Friday 15 December 2017

Huth strikes to break Villans' hearts at death

Stoke 2 Aston Villa 1 Carl Markham

Robert Huth completed a dramatic comeback for Stoke last night as Aston Villa collapsed in a remarkable final 10 minutes.

Kenwyne Jones nodded home his first goal for Stoke to draw his side level in the 80th minute -- after Stewart Downing's acrobatic first-half header had put Villa ahead -- before Huth's close-range finish sent the Britannia into raptures.

Kick-off was preceded by news of the death of Potters manager Tony Pulis' mother earlier in the day, and the Stoke boss missed the first-half action. Villa's new boss Gerard Houllier was fulfilling commitments in France as caretaker boss Kevin MacDonald took charge of midlanders.

The early exchanges were played at a breakneck pace. Huth's shot may have had a chance from the edge of the penalty area had all the sting not been taken off it by Stephen Warnock.

However, it was Villa who struck the opener in the 35th minute. Gabriel Agbonlahor curled a left-footed cross to the far post where Downing planted a diving header past Thomas Sorensen.

Pulis made an emotional appearance for the second half to take up his position in the technical area, immediately giving the crowd and his team a lift.

Stoke were buoyed by the presence of their manager and snatched a deserved leveller with 10 minutes to go as Jones headed home his first goal for the Potters after Matthew Etherington's floated cross from the left.

And in injury-time the hosts snatched a dramatic winner when centre-back Huth knocked home Etherington's low cross.

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