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17:49 21st August 2010

Stoke City 1 Tottenham Hotspur 2

STOKE CITY will no doubt throw their weight behind the clamour for goal-line technology after being denied an equaliser in their 2-1 defeat to Tottenham Hotspur.

New signing Jon Walters thought he had scored on his debut in the final minute of the game and television replays clearly showed that the ball had crossed the line.

It added to City's frustration in a second half which they dominated but failed to translate into goals as they went down to Harry Redknapp's Champions League qualifiers.

Tony Pulis' side created plenty of opportunities to haul themselves level, but couldn't apply the finishing touch on occasions and were also denied twice by Heuelho Gomes.

Tottenham went in front on two occasions in the first half with a double from Gareth Bale, but Ricardo Fuller equalised in the 24th minute with a well-taken goal from close range.

Pulis had decided against rushing back Kenwyne Jones from the ankle injury sustained at Wolves, but he handed a debut to £2.75 million signing Walters in his place.

Walters looked lively in the opening stages and showed some good touches, but the first chance of the game fell to Rory Delap who volleyed wide of the target after Fuller had flicked on a cross from Dean Whitehead in the 11th minute.

Spurs went in front eight minutes later when Bale sprung the offside trap to burst in on goal from the right hand side. Although he was initially denied by Thomas Sorensen, when Ryan Shawcross tried to clear, it hit Bale in the face and crossed the line.

City were level in the 24th minute when Matthew Etherington's corner caused problems for the Spurs defence and when Abdoulaye Faye knocked it back at the far post, Fuller was on hand to calmly slot it home from close range.

That quick response seemed to lift the home side and they caused further problems for Tottenham, but they weathered that storm before going back in front with a stunning striker from Bale on the half hour.

The Welshman was picked out by Aaron Lennon's cross and he unleashed a volley into the top corner from the left hand edge of the box to give Sorensen no chance.

Things could have been worse for City as Tottenham went close to a third just before the break when Bale sent over a menacing cross from the left, but somehow Jermaine Jenas' close range effort was kept out.

City had more of the possession in the second half and pressed Spurs back, but it was until the introduction of Tuncay on the hour that they began to carve out some clear-cut chances in search of the equaliser.

The Turkish international was denied by a Gomes save at full stretch when he tried his luck from close range, and then he planted a header wide of the target at the far post from the resulting corner sent over by Etherington.

Fuller was the next to be denied by Gomes when tried a first time shot from Walters' right wing cross, but the Tottenham 'keeper dived low to his right to grasp the effort and then Etherington had a shot from the edge of the box blocked.

City appeared to be running out of time in their quest for an equaliser, but then as the game drifted towards injury time the biggest talking point of the game saw Walters denied a dream start by the controversial decision.

Not only did the replay show that the ball was over the line, but it also revealed that Peter Crouch had used his arm to help clear it in the goalmouth scramble. Referee Chris Foy was close by, but waved away the protests of the City players.

    Data provided by Press Association


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