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OFFICIAL club website of stoke city

A Game Of Two Halves


TONY PULIS has labelled Monday night's encounter against in-form West Ham United as 'a game of two halves' . . . having been forced to settle for a point after surrendering a thoroughly deserved first half lead.

Jonathan Walters' sublime 13th minute effort had fired the visitors ahead, before his Republic of Ireland compatriot Joey O'Brien grabbed himself his first ever top-flight goal to secure the hosts a point during a much improved second half performance from the Hammers.

Pulis was again forced to rue that lack of lady luck at Upton Park however, as Steven Nzonzi saw a rasping effort cannon back off the crossbar whilst other chances were spurned during a dominant opening 45 minutes.

"In the end, i think it was a good point for us, because West Ham put us under a lot of pressure during the latter stages of the game," the Welshman said.

"That said, I was hugely disappointed to come in at half-time only one goal up. We had enough chances to have scored another one or two more, but it just didn't drop for us. Steven's effort could have gone in, and had it done then we look very comfortable.

"You have to give enormous credit to West Ham though because they came out after the break and pegged us back for long periods, and made it a very tough night for us.

"They pushed us deep and at times we had to defend for our lives. We were resilient and dug deep and in the end we are happy with the point we are taking home with us."

He added: " It was a game of two halves, like chalk and cheese in many ways. One half for us and one for them, so I guess we have to say that it is a fair result."

The City boss also revealed that he was pleased to see his players reap the rewards of two or three days of rigorous work out on the training pitch.

"We have worked on that corner for two or three days and, to be honest, I don't think we ever scored a goal in training, but thankfully it went in for us tonight.

"We spend a lot of time working on set-pieces and other things in training so when you see something like this come off it is fantastic.

"One or two things have to drop into place perfectly for something like this to work, but tonight it did, and you have to give a lot of credit to the lads."

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