Premier League: Rickie Lambert earns Southampton a point against Stoke
Goals from Peter Crouch and Rickie Lambert ensured honours were even between Southampton and Stoke at St Mary's.
Last Updated: 20/05/13 3:26pm
Crouch headed the Potters ahead on 47 minutes against his former club but Lambert equalised from close range ten minutes later to earn a point for the home side.
Saints almost took the lead in the first minute when Adam Lallana's low shot was parried by Asmir Begovic onto the post. Lambert latched onto the loose ball and shot into the goal but he was flagged offside.
Lambert then shot just over from 20 yards out on the right before his header soon afterwards also went over.
The injured Marc Wilson was replaced by Andy Wilkinson on 20 minutes and Jon Walters then almost broke the deadlock but Morgan Schneiderlin tracked back to shepherd the Stoke forward off the ball.
Matthew Etherington volleyed just over from the edge of the box after a Dean Whitehead free-kick before Walters' shot was easily saved by Kelvin Davis as the first period ended all square.
But soon after the re-start, Crouch put Stoke ahead after good work from Geoff Cameron, who ran to the right side of the box before crossing into the centre and Crouch got ahead of Jose Fonte to head home.
Begovic then saved well from Steven Davis and Lambert before the Saints striker got the equaliser on 57 minutes.
The goal came after Stoke could only partially clear Lallana's free-kick and Davis' shot was parried by Begovic for Lambert to tap in.
At the other end, Etherington swung a corner into the box and Robert Huth headed at goal but Davis saved on the line.
Former England striker Michael Owen came on with 16 minutes remaining to make his final appearance but there was no fairytale ending as the game ended all square.
Southampton manager Mauricio Pochettino was a bit disappointed not to beat Stoke, commenting: "I'm satisfied with how the season has gone but I'm a bit disappointed that we haven't been able to win today and climb positions up the table.
"We've played very well today but as has happened in the last few games, we have played better than the rival teams but we haven't been able to get the win."
Stoke boss Tony Pulis praised Begovic and felt there was a suspicion of handball about Southampton's goal, saying: "Obviously you go in front, we think their goal, there might have been a little handball there from (Jose) Fonte, he's got his hand above his head and we think he's got a touch on it but there you are.
"It was a good game. I thought they created two great chances after half-time which Asmir's made two great saves from and we've had a couple of opportunities second half.
"But, all in all, it was a boiling day out there and I thought the two sets of players approached it in the right manner."