Stoke City 1 Ipswich Town 0: Lawrence converts detractors to big idea

Having spent much of the campaign fending off criticism from opposition managers, who have a habit of staring down at the desk in the press room at the Britannia Stadium and shaking their heads after their teams have been asked to defend set pieces and long balls, the Stoke midfielder Liam Lawrence thinks that teams in the Championship have a new-found respect for the division's leaders.

Certainly a defender told, "You mark the big lad," will be sent into a state of confusion against Stoke, but Lawrence's impressive strike from 25 yards, which earned a fifth straight victory for Tony Pulis's team, shows there is more to this side than Rory Delap's ability to take really long throws.

It will be a tag they will struggle to shift but Lawrence, 26, feels the tide of opinion is turning. "We were surprising people up until about six or seven games ago," he said. "People were moaning about how we play and they've taken a step back and decided we're not that bad.

"I think we've turned a few people's minds around. People were saying we're only a big side who go route one and long ball but, as you can see, we score from all over. Being compared to Wimbledon of old has put us in that category, but I don't think anyone here will be moaning if we go up doing that."

Pulis warned, however, "If we treat the last 12 games any differently than we have the first 34, we will end up with our pants pulled down and have our backsides slapped. The players are working exceptionally hard and we have got to keep that up until the last ball is kicked."

Ipswich have promotion ambitions of their own and Alan Lee should have opened the scoring for the visitors, but he shot wide from close range after neat work from Jon Walters in the early stages. The Suffolk side were resolute but Lawrence seized on Dan Harding's weak clearance to drive into the corner of the net for his 13th goal of the season, just before half-time.

The Ipswich manager, Jim Magilton, was sent to the stands following a disagreement with the referee, Michael Jones, over the multi-ball system, which leaves the number of balls around the pitch at the home team's discretion.

Stoke were clinging on, but Ipswich had only a fierce drive from Velice Sumulikoski, which was tipped away by Steve Simonsen, to show for their efforts. Pulis admits he will look into the way multiple balls are administered at the Britannia Stadium. "We've got little kids doing it and some of them do sit on the ball, rather than throw it back," he explained.

However, the Ipswich midfielder Tommy Miller feels the system should be abolished. "The system sometimes works for the home teams but not the away teams," he said. "I think it should be standard or not done at all."

Goal: Lawrence (42) 1-0.

Stoke City (4-4-2): Simonsen; Griffin, Shawcross, Cort, Dickinson; Lawrence, Delap, Whelan, Cresswell; Sidibe (Diao, 82), Fuller. Substitutes not used: Wilkinson, Parkin, Gallagher, Fulop (gk).

Ipswich Town (4-4-2): Bywater; Bruce, Naylor, De Vos, Harding; Norris (Garvan, 76), Sumulikoski, Miller, Quinn (Haynes, 46); Walters, Lee (Counago, 72). Substitutes not used: Colgan (gk), Wright.

Referee: M Jones (Cheshire).

Booked: Stoke City Lawrence, Delap.

Man of the match: Lawrence.

Attendance: 23,563.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
tech

Board creates magnetic field to achieve lift

News
There have been various incidents of social media users inadvertently flouting the law
news

Life and Style
Stack ‘em high?: quantity doesn’t always trump quality, as Friends of the Earth can testify
techThe proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
News
Bourgogne wine maker Laboure-Roi vice president Thibault Garin (L) offers the company's 2013 Beaujolais Nouveau wine to the guest in the wine spa at the Hakone Yunessun spa resort facilities in Hakone town, Kanagawa prefecture, some 100-kilometre west of Tokyo
i100
Sport
CSKA Moscow celebrate after equalising with a late penalty
footballCSKA Moscow 2 Manchester City 2: Premier League champions let two goal lead slip in Russia
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals

'You need me, I don’t need you'

Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals
How to Get Away with Murder: Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama

How to Get Away with Murder

Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama
A cup of tea is every worker's right

Hard to swallow

Three hospitals in Leicester have banned their staff from drinking tea and coffee in public areas. Christopher Hirst explains why he thinks that a cuppa is every worker's right
Which animals are nearly extinct?

Which animals are nearly extinct?

Conservationists in Kenya are in mourning after the death of a white northern rhino, which has left the species with a single male. These are the other species on the brink
12 best children's shoes

Perfect for leaf-kicking: 12 best children's shoes

Find footwear perfect to keep kids' feet protected this autumn
Anderlecht vs Arsenal: Gunners' ray of light Aaron Ramsey shines again

Arsenal’s ray of light ready to shine again

Aaron Ramsey’s injury record has prompted a club investigation. For now, the midfielder is just happy to be fit to face Anderlecht in the Champions League
Comment: David Moyes' show of sensitivity thrown back in his face by former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson

Moyes’ show of sensitivity thrown back in his face... by Ferguson

Manchester United legend tramples on successor who resisted criticising his inheritance
Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Ranked seventh in world’s best tourist cities - not London, or Edinburgh, but Salisbury

Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2015

UK city beats Vienna, Paris and New York to be ranked seventh in world’s best tourist destinations - but it's not London