West Brom 2-1 Stoke: Jonny Evans hits stoppage-time winner
By Sam Drury
Last Updated: 02/01/16 5:35pm
Jonny Evans scored a stoppage-time winner for West Brom as they overcame 10-man Stoke at The Hawthorns.
The centre-back was on hand to tap in from a couple of yards out following a scramble in the Stoke box, after Jon Walters looked to have earned his side a point inside the final 10 minutes.
Stephane Sessegnon had put Albion ahead on the hour mark, while Stoke were reduced to 10 men just two minutes after drawing level, with Geoff Cameron given his marching orders for raising his hands to Claudio Yacob.
The game started brightly, with West Brom getting into Stoke territory and Chris Brunt whipping in a cross that just eluded Rickie Lambert in the opening minute.
At the other end, Cameron fired in a powerful goal-bound effort that needed blocking after Albion failed to clear a Stoke corner.
Set pieces looked like West Brom's likeliest way to goal and, from one of a number of decent Brunt deliveries, Evans got himself free, only to find himself underneath the ball and unable to direct his header on target.
The same two players were involved as West Brom created the first clear opening of the match. Brunt's corner was flicked on for Evans, but the defender could only poke it wide on the stretch from close range.
Stoke were beginning to gain the upper hand, though, and Glen Johnson forced Boaz Myhill into action with a well-struck shot from the edge of the box, having cut in from the right.
The visitors nearly broke the deadlock just before the half hour as Xherdan Shaqiri cut in from the right to pick out the diagonal run of Marko Arnautovic from the left, only for the latter to scuff his shot.
The best chance of the half, though, fell to West Brom. Another free-kick from Brunt was only half-cleared, allowing Sessegnon the space to take a touch and roll the ball back across the box. It came to Darren Fletcher 12 yards out, but, under little pressure, the former Manchester United midfielder fired over.
Stoke started the second half the better, though, and Shaqiri should have put them ahead after a fine passing move. Arnautovic eventually teeing him up with a wonderful back-heel, but his shot from eight yards dribbled wide.
It was another move of real quality that saw the Baggies take the lead. Fletcher drove from inside his own half before finding James Morrison in a pocket of space 30 yards out. The midfielder took a touch before threading a pass perfectly into the path of Sessegnon, who lashed the ball high past Jack Butland and into the net.
The goal lifted Tony Pulis' side and they looked far likelier to add a second than Stoke did to find an equaliser in the minutes that followed.
However, they were unable to fashion any real openings and, with nine minutes remaining, Stoke struck.
Walters appeared to be coming back from an offside position as he flicked on Butland's goal-kick to fellow substitute Joselu. The flag stayed down, though, and Joselu delivered a beautiful ball with the outside of his right foot, allowing Walters to arrive right on cue to head home from six yards.
The momentum was with the away side, but their hopes of kicking on and finding a winning goal were dashed as Cameron was shown red after an altercation with Yacob.
The American looked to shove the Baggies midfielder, who immediately went to ground, but there was very little in it and Cameron looked shocked went Lee Mason produced the red card.
With Stoke down to 10, West Brom themselves were able to push on and grabbed the winner in the third minute of added time.
Stoke were unable to clear from a corner and, after ricocheting around the area, the ball eventually fell to Evans, who tapped in to spark jubilant scenes at The Hawthorns.
West Brom: Myhill (6), Dawson (6), McAuley (6), Evans (7), Brunt (7), Yacob (7), Fletcher (7), Sessegnon (7), Morrison (7), Gardner (5), Lambert (5).
Subs: Berahino (5), McManaman (5).
Stoke: Butland (6), Johnson (7), Shawcross (6), Wollscheid (6), Pieters (6), Whelan (5), Cameron (6), Shaqiri (7), Afellay (5), Arnautovic (6), Bojan (6).
Subs: Joselu (7), Walters (7), Adam (5).
Man of the match: Darren Fletcher.