Last-gasp Evans cuts Stoke down to size
03 January 2016, 08:21
West Bromwich - Jonny Evans struck a scrappy injury-time winner as West Bromwich
Albion ended Stoke City's run of good form with a 2-1 victory at The
Hawthorns on Saturday.
Stoke substitute Jon Walters looked to have rescued a point when he
cancelled out Stephane Sessegnon's opener, but Geoff Cameron's
83rd-minute dismissal handed West Brom the initiative and they prevailed
at the death.
Evans's goal, his first in the club's colours, gave manager Tony
Pulis victory over his former club and saw West Brom close to within two
points of Mark Hughes's Stoke, who remain 10th.
Stoke had won their two previous games, against Manchester United and
Everton, in stylish fashion, but they were once again undone by their
indiscipline against West Brom.
They had fallen 1-0 to Pulis's men at the Britannia Stadium in August
when both Ibrahim Afellay and Charlie Adam were sent off for the home
Pulis made two changes here, Craig Gardner and Rickie Lambert
replacing hamstring injury victims Jonas Olsson and Victor Anichebe, and
they made the early running through the unlikely figure of Evans.
The former Manchester United centre-back had a penalty claim turned
down after appearing to be pushed in the back by Cameron and then just
failed to get enough on a flick-on by Gareth McAuley.
Stoke, who were unchanged, came back into the game, with West Brom
goalkeeper Boaz Myhill forced to parry a left-foot shot from Glen
Johnson before fielding an under-hit effort by the out-of-sorts Marko
But the best opportunity of the first half fell to West Brom captain
Darren Fletcher, who shanked wastefully wide from 12 yards three minutes
There was a glimpse of Stoke's impressive recent form early in the
second period, but after a neat exchange between Johnson, Arnautovic and
Xherdan Shaqiri, the latter rolled a tame shot straight at Myhill.
Within minutes West Brom were ahead, Sessegnon firing high into the
net from James Morrison's pass after Fletcher had recovered possession
and surged upfield.
Stoke equalised in the 81st minute when Joselu crossed from the left
with the outside of his right foot for fellow substitute Walters to head
But four minutes later Cameron was sent off for shoving Claudio Yacob
to the ground after the ball had gone and Evans made West Brom's
numerical advantage count when he stabbed in following a late corner.