West Brom held by managerless Stoke

17 December 2023 0 By Total Football News

West Brom missed the chance to close in on the top four as managerless Stoke earned a 1-1 Sky Bet Championship draw at the Hawthorns.

Lynden Gooch gave Stoke a surprise lead after 12 minutes before the hosts' pressure paid and Brandon Thomas-Asante equalised in the 35th minute.

West Brom move up to fifth in the table with the point, but relegation-threatened Stoke will be the happier of the two sides.

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Brandon Thomas-Asante levels it for West Brom against Stoke at The Hawthorns with a sumptuous volley

Stoke remain without a win in eight league matches but move three points above the drop zone.

The hosts seemed in control of the match from the start and Grady Diangana created the first chance.

The winger advanced to the byline and crossed to the back post, finding Jeremy Sarmiento whose speculative effort flew high over the crossbar.

However, a cross from Gooch sailed over the head of goalkeeper Alex Palmer and into the back of the net, via the underside of the crossbar, to give the visitors an early lead.

Ryan Mmaee had a chance to double the lead just minutes later, but his shot deflected off Kyle Bartley and a foot wide of a post.

West Brom continued to dominate possession but were frustrated by the Potters' resolute defence.

Then, a moment of quality from Sarmineto required Jack Bonham to make an excellent fingertip save and it spurred the Baggies back into life.

Alex Mowatt's corner was headed over by Cedric Kipre, albeit under the close attention of a defender and goalkeeper.

Thomas-Asante found West Brom's equaliser after 35 minutes, striking a fine volley into the bottom corner of the net after Darnell Furlong did well to keep the ball in play.

Stoke City's Lynden Gooch (left) celebrates scoring their side's first goal of the game
Image: Lynden Gooch celebrates after giving Stoke the lead

Furlong pulled it back to Okay Yokuslu whose shot was blocked on the line, but the ball fell kindly to Thomas-Asante to level the scores.

Stoke continued to set up to frustrate after the break and the hosts were struggling to create any chances of note.

However, Jed Wallace's curling goalbound effort was diverted off target by the head of Michael Rose.

Rose also made a superb last-ditch tackle to deny Tom Fellows when the substitute was bearing down on goal and ready to shoot.

Josh Laurent came close twice to restoring Stoke's lead, firstly when his shot deflected off Kipre and narrowly wide before shooting a good chance over the crossbar.

Thomas-Asante had the chance to win it for West Brom late on, but Bonham reacted well to his effort.

The goalkeeper then pushed over Pipa's close-range shot to preserve a point for Stoke.

'We should have created more'

Carlos Corberan, the West Brom head coach, voiced his frustration afterwards.

"It was not the best game we have played at home, but we did more things than the opponent to win the game," Corberan said.

"I think we did not achieve the win because the keeper was doing his job and making very good saves.

West Brom's Brandon Thomas-Asante scores their equaliser
Image: Thomas-Asante equalises for West Brom

"What you need to do is to create more; there were possibilities we should have used more times to attack more.

"It was not difficult to progress on the sides, we did not progress with determination.

"For me we should have created more from every single winger that was playing on the pitch."

Caretaker manager Paul Gallagher reflected on Stoke securing a point on the road.

"We knew coming to West Brom would be a tough game, they're a very experienced team at this level with a really good manager who has them well organised and well coached," he said.

"I thought the game plan we put together to frustrate them worked, we could hear some jeers from around the stadium.

"We take the point and move on."

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