Writer: Andrew Joyce
Date:Saturday November 24 2012
Stoke take the honours at the Britannia Stadium.
For the trip to the Britannia Stadium, Martin Jol was forced to shuffle his squad. With Brede Hangeland suspended, Phillipe Senderos partnered Aaron Hughes at the heart of the defence whilst Chris Baird returned after injury and there were places for Mladen Petric and Ashkan Dejagah with the trio replacing Alex Kacaniklic, Bryan Ruiz and the benched Damien Duff.
First Half - Fulham started well, in the heavy rain, when Karagounis hit a shot across goal, after some good work from Berbatov in the build-up, that Begovic watched scamper past him. Etherington then saw a back-pass fall short of Begovic, along the line, but nobody was on hand to tuck it home and Huth was able to hack clear.
Stoke came back into things but Huth, from an Etherington cross, headed wide when well placed. The bright start came to an abrupt end when Charlie Adam scored, with 26 minutes gone. The goal came about after Peter Crouch headed down a cross from Ryan Shotton to allow Adam the chance to score between the legs of Mark Schwarzer.
Another set-piece, this time a corner, saw Ryan Shawcross smack a header against the cross-bar, as Fulham struggled to get back on level terms. Trying to get back into the game, Berbatov dropped back into midfield in what was turning into a feisty encounter.
Half Time - Stoke City 1 Fulham 0
Second Half - Stoke started the half with some serious intent and when Schwarzer spilled a cross Whelan`s shot missed the target. Our hosts continued to have the better of the half when Schwarzer was forced into a fine save from a bullet header from our own Chris Baird after Etherington had delivered another great corner.
A rare excursion forward saw Begovic save from Berbatov after the Bulgarian had created some space of his own. With time running out, Fulham were doing their utmost to push forward but any enterprising work was being negated by no end product.
Rodallega was brought on in an attempt to get that equalizer but Stoke were to go the closest but a flag, raised by the assistant, came to our rescue when Kenwynne Jones netted.
With time running out Shawcross got a block in on a Rodallega shot but it wasn`t to be and the points belonged to Stoke City.
Date:Saturday November 24 2012
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