A first-half goal from Brown Ideye was enough for West Bromwich Albion to secure a 1-0 win over Stoke City at the Hawthorns in the Premier League on Saturday.
Saido Berahino almost gave Tony Pulis’s side the perfect start against his former club as the striker picked the ball up in midfield before running towards the goal and blasting a low strike, which forced a stop from Asmir Begovic.
Berahino continued to stretch the visitors in the opening 15 minutes, but the keeper kept it out again after he carved out some space and rifled the ball towards the Stoke target. It was Berahino’s strike partner, Brown Ideye, who broke the deadlock though when Craig Gardner sprinted forward before crossing it in for the forward to score his fourth in as many home matches.
The Baggies thought they had doubled their lead before the interval when Ideye tapped in after Begovic had spilled the ball, but the goal-scorer was offside when the initial ball was played forward. The visitors made a bright start to the second half as Phil Bardsley had a chance to fire in an equaliser after Joleon Lescott failed to clear from a Peter Crouch cross, but the defender smashed it high.
Boaz Myhill had to make a stop at full stretch to keep West Brom ahead, tipping a looping header from Jonathan Walter just high, before punching the resulting corner clear. The hosts tried to halt Stoke’s dominant spell with a counter-attacking move, but Begovic was ready to tip Ideye’s finish around the post.
West Brom wanted a penalty a few minutes later when Geoff Cameron appeared to bring down Craig Dawson, but the referee was not interested. Stoke continued to push for the equaliser though, and came close again in the final 10 minutes when Bardsley found the head of Crouch with a cross, but the tall striker could not nod it past Myhill.
The victory leaves West Brom 13th in the table and 11 points clear of the relegation zone, while Stoke stay eighth.