Stoke 0 West Brom 0 - match report

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Albion claimed a hard-fought draw from a dreadful game at the Britannia Stadium to move another step closer to their 50-point target.

Neither goalkeeper was fully extended as the Baggies struggled to impose their passing style in the face of the Potters' physical approach.

Stoke's Kenwyne Jones fired the best chance of the game at Baggies keeper Ben Foster in stoppage time but it was a game to forget, with the Baggies moving to 44 points with eight games remaining.

Stoke made the stronger start and had a chance when Cameron Jerome headed over from a cross by Matthew Etherington.

But the Baggies had a clearer opening when a neat passing move ended with James Morrison threading a past to Chris Brunt on the edge of the Potters' box.

The Albion captain hit a powerful shot that was gathered at the second attempt by home keeper Asmir Begovic.

Peter Crouch headed over the bar from an inswinging corner by Glenn Whelan.

But the first half was a desperate spectacle and the closest the Baggies came to another breakthrough was when James Morrison chased a Romelu Lukaku knock-down, only for his touch to let him down.

Lukaku had a chance early in the second half from a cross by Jerome Thomas, but he nodded straight at Begovic.


And at the other end Crouch headed over from an Etherington centre.

On 54 minutes Albion's best move of the game so far almost brought a chance for Lukaku as Thomas played a neat pass into the path of the overlapping Liam Ridgewell.

Ridgewell's inviting cross just evaded Lukaku and was headed away by Marc Wilson.

And Albion went even closer when a Brunt free-kick broke off the Potters' wall to the feet of Billy Jones, who fired a cross into the box.


The ball appeared to loop behind off Lukaku, although referee Mike Dean awarded a corner.

Another good spell of Albion possession raised hopes of a goal, but it ended with Brunt dragging a shot well wide.

But, as a deluge of rain made conditions tricky, the game never caught fire with Jones failing to connect well enough with his late chance that flew straight at Foster.

By Steve Madeley

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