Shawcross and Pulis rage at 'foul' that robbed Stoke

Manager and defender furious that official's blunder let Manchester City off hook
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The Independent Football

Stoke City defender Ryan Shawcross was puzzled after being denied a late winner against Manchester City on Tuesday night.

Shawcross thought he had snatched a 2-1 win when he headed home in injury time at the end of a stormy Premier League encounter at the Britannia Stadium. Referee Alan Wiley, however, saw differently and disallowed the goal for an apparent push on City goalkeeper Shay Given.

It was a decision that left manager Tony Pulis fuming and Shawcross himself claimed contact was minimal.

Shawcross said: "I've got a good leap and I timed it well. I got above the keeper and just nodded it into the goal and thought I had scored. The ref thought I had fouled the keeper, but I didn't think so – and having seen it since, I still don't think I did.

"I asked the referee about it at the end and he said, 'You can't challenge the keeper in the six-yard box'.

"That is a bit silly, because if I am jumping higher than him then I am not going to challenge him." Despite the disappointment, the result was still good enough to earn Stoke a point and lifted them a place in the table to 11th.

Stoke dominated the first half but were forced to play most of the second with 10 men after Abdoulaye Faye was sent off for pulling down Emmanuel Adebayor.

Glenn Whelan took advantage of poor defending to fire the Potters ahead with a fine strike on 72 minutes but City rallied and pulled level through England midfielder Gareth Barry five minutes from time.

Shawcross added: "We are disappointed not to get three points, but a point against a team who are challengers for the top four is very good. You usually find that when a team goes down to 10 men then they are quite resilient and I thought we were as everyone pulled together."

A late winner would have helped Shawcross forget the mistake that led to Manchester City's opener when the sides drew 1-1 at Eastlands in the FA Cup last weekend. Shawcross slipped and the ball rebounded off him for Shaun Wright-Phillips to score.

He said: "It was a massive mistake, and the lads have taken the mickey a lot, but I was happy with my performance here. You have to look at the positives, and I think we have to be proud of our performance, especially when we went down to 10 men."

The other main talking point from the match concerned an incident where Patrick Vieira appeared to kick Whelan between the legs.

Pulis called for the Football Association to take retrospective action against the Blues' French midfielder after studying replays.

Whelan, however, was at least able to laugh off the incident. He said: "Maybe if I was a bit bigger, then maybe it would have hurt more!

"Obviously he's been one of the top players of all time in the Premier League. It was great to have a battle with him and I think I did OK."

Micah Richards admitted his relief that the "goal" didn't stand. "When they get a throw in the 95th minute and the crowd are behind them you're just thinking, 'Oh no'," he said. "Then the goal is scored but fortunately it was a foul so we were delighted."