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17:21 27th November 2010

Etherington Snatches A Point For City

MATTHEW ETHERINGTON fired home an injury-time equaliser to earn Stoke City a well-deserved point from their Barclays Premier League encounter with Manchester City.

The winger latched onto a delightful flick from Tuncay to bury a low shot beyond the reach of England goalkeeper Joe Hart for his second goal of the season after defender Micah Richards had given Roberto Mancini's title hopefuls an 81st minute lead at the Britannia Stadium.

The point was no more than Tony Pulis' side deserved and in extending their unbeaten run to four matches, it puts them half way towards their initial 40-point target on 20 points now after 15 games.

The Potters dominated the first half and created a number of good chances, but Mancini's men were more of a threat after the break and eventually went in front nine minutes from time.

Manchester City's manager must have thought he was going to celebrate his 46th birthday with a win when Richards struck, but Etherington spoilt that with his late, late equaliser.

Pulis enjoyed the rare luxury of being able to field the same line-up for the third successive game after Jermaine Pennant and Andy Wilkinson passed fitness tests, while Mancini made three changes to the side that won so convincingly at Fulham.

The Potters made the brighter opening and created an immediate chance when Shawcross flicked on a long throw-in which found Pennant at the far post who managed to swivel smartly and lift his shot over the bar.

Another of Delap's trademark throw-ins caused more havoc as Huth hooked it into the danger zone and Fuller scooped his shot wide of the post.

City continued to enjoy the upper hand and Fuller's astute dummy opened the way for Etherington to burst through on goal.

The winger beat Hart to the ball and then turned to shoot goalbound with his weaker right foot. Unfortunately, the England 'keeper recovered to save with his foot, much to the relief of a City defence which was stretched and struggling to cope under the pressure.

Fuller then missed a golden opportunity to put the Potters in front with a lovely move that he himself started from a deep position.

Twisting and turning, the Jamaican shrugged off his marker and when Jones slipped a return pass to him, he was in on goal with only Hart to beat, but he dragged his left foot shot wide of the far post as the visitors enjoyed another let off.

City kept up the pressure in search of an opening goal and Jones rose to head over the bar from 12 yards following a left wing cross from Collins.

Then another long throw launched into the box from Delap caused more chaos for the visitors defence and Huth lifted his shot over the bar.

Fuller produced another moment of magic as he weaved his way past Toure and struck a low shot from the edge of the box which Hart saved.

After so many promising moments, it was the visitors who finished the half by creating a couple of threatening moments for the Potters.

Tevez embarked on a burst forward and worked his way into the box, only for Collins to read the situation well and turn the ball back to Begovic.

And then Kolarov on a rare venture forward showed that he possesses a powerful shot with a long range effort that tested out the Potters 'keeper.

City were forced to make a change at half time when Pennant was withdrawn and Tuncay was brought on to replace him on the right hand side.

In contrast to the first half, City were forced to withstand a considerable amount of pressure in the second period as the visitors had more possession.

Balotelli gave them a scare when he cut inside from the left and shrugged off two players before firing a powerful shot just wide of the target.

City hit back and carved out a good opportunity themselves when Etherington volleyed the ball into the areas and Shawcross rose to head over.

They were then forced to make a further change as Wilkinson was forced to go off with a recurrence of his knee injury to be replaced by Wilson.

That resulted in a reshuffle as Whitehead took up the right back position, with Wilson taking up his position in the middle of the park.

Milner was then to have a crucial role to play at both ends which had a strong bearing on the outcome of the game.

The England midfielder cleared off the line when first Shawcross and then Jones got their heads to an inswinging corner from Etherington.

And then it was Milner's pass which saw Richards slip the attention of Collins before rifling a low shot under the diving Begovic to give his side the lead which was harsh on the Potters, despite their opponents looking more of a menace.

The Potters pushed hard for an equaliser and went close when Huth rose to head an Etherington free kick over the bar from close range.

But they grabbed an equaliser in the second minute of injury time when Tuncay's delightful back heel into the path of Etherington paved the way for him to fire a low shot across the diving Hart and in at the far post to earn City a point.

    Data provided by Press Association


    The Potters played out four replays to finally beat Bury in the FA Cup in 1955