Stoke steal win thanks to late own goal




Newcastle 1 Stoke 2

James Perch’s own goal handed Stoke all three Barclays Premier League points at Newcastle as the visitors staged a concerted fightback.

Trailing to Kevin Nolan’s 43-minute penalty after a poor first-half display, City got themselves back on terms when Sunderland old boy Kenwyne Jones headed home from close range with 67 minute gone.

But there was worse to come for the Magpies when Perch headed Matthew Etherington’s 85th-minute corner into his own net under pressure from Robert Huth.

The visitors kicked off and threw the ball straight up to Kenwyne Jones, one of four former Black Cats in the starting line-up, but although he out-jumped full-back Jose Enrique, the Magpies were able to clear.

Ben Arfa was quickly into the game as he tried to get the home side moving forward, and he fired in a promising cross after collecting Joey Barton’s excellent pass inside full-back Andy Wilkinson, although Wayne Routledge miscontrolled.

The home fans were calling for the Frenchman to shoot every time he got the ball after his stunning strike at Goodison Park, and with Barton running the midfield battle, Newcastle were starting to dominate.

Stoke were looking to hit Jones early and Wilkinson’s 12th-minute long ball got him in behind Jose Enrique, although the Spaniard’s pace allowed him to recover and shepherd the ball out of play.

Robert Huth did just enough to prevent Andy Carroll connecting with Enrique’s cross two minutes later, and Sorensen claimed Barton’s free-kick above the striker seconds later.

Ben Arfa whipped a 19th-minute free-kick wide after Mike Williamson had been fouled by Salif Diao and Enrique blasted across the face of goal after being played in by Barton a minute later with the Magpies continuing to make the running.

The visitors mustered their first real effort with 25 minutes gone, but Steve Harper’s deputy Tim Krul was not called upon.

Dean Whitehead’s long ball over the top found Jones wide on the left, but although he cut inside and went for goal right-footed, he dragged his effort well wide.

The Trinidad and Tobago international needed treatment after a clash of heads with the battling Tiote, but he was able to continue.

Enrique got away with an audacious piece of defending on the half-hour when, having been penned in by Walters close to the corner flag, he slipped the ball between the striker’s legs to allow team-mate Fabricio Coloccini to clear.

Barton got a chance to go for goal 11 minutes before the break after Kevin Nolan had been fouled by Glenn Whelan 25 yards out, but he drilled his free-kick into the defensive wall.

Newcastle were handed another opportunity from similar range two minutes later after Huth was adjudged to have handled Ben Arfa’s pass, but this time the Frenchman was well off target.

But it took a vital interception by Ryan Shawcross to deny Carroll a free-header at goal after Routledge sent in a teasing 39th-minute cross.

However, Carroll was to play a significant role in the opening goal when he was barged to the ground by Huth as he ran on to Enrique’s cross two minutes later.

Referee Mike Jones pointed straight to the spot as the Germany international’s protests were waved away, and skipper Nolan calmly sent Sorensen the wrong way to open the scoring.

Pulis made his first change five minutes after the restart when he replaced midfielder Diao with striker Fuller in a bid to prove greater support to Jones.

Perch, back in the team after sitting out the trip to Chelsea for collecting five bookings in as many games, timed his tackle to perfection to prevent Matthew Etherington from getting in a 51st-minute cross.

Enrique had to be just as resilient to cut out Walters’ driven cross two minutes later, and Stoke went close from the resulting corner.

Etherington picked out Shawcross at the far post and the defender climbed well, but headed wide of the post.

Pulis opted for another change two minutes later when he replaced Whelan with long-throw specialist Rory Delap.

But it was Jones who came close to levelling with 59 minutes gone after the home side failed to deal with an Etherington cross.

Walters got above Enrique to turn the ball back across goal, where Jones headed against the foot of the post with Krul beaten.

Fuller pounced on the rebound and seemed certain to score, but stabbed his shot wide of the gaping net.

Jones was left bemoaning his luck once again five minutes later when he met Dean Whitehead’s free-kick with a powerful header, but saw the ball come back off the crossbar.

Fuller’s afternoon came to a premature conclusion with 23 minutes remaining when he had to be helped from the pitch after falling awkwardly under Enrique’s challenge, and his side were back in it from the resulting free-kick.

Huth headed Etherington’s cross back across goal for the unmarked Jones to nod home his fourth goal in as many games.

Newcastle’s response was swift and Sorensen had to grab Carroll’s 70th-minute volley at the second attempt with Nolan closing fast.

Perch tested Sorensen with a well-struck 77th-minute shot from distance, but his afternoon was to take a turn for the worse with five minutes to go.

The full-back got his head to Etherington’s corner ahead of Huth, but could only power the ball past Krul and into his own net as a point slipped from his side’s grasp.

Nolan might have snatched a draw at the death, but his shot from substitute Jonas Gutierrez’s cross flew agonisingly wide.

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