Stoke bag a point as keepers thwart poachers

Blackburn Rovers 0 Stoke City 0

In some respects, Stoke City are becoming victims of their own success. Picking up points is no longer enough for some of their supporters, they want opponents to be out-played as well as out-fought, so there was a certain irony in the fact that on a day when Stoke's manager, Tony Pulis, gave a start to Liam Lawrence, probably the most creative player at the club, the game should have finished goalless.

In fairness to both teams, however, it was not for lack of ambition that it did so. Both created four or five good chances, but two in-form goalkeepers, bad luck and poor finishing combined to produce a scoreline that will probably have those who were not present nodding cynically.

The first chance came early, when Franco Di Santo beat the offside trap but not the City goalkeeper, Thomas Sorensen. Dean Whitehead, played through by Ricardo Fuller at the other end, brought an even better save from the excellent Paul Robinson, and Lawrence, having already warmed Robinson's hands with a long-range effort, combined with Fuller to create the space for a close-range volley, which the goalkeeper blocked instinctively.

Stoke continued to look the more likely of the sides to break the deadlock after theinterval, Andy Wilkinson, played clear by Matthew Etherington's lay-off, slicing wide from an angle. But Rovers too continued to create, and Sorensen was required to push a Ryan Nelsen bicycle kick past the post before seeing Steven Nzonzi drive a shot against the outside of his left-hand post.

Neither side was prepared to settle for a point. Whitehead diverted Fuller's pass away from Etherington just as the winger seemed certain to turn the ball past Robinson, and James Beattie, on for Mamady Sidibe, scooped over from close range before the Rovers defender Chris Samba headed just wide at an injury-time corner.

"Our away performances have been better this season, we've learned a lot since last year when at times we were pretty dreadful," Pulis said. "At the same time, people mustn't get greedy, they forget we were out of the top division for 24 years and have to build step by step. To have 20 points after 14 games is first class for us."

Blackburn's assistant, Neil McDonald, deputising for manager Sam Allardyce, agreed the result had been a fair one. He confirmed that he had spoken to Allardyce earlier in the day, and that his boss expected to be discharged from hospital late yesterday after a successful angioplasty.

Attendance: 25,143

Referee: Howard Webb

Man of the match: Fuller

Match rating: 6/10

News
people'It can last and it's terrifying'
Sport
Danny Welbeck's Manchester United future is in doubt
footballGunners confirm signing from Manchester United
Sport
footballStriker has moved on loan for the remainder of the season
Sport
footballFeaturing Bart Simpson
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
New Articles
Olivia Colman topped the list of the 30 most influential females in broadcasting
tv
News
Kelly Brook
peopleA spokesperson said the support group was 'extremely disappointed'
News
The five geckos were launched into space to find out about the effects of weightlessness on the creatures’ sex lives
i100
Life and Style
techIf those brochure kitchens look a little too perfect to be true, well, that’s probably because they are
Sport
Andy Murray celebrates a shot while playing Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
TennisWin sets up blockbuster US Open quarter-final against Djokovic
Arts and Entertainment
Hare’s a riddle: Kit Williams with the treasure linked to Masquerade
booksRiddling trilogy could net you $3m
Arts and Entertainment
Alex Kapranos of Franz Ferdinand performs live
music Pro-independence show to take place four days before vote
News
news Video - hailed as 'most original' since Benedict Cumberbatch's
News
i100
Life and Style
The longer David Sedaris had his Fitbit, the further afield his walks took him through the West Sussex countryside
lifeDavid Sedaris: What I learnt from my fitness tracker about the world
Arts and Entertainment
Word master: Self holds up a copy of his novel ‘Umbrella’
booksUnlike 'talented mediocrity' George Orwell, you must approach this writer dictionary in hand
News
i100
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.

Day In a Page

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes': US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food served at diplomatic dinners

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes'

US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food
Radio Times female powerlist: A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

Inside the Radio Times female powerlist
Endgame: James Frey's literary treasure hunt

James Frey's literary treasure hunt

Riddling trilogy could net you $3m
Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

What David Sedaris learnt about the world from his fitness tracker
Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Second-holiest site in Islam attracts millions of pilgrims each year
Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
Al Pacino wows Venice

Al Pacino wows Venice

Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

Neil Lawson Baker interview

‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering