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17:10 21st January 2012

City Stunned By Late Albion Winner

STOKE CITY suffered a blow to their excellent record against West Bromwich Albion . . . as Graham Dorrans fired home a last-minute winner for the visitors in a dramatic finish to the Barclays Premier League match at the Britannia Stadium.

Dorrans stunned the Potters with his late, late strike after substitute Cameron Jerome appeared to have earned them a point with an 87th minute equaliser.

Albion, who had won only two of their previous 29 League and FA Cup meetings, had led since the 35th minute after midfielder James Morrison had benefited from the fact that a long range shot managed to creep under Thomas Sorensen.

City's bid to get back in the game wasn't helped by the fact that Jon Walters had a penalty saved by Ben Foster after he had been brought down in the box.

But Albion seemed to adjust to the windy conditions better and City have now won only two of their last seven League matches at the Britannia Stadium.

Pulis made just one change to the side that gained a point from last weekend's game with Liverpool with fit-again Shotton coming in to replace Palacios, while another fitness doubt Delap came through a test on his calf problems.

It was immediately apparent that the strong wind would be a telling factor and it was interesting to note that the one game ever to be postponed at the Britannia Stadium was against West Brom eight years ago due to gale force winds.

Albion were the first to threaten as Thomas latched onto a long ball which caught up in the swirling wind and although Woodgate initially halted him in his tracks, the winger recovered to get in a shot that was blocked by the covering Delap.

The first chance that the Potters carved out did not come until the tenth minute after two long throw-ins from Delap caused trouble for the Albion defence, but Foster claimed an Etherington corner curling towards the top corner.

Thomas caused more problems for the City defence and Woodgate in particular with a run down the left but his cross was sliced wide by Cox.

The wind then played a part in setting up the Potters' best chance of the half as Walters fastened onto a long ball forward and broke clear, but he struggled to get the ball from under his feet and his eventual shot was blocked by Tamas.

It was Albion who looked the more menacing going forward and it took a brilliant save from Sorensen to prevent them going in front as Morrison seized on a ball given away by Wilson and hit a thunderous drive that was pushed onto the bar.

Having made such an outstanding stop on that occasion, it was cruel luck on Sorensen that another shot from Morrison in the 35th minute should swerve so late in front of him and squirm under his body to give the Baggies the lead.

City laboured in their attempts to get back on level terms before the break although a free kick swung over by Etherington caused a scramble in the box after Foster punched it straight up in the air but Olsson eventually came to the rescue.

City made an encouraging start to the second half as Walters tried his luck from long range and then Etherington burst forward down the left and saw his low centre flash across the face of the Albion goal and Shotton failed to connect with his attempt.

There was a let off for the Potters at the other end, however, as Thomas ghosted past Woodgate and pulled the ball back for Morrison to hit the woodwork for the second time in the game with the diving Sorensen well beaten.

That prompted Pulis into making an immediate change as he sent on Pennant in place of Woodgate, with Shotton reverting to right back.

With City pressing forward for an equaliser, they were caught on the counter attack by Cox who got away from his marker, but bearing down on goal, his attempt to flick the ball past Sorensen proved to be unsuccessful much to City's relief.

At the other end, Pennant made his first telling contribution with a run and pinpoint cross that was glanced over the bar by Walters.

They were given the chance to equalise in the 71st minute when the Potters were awarded a penalty when Walters, having been fed the ball by Whelan, was sent crashing to the ground by a clumsy challenge from Tamas.

Walters picked himself up off the floor to take the spot kick, but his low shot was too close to the diving Foster who saved comfortably.

Morrison had City's hearts in their mouths when he found space on the edge of the box to send a shot flashing past Sorensen's far post.

Pulis made his second change of the afternoon when he threw on Jerome in place of Shotton with Delap now switching to right back.

The change meant that the versatile Walters dropped back into midfield with Jerome going up front to partner Crouch.

And it was the former Birmingham City frontman who grabbed an equaliser three minutes from time when from a free kick whipped into the box, he glanced his header past Foster and into the far corner of the net.

But there was a final twist in the tale with the game drifting into injury time as Albion were awarded a free kick out on the left hand edge of the box and it was Dorrans who sent a shot skidding through a crowded area into the far corner.

    Data provided by Press Association


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