West Bromwich break mould but Morrison feels heat
Stoke City 1 West Bromwich Albion 2
The Britannia Stadium
Monday 23 January 2012
"Two-one to the football team," sang West Bromwich Albion's supporters in celebration of a belatedly secured but fully deserved victory. They have had to wait three decades to lord it in the Potteries, so no one could really blame them for crowing.
So complete and so extraordinary has been Albion's embarrassment in the fixture, home or away, that Stoke City perhaps thought they just had to turn up to win after kicking off 2012 with three excellent away results. It has, after all, seemed that way for them and their predecessors. The ending of 30 years of hurt got the better of James Morrison, the game's outstanding performer and not a man given to courting controversy. His gesture to home fans after opening the scoring was less than friendly and he was busy saying sorry after an afternoon when he also shook the woodwork twice.
"It was 'heat of the moment' and I didn't mean anything by it," he said. "We know all about our history here, so I was just delighted. When you score, it takes you over and, if anything is said, I apologise. I like to think I'm a nice guy on the pitch."
Neither Morrison nor the 90th-minute match-winner Graham Dorrans were anywhere near born when Albion last won at Stoke, Cyrille Regis scoring in a 3-0 victory at the Victoria Ground in 1982. But after leading his side to a draw here last season, Roy Hodgson is getting the hang of this very different challenge and was superbly served by the men he recalled, especially Jonas Olsson after injury, Dorrans following substitute duty and Marc-Antoine Fortuné from even further in the shadows.
The quality of Albion's football defied both the howling wind and their recent slide, with Dorrans' curling, low free-kick eventually seeing them home. You know there's something not quite right at the Britannia Stadium when they can't even get a rendition of "Delilah" going and, having seen Jonathan Walters' harshly awarded penalty beaten out by Ben Foster, Stoke could not hang on to the late lifeline manufactured by their substitutes Jermaine Pennant and goalscorer Cameron Jerome.
"We have to learn our lessons," Jerome admitted. "It happened to us against Wigan – we got back in the game, took the lead, then let a sloppy goal in. That concentration at the end seems to be costing us."
Stoke City: SORENSEN 4/10; WOODGATE 5; SHAWCROSS 6; HUTH 6; WILSON 6; WHELAN 5; DELAP 6; SHOTTON 6; WALTERS 6; CROUCH 5; ETHERINGTON 5
West Bromwich: FOSTER 7; SHOREY 6; OLSSON 8; McAULEY 8; TAMAS 6; THOMAS 7; MORRISON 9; MULUMBU 6; DORRANS 7; COX 6; FORTUNE 8
Scorers: Stoke Jerome 86. West Bromwich Morrison 35, Dorrans 90. Substitutes: Stoke Pennant 6 (Woodgate, 53), Jerome (Shotton, 79), Wilkinson (Delap, 88).West Bromwich Long (Fortune, 83), Tchoyi (Cox, 86), Dawson (Thomas, 90). Booked: Stoke None. West Bromwich None. Man of the match Morrison. Match rating 7/10. Possession: Stoke 51% West Bromwich 49%.
Attempts on target: Stoke 3 West Bromwich 6.
Referee A Taylor (Cheshire).
Latest in Sport
Arsenal transfer news: Gunners given boost in hunt for Marco Reus, why Wenger signed Gabriel Paulista, no move for Cheick Tiote
Chelsea injury news: Cesc Fabregas and Branislav Ivanovic could join Diego Costa on the sidelines for crucial Manchester City clash
Australian Open 2015: Thanks to Amelie Mauresmo, it's no longer Andy Murray against the world
Fantasy Premier League: Invest in Arsenal to climb the ranks in Gameweek 23
Manchester United sign former Manchester City prospect Sadiq El Fitouri on advice from Phil Neville and Paul Scholes
- 1 Venezuela Expo Tattoo 2015: Extreme body art from 'Vampire Woman' to 109mm earlobes
- 3 Ball pool for adults opens in London
- 4 Amal Clooney gives excellent response to fashion question at European Court of Human Rights
- 5 Canadian woman suing police who locked her in van with sex offender who then raped her
9 reasons Greece's experiment with the radical left is doomed to failure
Have we reached 'peak food'? Shortages loom as global production rates slow
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
Stephen Fry explains what he would say if he was 'confronted by God'
Liberal Democrat minister defends comments suggesting immigration causes pub closures