Stoke City: Fans have their say on Stoke's Premier League victory at West Brom
WITH Peter Crouch ruled out through injury and Michael Owen still not fit enough to feature, the stage was set for Wednesday's super subs Kenwyne Jones and Cameron Jerome to stake further claim to a starting berth.
Jerome, however, pulled up during the warm-up, leaving Jones as the only recognised striker in our match-day squad.
I was left wondering how we'd manage to score and severely doubting whether our incredible record at the Hawthorns could possibly continue.
As it happened, I needn't have worried. A much-changed Baggies side rarely troubled our defence and, but for one fine diving save, Begovic was seldom called into serious action.
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With the game locked at 0-0, the gaffer sent Dean Whitehead on. Presumably, his remit was to shore up midfield and ensure we didn't lose the game.
I sincerely doubt he was given instructions to go and win the match, but that was what he did.
An instinctive finish from fellow substitute Michael Kightly's cross after good harrying in the corner by Jones provided an unlikely goal-scoring hero.
Three wins in a week and 13 points from 15 has seen us rise steadily to ninth place in the table. I would happily settle for that come May.
JAMES KING, Trentham
AFTER last season's hiccup against the Baggies at the Brit, "normal service" was resumed at the Hawthorns. It was a compliment to the mighty Potters that Baggies manager Steve Clarke was worried enough to change six of his players from last week, but revamped or not West Brom looked apprehensive and very tentative at kick-off.
So did their fans, who were so quiet we forgot they were at the game.
Our results are getting better, but the referees remain the same.
West Brom's constant fouling went unpunished by Kevin Friend, but our first foul of the game was awarded a yellow card, and so was the second and third. Some things never change.
Our support was fantastic, and Christmas party time came early at the Hawthorns, but who can blame us?
We are on an unbeaten run, we top the form charts and had just won our first away game of the season. But then again, we always beat West Brom.
SUE BRYAN, Meir Park
IN a game where Stoke had a lot of possession, neither they nor the Baggies seemed to have much pace up front.
For us, that commodity usually comes from Cameron Jerome, but unfortunately he injured himself in the warm-up.
A goalless draw looked on the cards.
The hordes of travelling Stokies need not have worried, however, as Tony Pulis's substitutions paid off again and Dean Whitehead scored what proved to be the winning goal with 15 minutes to go.
Then, as the Baggies fans headed for the exits, song We always beat West Brom rang out across the Hawthorns.
Now bring on the Villa!
DAVE HARRISON, Eaton Park