelandic striker Gunnlaugssen then notched his first goal for the club when he took responsibility for the penalty following a foul by Danny Cullip, and the former Leicester City man made no mistake in beating Kuipers from 12 yards.

With Brighton searching forward for another equaliser, the home side made the points safe with five minutes left when Clarke volleyed the ball in to make it 3-1.

The left back collected James O'Connor's return ball, and stroked the pall into the top corner from the edge of the box to round off a polished display from Stoke.

The result keeps the pressure up at the top of the table with Stoke now making a move on the automatic places, trying to avoid the dreaded play-offs.

Match Summary:
Stoke v Brighton

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