Potters break away duck
Published 01/12/2012 | 17:19
Stoke continued their dominance against West Brom as substitute Dean Whitehead scored a late winner in a 1-0 Barclays Premier League victory at The Hawthorns.
Whitehead converted a cross from fellow substitute Michael Kightly to earn the Potters their first away league win since January.
Tony Pulis' side have taken 13 points from the last five games, while for the fifth-placed Baggies it was a second setback in the space of 72 hours following Wednesday night's 3-1 loss at Swansea.
Kenwyne Jones made his first Premier League start of the season in place of the injured Peter Crouch, and he came close to breaking the deadlock in the 14th minute, getting on the end of a cross from Geoff Cameron and directed his header just inches wide of the post.
Ryan Shawcross produced a fine tackle to halt the run of Graham Dorrans on the edge of the Stoke box, while Robert Huth blocked a fierce drive from Youssouf Mulumbu after Dorrans had found him in space but neither goalkeeper had a save to make in the opening half-hour.
Huth became the first player to be yellow-carded after 35 minutes for bringing down Shane Long. Stoke keeper Asmir Begovic had to back-pedal to parry a speculative dipping 40-yard attempt from Steven Reid over the bar.
Charlie Adam became the second Stoke player to be booked a minute before half-time for a foul on Zoltan Gera, while Shawcross followed him into referee Kevin Friend's notebook shortly after the restart after bringing down Long.
Begovic dealt comfortably with Jonas Olsson's looping header from Long's cross as clear-cut chances continued to be at a premium. Pulis replaced Matthew Etherington with former Wolves winger Michael Kightly after 59 minutes.
Clarke then brought on forward players Romelu Lukaku and Peter Odemwingie for the ineffective Markus Rosenberg and Gera as Gareth 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 Jonas 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.