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Live Commentary: Stoke City 1-0 Hull City - as it happened

Sports Mole brings you live text commentary of the Premier League match between Stoke City and Hull City at the Britannia Stadium.
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Peter Crouch came off the bench to earn Stoke City a 1-0 win over Hull City at the Britannia Stadium this afternoon.

The first half was a largely forgettable affair, with both sides struggling to create chances.

After the break, Stoke took control and Charlie Adam came close with two stinging efforts that went just wide.

In the 71st minute the hosts managed to break the deadlock, as Crouch was picked out at the back post by Adam, before guiding a header into the far corner.

Find out how the action unfolded below.


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Good afternoon everyone! We've got another packed weekend of Premier League action, with some important games taking place across the country. Here, our focus will be on the events at the Britannia Stadium, where Stoke City take on a revitalised Hull City.

Stoke have had a decent season so far and they sit right in the middle of the table, but a poor start to the month with an exit from the FA Cup against Blackburn was a real blow. They bounced back from that defeat with a late win over Aston Villa last weekend and will be further hoping to cement their place in the top half with another three points today.

Things haven't quite gone so well for Hull and just a few weeks ago they looked doomed. However, successive home wins against Aston Villa and QPR have lifted them up to 15th and four points clear of the bottom three. It has provided a huge lift and Steve Bruce will be desperate for his side to keep up that momentum.



I think it's about time we checked out the team news from the Britannia, which was revealed just a few moments ago.

STOKE XI: Begovic, Bardsley, Wollscheid, Wilson, Pieters, Nzonzi, Whelan, Walters, Ireland, Moses, Diouf

HULL XI: McGregor, Dawson, Bruce, McShane, Elmohamady, Livermore, Huddlestone, Meyler, Figueroa, Ramirez, Aluko

STOKE SUBS: Butland, Arnautovic, Adam, Cameron, Sidwell, Teixeira, Crouch

HULL SUBS: Davies, Hernandez, Sagbo, Harper, Robertson, N'Doye, Quinn

That's how our starting lineups are looking this afternoon. Let's begin with the hosts, who have named an unchanged side following last weeks win against Aston Villa. They are still without captain Ryan Shawcross, but Geoff Cameron is back after serving a ban.

Meanwhile, Hull have decided to make three changes from the team that beat QPR last time out. Maynor Figueroa, Sone Aluko & Gaston Ramirez are the players that come into the side, but there is no place in the squad for Nikica Jelavic and Robbie Brady, who are both ruled out through injury.

It had been a pretty miserable February for Stoke up until last weekend. They had suffered consecutive 4-1 defeats against Blackburn and Manchester City and a third loss in a row seemed likely when Scott Sinclair headed Aston Villa into a 1-0 lead.

However, they hit back just before the break through Mame Biram Diouf's header and in stoppage-time Victor Moses won and converted a penalty to seal the three points. They were far from their best all afternoon, but it was important to get back to winning ways and not let their season drift away from them.

At this stage of the season only an absolute disaster would see Stoke get relegated and a victory today would leave them needing just one point to reach the safety mark of 40 points. Mark Hughes must get been given credit for what he has done, as there are plenty of clubs who have spent bigger and achieved far less.



This is the first in a decent looking run of games for the Potters. They will host a struggling Everton side on Wednesday, before taking on West Brom and Crystal Palace before the international break. It seems unlikely that they will do enough to end up in the European spots, but finishing a couple of places higher than they are now would mean a huge increase in prize funds.

Let's move on to the visitors now and relegation looked almost certain at the beginning of the month for Hull. They had lost three successive games in the league, with a 3-0 loss at home to Newcastle coming as a major blow.

The Tigers reacted well to that hammering and in their next match they were moments away from beating Manchester City, before a James Milner free kick in stoppage time meant they had to settle for a point. That was followed three days later with a home win against Aston Villa and they kept the run going with hard-fought 2-1 victory against QPR.

Those wins have lifted them up to 15th in the table and they came against two teams that are also involved in the relegation battle. Steve Bruce will know that there is a long way for his team to go and in the next fortnight they face further six-pointers against Sunderland and Leicester City.

You get the feeling that Hull really need to win those upcoming games, as their run in looks daunting. They are up against most of the big guns, with trips to Arsenal and Southampton to come and home games against Liverpool and Chelsea. They won't want to go into the final couple of games needing points, as they travel to Tottenham in their penultimate match, before welcoming Champions League chasing Manchester United on the final day of the season.

It certainly wasn't a classic when these teams met in the second game of the season. James Chester was sent off early on for Hull, but they took the lead just before half time thanks to a goal from Nikica Jelavic. The Tigers looked to have dealt with the constant pressure of their opponents until Ryan Shawcross bundled in a late equaliser to ensure that it finished all square.

PREDICTION: This is a really interesting match-up between two teams that look to have returned to form after tricky spells. They will both have regained a lot of confidence following victories last weekend and that should be reflected on the pitch today. I am expecting a very tight match and we probably won't see many goals, so I am going to tip this one to finish in a 1-1 draw.

With just minutes to go until kick off, make sure you check out our video preview of today's clash.


Both teams have made their way out onto the pitch and we are now just moments away from the start of the match. Remember that you can keep up to date with every Premier League match this weekend right here with us.

KICKOFF! We are underway at the Britannia Stadium!

It's been a scrappy start to the match, with a lot of passes going astray from each team. The hosts have had a slight chance though, with Ireland seeing his shot from just inside the box well blocked.

In the past couple of minutes Hull have started to dominate the possession and they are knocking it around well between their midfielders. We still haven't had any clear cut chances, with neither keeper forced into action.

This game is yet to really spark into life and N'Zonzi ends up dragging a poor shot well wide after finding plenty of room outside the box. Meanwhile, the visitors have a problem, as Elmohamady is heading off to receive some treatment on the sidelines.

Stoke are just starting to turn the screw and they have a couple of dangerous moments in their opponents half when Diouf whips in a teasing corner, before Moses bursts into the box and only a latch-ditch challenge from Dawson stops him.

It really is tight at the moment and the majority of the game is being played in the centre of the pitch. Whenever either side does manage to get into decent shooting positions, their final ball has badly let them down.

CHANCE! This is the first really big chance of the match. Aluko does brilliantly down the left to get to the byline and he shows great skill to go past Wollscheid. He is then faced with just Begovic to beat, but the angle is tight and he can only poke his effort across goal and wide of the far post.

At the midway point in this first half, there has been very little to get excited about. There have been so many misplaced passes and poor crosses that it would be no surprise to see the match finishing goalless.

Ireland has got away with one here. He goes in with a poor challenge over the top of Meyler, that catches the Hull player right on the ankle. Referee Neil Swarbrick is quickly on the scene, but he decides against showing a card when he could easily have pulled out a red.

YELLOW CARD! Pieters is handed the first booking of the match for bringing down Ramirez.

CHANCE! Stoke come close to breaking the deadlock when Walters flicks on Diouf's dangerous corner, but his header is blocked on the line at the back post.

The hosts cause another real moment of panic in the box from a further corner. The ball bounced around the area and fell to Bardsley inside the six-yeard box, but as he looked to pull the trigger, he seemed to be taken out by Aluko. It was tough to see due to the number of bodies surrounding the ball and it would have been very difficult for the referee to give a spot kick.

Stoke are very much on top and a goal from a set piece is looking likely at the moment. Aside from their last two corners, they haven't troubled the Hull defence too often, but the momentum is certainly building.

A lot of the credit must be given to the Hull defence, who have been very solid in this first half. They also have McShane to thank here for getting in front of N'Zonzi as he looked to power in a header from a free kick.

YELLOW CARD! Moses is the second Stoke player to go into the referee's notebook this afternoon.

We are going to have three minutes added on at the end of this first half.

HALF-TIME: Stoke City 0-0 Hull City

Well, that has to be one of the most uninspiring halfs of football I have ever seen. It is goalless between Stoke and Hull and there really has been nothing to get excited about, with the fans booing as the players left the pitch.



Here's how the stats are looking after the first 45 minutes. Stoke have seen slightly more of the ball, with 53% of the possession. They have also had nine shots on goal compared to one from Hull, but only one of those managed to find the target.

Chances have been few and far between today, but each side has created one presentable opening. Aluko poked the ball wide of the post after a great run, while down the other end Walters saw an effort cleared off the line.

Right, the players are back out on the pitch and we will be getting back underway in just a few moments.

Hull take the kick off and get the second half started!

SUBSTITUTION: Stoke have made a change at the start of the half, with Adam coming on for the injured Ireland.

There's been no real change in the pattern of play since the break, with the game still in desperate need of some inspiration. It may not be too long until we see a change or two, with the likes of Crouch and Hernandez on the bench.

YELLOW CARD! Meyler brings down Bardsley and picks up a booking, as well as giving away a free kick in a promising position for Stoke.

The resulting free kick is taken by Adams and his inswinging delivery is punched away to safety by McGregor.

SHOT! Adam threatens again when he picks up the ball in space around 30 yards out from goal and is not closed down quickly enough. He then looks to drive a low strike into the far corner, but it whistles inches wide of the post.

Stoke are very much on the front foot and they come close again when a cross from the right runs all the way through to Pieters. The full back tries to pick out the top corner with his effort, but he just gets too much on the ball and it heads well over.

SUBSTITUTION: Hull are going to make their first change of the match, with N'Doye coming on for Aluko.

CHANCE! Adam has been a real breath of fresh air for the hosts since the break and he takes command of a free kick just outside the box. The midfielder looks to bend a strike across the keeper and into the corner, but it ends up inches wide of the target. If there is to be a goal today, then you suspect he will be the man behind it.

SUBSTITUTION: It's another change for the visitors, as Meyler heads off and Quinn comes on to replace him.

Begovic has a nervy moment in goal when he comes out to claim a cross from Quinn, but ends up dropping the ball. Fortunately for Stoke, he reacts quickly and manages to claim the ball at the second attempt before any Hull players could take advantage.

The hosts have really stepped it up since the break and they are moving the ball quicker and looking far threatening going forward. Moses has also produced a couple of decent runs down the left, but so far the Hull backline are hanging on.

SHOT! Adam has another chance on goal, but this time the Scot is off balance as he latches onto the ball on the edge of the box and hammers over.

SUBSTITUTION: Stoke have made their second change of the match, with Crouch coming on for Diouf.

GOAL! Stoke City 1-0 Hull City (Peter Crouch)

What an impact from the substitute! Crouch has barely been on the pitch for a minute and he finds the net. It is a classic headed goal from the England striker, as he is picked out at the back post by a fine cross from Adam, before guiding the ball over McGregor and into the far corner.

As you can see that was a record-equalling goal for Crouch and it could be enough to secure the three points for his side today.



Crouch will understandably get the headlines if his goal turns out to be the winner, but it was such a great ball to find him from Adam, who has been brilliant since half time. Praise should also go to Hughes, who made the two vital substitutions.

YELLOW CARD! Dawson is the latest player to be shown a card for a foul on Moses.

SUBSTITUTION: Hull desperately need a goal now and they are bringing on Hernandez to play up front, with Figueroa making way.

It's hard to see a way back into the game for Hull, as they are showing no signs of offering an attacking threat. They have still managed just one attempt on goal, which came from Aluko in the opening 20 minutes.

Hernandez makes his first impact since coming off the bench by winning the ball on the halfway line and charging down the left. He gets to the byline and pulls the ball back across the box, but none of his teammates are there and Stoke are able to clear the danger.

The late surge has yet to really arrive for Hull and Stoke look as if they will hang on to claim the points. They are trying to waste away the time by lumping long balls into the box, with Crouch winning nearly everything that has come his way.

We are going to have five minutes of stoppage time. That should come as a huge boost for the visitors.

It's Hull's turn to lump it forward, but the Stoke defence are holding firm. The visitors also win a couple of corners, but Begovic manages to punch one clear, before the second from Huddelestone is easily defended.

FULL-TIME: Stoke City 1-0 Hull City

It's all over at the Britannia and Stoke have held on to earn the points. A trademark header from Peter Crouch was enough to settle the contest and it has moved the Potters level on 39 points with West Ham.

That may be it for our live coverage today, but stick around, as we have got analysis and player ratings still to come. I hope you enjoy the rest of your weekend. Until next time, goodbye!

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Dame N'Doye of Hull City (28) as he scores their second goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Hull City and Queens Park Rangers at KC Stadium on February 21, 2015
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Preview: Stoke vs. Hull
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Todays Game Header Right
Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Norwich CityNorwich41279565283790
2Watford412410759273282
3Swansea CitySwansea412291050311975
4Brentford402013771403173
5Bournemouth4120111066402671
6Barnsley412181254441071
7Reading411991356451166
8Cardiff CityCardiff4116111457451259
9Millwall411416114140158
10Middlesbrough41169164845357
11Queens Park RangersQPR411511154850-256
12Stoke CityStoke411413144546-155
13Luton TownLuton40158173546-1153
14Bristol City41155214055-1550
15Nottingham ForestNott'm Forest411213163439-549
16Preston North EndPreston41146214155-1448
17Blackburn RoversBlackburn411211185247547
18Birmingham CityBirmingham411112183150-1945
19Huddersfield TownHuddersfield411111194362-1944
20Derby CountyDerby411110203046-1643
21Coventry CityCoventry401012183656-2042
22Rotherham UnitedRotherham38116214152-1139
23Sheffield WednesdaySheff Weds41118223454-2035
24Wycombe WanderersWycombe4189243064-3433

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