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

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Kanye West, performing in New York last week, has been the subject of controversy as rock's traditional headline slot at Glastonbury is lost once again
music
Arts and Entertainment
The Ridiculous Six has been produced by Adam Sandler, who also stars in it
filmNew controversy after nine Native American actors walked off set
Life and Style
Google celebrates Bartolomeo Cristofori's 360th birthday
techGoogle Doodle to the rescue
Life and Style
Drinking - often heavily - is a running theme throughout HBO's Game of Thrones adaptation
food + drink
News
people
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
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

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living