Pride the spur for persistent Potters

Stoke City 3 Southhampton 3
Pride propelled Stoke to a dramatic late comeback against Southampton on Saturday, according to striker Kenwyne Jones.

The Potters went into the game having conceded only four times at home in nine league games and on the back of victory over Liverpool, but shipped three in the first 36 minutes against the Saints.

Jones briefly brought the scores level at 1-1 with a neat backheel, his third goal in four games, but Stoke really showed their spirit in the second half.

Matthew Upson made it 3-2 in the 67th minute and, although Steven Nzonzi was sent off shortly afterward, the hosts kept pushing and got their reward in the 90th minute when Cameron Jerome crashed a brilliant 30-yard volley in off the bar.

“I think in the second half we needed to come out and show some pride, not just for ourselves, but for the fans. I think we were on a great run and we paid the price for a slow start,” said Jones.

“We haven’t been conceding that many all season and it was a shock to the system that we started like that. Everyone picked themselves up in the second half and we came out and saved the game.”

Stoke boss Tony Pulis was furious with Mark Clattenburg’s decision to send off Nzonzi for a challenge on Jack Cork. It was certainly an ill-advised tackle but the midfielder did not actually appear to make contact with his opponent, although Cork’s reaction told a different story.

Pulis criticised Cork after the match, and Jones said: “I believe he [Nzonzi] got sent off for the action because in no way did he touch the guy.

“In football nowadays, you can’t do stuff like that and he paid the price. I think it was a bit too much by the player to be rolling around like that when he didn’t get touched.”

The point made it 10 games unbeaten for eighth-placed Stoke, who have not lost at home in the Premier League since February 4.

The result dropped Southampton back into the bottom three, but midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin felt it was a positive point even if it could easily have been more.

“It was a crazy game. I think we are all a bit disappointed,” he said.

“When you look at the game we were 3-1 up, we could have scored the fourth one and we could have killed the game off.”

STOKE CITY (4-4-2): A Begovic 8; R Shotton 6, R Huth 5, M Upson 7, A Wilkinson 4 (D Whitehead 6, 70); M Kightly 7 (P Crouch 6, 75), G Whelan 7, S Nzonzi 5, M Etherington 5 (C Jerome 8, 57); J Walters 7, K Jones 8.

SOUTHAMPTON (4-2-3-1): K Davis 5; J Hooiveld 6, M Yoshida 8, J Fonte 4, L Shaw 6 (D Fox 6, 82); J Puncheon 8 (F Richardson 6, 85), M Schneiderlin 7; J Cork 8, J Rodriguez 7, G Do Prado 6; R Lambert 8.

Referee: Mark Clattenburg.


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