Adam earns Potters a point

Conor Wickham’s first minute goal wasn’t enough for Sunderland to earn three points as the Black Cats slipped into the bottom three.

The Potters kicked off but gave possession away cheaply. A quick throw in and combination between Billy Jones and Will Buckley saw the latter cross into the box.

It looked a comfortable cross for Asmir Begovic to claim. However the Bosnia international fumbled the ball and Wickham prodded home at the second attempt to give Dick Advocaat’s men a dream start.

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Stoke turned the screw and added an intensity into the game. Up until the interval it was one-way traffic.

However Jermain Defoe had a glorious opportunity after a long ball from Lee Cattermole saw a misjudgement from Philipp Wollscheid but the England striker fired wide into the side netting.

Mark Hughes must have been starting to get frustrated as Stoke dominated possession but just like last weekend the final ball was missing.

Up stepped Charlie Adam yet again; he was given the start in place of Glenn Whelan. The Scotland international had a few shots earlier only to be wide of the target.

His effort in the 27th minute certainly wasn’t! He grabbed the equaliser when rifling home a fierce strike into the top corner after a Marko Arnautovic lay-off.

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At half-time Advocaat took Will Buckley off and Danny Graham came on to add to the attacking threat. It was substitution that worked and turned the tide in the Black Cats favour as they searched for a winner.

The game opened up and both sides can count themselves as unfortunate not to win it.

Pantilimon produced one fine reaction save to deny Mame Diouf from scoring in his fourth consecutive home match before a world class diving save to stop Adam from getting his second.

At the other end Begovic blocked Jones’ effort before a last-ditch tackle from Ryan Shawcross denied what looked a certain goal for Wickham and stopped Sunderland taking all three points back to Wearside.

The second half also saw a welcome return for Peter Odemwingie, who had been out since August 24 with a cruciate knee ligament injury.

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Prior to the match there was a minute silence held in memory of the 56 fans that lost their lives at the Valley Parade fire in 1985; it was held across the country.

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Stoke: Begovic, Cameron (Bardsley), Shawcross, Wollscheid, Pieters, N’Zonzi, Ireland, Adam, Arnautovic, Walters (Odemwingie), Diouf (Crouch).

Sunderland: Pantilimon, Jones, O’Shea, Coates, Van Aanholt, Cattermole, Rodwell, Gomez, Buckley (Graham), Defoe, Wickham.

Referee: Martin Atkinson


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