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Walters spearheads Stoke fightback

Just when a goal from Papiss Cisse looked as if it might set the striker's season back on track along with Newcastle's, Stoke produced a stirring comeback to preserve their unbeaten record here and send Alan Pardew's ailing side to a fourth consecutive league defeat.

Cisse put Newcastle ahead at the start of the second half but Stoke's determination not to surrender to their first home defeat since February proved irresistible in the end as Ireland striker Jonathan Walters and substitute Cameron Jerome scored in the 81st and 85th minutes to deepen the Geordie gloom.

Stoke had the better of the first half, but Tim Krul did not need to make a save.

The same could be said of Asmir Begovic until Newcastle took the lead two minutes into the second half after Cheick Tiote had dispossessed Glenn Whelan to release Demba Ba for a run on goal. The Stoke 'keeper stopped Ba's shot but could not hold on to the ball and Cisse pounced to grab only his second goal of the league campaign.

It was only the second goal Stoke had conceded at home all season, and it took a fine save from Begovic to deny Cisse a second after 63 minutes as Stoke pushed high up the field.

Walters then tested Krul before manager Tony Pulis stepped up the pressure on the Newcastle goal by sending on Michael Kightly and Jerome.

It paid off in dramatic style as two goals in the space of four minutes turned the game on its head.

First Walters fed Jerome, then, launching a run to the near post that the Newcastle defence failed to pick up, the striker rose to nod the ball past Krul.

Then Jerome, running on to Jones' headed pass after Walters had played the ball forward, smashed home the winner with five minutes left. (© Independent News Service)

Irish Independent