Full-time - 90'
3 - 2
19:45 +00:00, November 9, 2010
Britannia Stadium, England
Referee: Mark Clattenburg
Thanks for joining us here at ESPNsoccernet tonight. We hope you enjoyed the coverage. Be sure to stick around for all of the post-match reactions from the managers and players of both clubs.
FULL TIME: It's all over at the Britannia! Stoke snap their four-match losing streak with a memorable 3-2 victory over Birmingham, who they now take over in the league standings. Dean Whitehead scored the fortunate winner five minutes from time, as Birmingham drop to 17th in the standings as a result of their disappointing performance.
Birmingham win a throw in, as the referee allows play to continue. Ferguson's throw is poor though, and Stoke clear away. Sure;y Stoke have survived.
Last roll of the dice for Birmingham, as they throw all of their numbers forward. Larsson and Ridgewell combine, but the latter sends a dismal ball across the face of goal, and that could be about it for the visitors tonight.
Stoke make their final change of the night, as Fuller comes off to another rousing reception, for Walters.
Not for the first time tonight, it's Huth who surges forward in menacing fashion. He charges at the Birmingham defence, and plays it to Wilson, who eventually wins a throw-in for Delap to take.
Amazing ball from Ferguson wide to Carr, but the defender loses out as Stoke reclaim possession.
There will be five minutes of stoppage time in the second half, much to the dismay of the Stoke fans.
Pulis eats up some time, by introducing Wilson for Etherington, who comes off to a warm reception.
Pennant has just been named as man of the match, but there still is time for one of the visiting players to be the saviour for his side, as Birmingham come forward again.
Zigic looks to have done well to win the ball for his side, but the referee blows his whistle, and awards a free kick to Stoke.
Birmingham have been all over Stoke since equalising, and will consider themselves desperately unlucky to have gone behind in that fashion. Extraordinary scenes at the Britannia, but there still is plenty of time for the visitors.
Etehrington's ball across the face of goal is weak, but somehow manages to get through the legs of two defenders, before finding Whitehead. His shinned effort then incredibly gets through the grasp of Foster, and rolls into the back of the net. It's his first goal in the league for two years, and it may very well be the decisive one. But then again, who knows..
GOAL Whitehead scores, and Stoke are back in the lead!!
Birmingham win a corner, but Larsson's ball in is poor. The visitors win the ball back, but Higginbotham does well to get a boot on it to clear away the danger.
Wonderful work by Gardner to intercept a loose pass. He surges forward, dancing around a couple of opponents, before striking from long range, forcing Begovic to tap it away for a corner.
Johnson is still down, and eventually comes from the field to discuss the situation with his manager.
Johnson goes down with an injury of some sort to his face, and he is down receiving some treatment from the medical staff.
Gardner goes for goal! Begovic is quick to react though, and takes it firmly.
The visitors are playing with a real sense of confidence now, and there is clear belief that they can complete what would be a remarkable comeback performance.
That's Jerome's sixth goal against Stoke in his last six games. And he is looking hungry to add another, as he combines with Zigic in attack.
What a response by Birmingham. Jerome rises over Higginbotham, to head coolly head home a glorious ball in by Larsson. And for the second time in four days, the visitors have turned a two goal deficit into a 2-2 score line. And you just sense that this match isn't over yet.
GOAL Jerome scores!!!!! 2-2!
Fahey capitalises on some poor defending by Higginbotham, to smash home an effort from close range, to score his first ever Premier League goal. 2-1 to Stoke now.
GOAL Fahey pulls one back for Birmingham!
Whelan comes on for Pennant, as Pulis opts for a little more solidity in midfield.
What a strike by Fuller!!! Turns his marker, and on his left foot, he hits a glorious curling effort into the top corner, marking his 100th goal in British football.
GOAL Fuller makes it 2-0 for Stoke!
Jerome is played through. He has Zigic unmarked ahead of the defenders in the middle, but he makes a meal of it, sending in arguably the worst cross of the season.
Begovic gets the play going quickly, and he picks out Fuller, who turns his marker and makes his way past Foster in the area. He finds himself on an acute angle, and his resulting effort is consequently poor.
Carr is tripped by Fuller, and the visitors win a free kick 35 yards from goal. Gardner hits it well, but it's straight at Begovic.
Birmingham are having their brightest period of the match, stringing a number of confident passes around the park. Stoke just cannot win possession of the ball back at the moment, as the home fans try to spur their side on.
Fuller climbs all over the back of Ridgewell, and no complaints as Birmingham are awarded the free kick.
Zigic charging in at the back post to meet a long ball, but Begovic does well to track back and claim possession. You can just start to sense a little bit of concern creeping in around the Britannia.
Larsson takes the corner, and it finds Johnson! The defender does well to beat his marker, but he hits it straight at Begovic. Massive opportunity for Birmingham to get back on level terms there.
Fahey shoots from distance, but his effort clips the heels of a Stoke defender, and it's out for his side's first corner of the night.
Similar to the first half, it doesn't look like there will be any way through for Birmingham tonight. However if they can keep the score line at 1-0, anything is possible.
Fahey, who has started in the past five Premier League fixtures, gets invovled immedaitely, as Birmingham go forward.
McLeish make his first change of the night, as Fahey comes on to replace Beausejour for the visitors.
This time Larsson fouls Pennant in a similar position, and from this angle Etehrington will be hopeful of picking out a team-mate in the area. He sends it in, and no surprises, another corner to Stoke is the result.
Dann fouls Whitehead, and the defender is lucky to escape a booking there.
Whitehead plays in Fuller brilliantly again, and the striker tests his luck from the edge of the area, however it takes a massive deflection and sails out for a corner.
It's all Stoke, but Zigic and Jerome combine, as the latter works his way into the area and forces Begovic into making a solid save. Best chance of the night for Birmingham there.
Oh what a dangerous ball forward by Etherington. Jones does everything he can to get on the end of it, but fails to do so, as it goes out for a goal kick.
Johnson seems to be stuggling with an injury of some sort, as he hobbles around the pitch looking in some pain.
Free kick to Stoke. Pennant takes it and curls a ball in towards the six yard box. Huth rises again, and incredibly wins it again! His attempt is well over the bar this time though.
Ferguson sends a deep ball in for Birmingham, but even if he can't get it right, as it's out for a goal kick. Nothing seems to be going the visitors way tonight.
Zigic is onside and this looks promising for the visitors. He looks for Beausejour, but that's a horrible ball through, and Stoke easily clear.
Huth rises and heads again! Not this time for the skipper, but he has definitely looked the most threatening player in and around goal tonight.
Great run by Whitehead, and he is rewarded by winning a corner for his side. Etherington waits to take the corner.
Here's Cameron Jerome. Great head on by Zigic, and Jerome knocks it forward. He strikes from 25 yards, and the crowd enjoyed that. It's a poor effort and well wide of the target.
The home fans are full of voice in the second half, as they can sense a Stoke victory tonight. Here goes Fuller through on goal, but Ferguson is quick to get back and deny the striker an effort.
Pennant does well to make the most of a loose ball. He skips past an opponent, before trying to get a cross in. Beausejour does really well to get a block on though, and put it out for a throw in.
For the first time this season, Stoke kick-off the second half leading...
See you back at the Britannia in around 15 minutes..
HALF TIME: After all of their dominance in the opening period, Stoke are deservedly ahead at the break. Birmingham will need a resurgence similar to their one at the weekend against West Ham, if they are to have any chance of getting themselves back into this one.
That should have been 2-0! Huth goes close to scoring his second in a matter of minutes, as Fuller blocks his headed effort on the goal line.
Stoke win a corner, as Ridgewell goes down injured after being caught by Jones. The defender hobbles from the ground, and won't appear until after the break.
Here come Stoke again. They certainly are pressing for a second on the stroke of half time. Delap picks it up and fires it at goal, but Foster is there to make another sold save! 1-0 it remains.
Fuller strikes from the edge of the area, but his effort is denied by three sliding defenders, however it somehow rolls through the Huth who, just in an onside position, smashes it past Foster to open the scoring.
GOAL Stoke open the scoring through Robert Huth!
Johnson fouls Fuller, and to the delight of Tony Pulis, Stoke are awarded another free kick in the centre of the pitch.
Jones with a header on target! Foster makes a tremendous save once again, despite being blocked by Fuller. Another corner to Stoke.
There is certainly a genuine lack of attacking quality in this match tonight, and for this reason, goals will continue to be hard to come by for the rest of the night.
Pennant poorly chips in a ball to the area from a free kick. No need for Foster to worry about that though, as it's goes out for a goal kick.
Jones flicks on a ball with his head to Fuller. Johnson has too much pace for the striker though, and does well to head it back towards Foster.
Delap continues to cause trouble with his long throw-ins, however Beausejour gets enough on it to clear away the danger.
Whitehead is through, and tests himself from 25 yards. The effort is strong, but Johnson is there to save the day yet again, with another decisive interception.
Zigic makes a quick recovery, and is back in amongst it all. The intensity of the match has certaily dropped over the past five minutes or so, as we near half time.
The tall striker is still struggling, and is coming off the field to receive some treatment.
Zigic goes down after a knock to the back, and the play will be momentarily halted as a result.
Ridgewell over hits his long ball looking for Zigic, as Stoke are given a goal kick.
Carr picks up the ball on the right, and looks to get things moving forward for Birmingham. There's no way through, as the shape of Stoke holds out again, forcing their opponents to make another mistake.
The visitors are dropping numbers back home. They have seven players in their defensive area, as Jones and Whitehead move forward.
Jerome is played wide by a nice backheel by Zigic, and ambitiously, the striker tests his luck from a sharp angle, only to see his effort spray high over the bar.
Beausejour picks our Gardner with a lovely ball through the middle, but as has been the case for the opening half hour, two or three Stoke players are quick to close him down.
Delap's long throw in causes problems, as Foster is forced onto his line under severe pressure. But he does well to get a little bit on it, and send it clear of danger. That's the closest either side has gone so far.
Foster does exceptionally well once again to make a brave save to deny Fuller. Throw-in to Delap and Stoke is the result.
The crowd are furious that Zigic hasn't been booked for a lazy challenge on Higginbotham, however in defence of the referee, he made the right decision to keep the card in his pocket.
Both sides have struggled for goals this season, and based on the opening 25 minutes tonight, it isn't difficult to see why. Nevertheless, he come Stoke again.
Stoke seem to be frustrating their opponents at present, having had the majority of possession, and all of the shots on goal. Etherington sends another deep ball into the area for Stoke.
The pace of Pennant continues to trouble the Birmingham defenders, as he gets around Ridgewell, and send a ball in to the area. This one is poor though, and a throy in to the visitors is the result.
Just as I speak, Birmigham are on the counter through Gardner. The midfielder skips past a couple of defenders, before firing with his left. Begovic does well to get down low to his right, to prevent the goal.
Birmingham look to slow down the play, as they knock it around the back. Stoke are pressing though, and eventually win it back. You just feel that a goal could be coming for the visitors.
Delap wins the ball back for Stoke. He plays it forward to Fuller, who is beaten out by Johnson. The defender has made a great start tonight, and had it not been for his efforts thus far, the visitors may very well have been a goal behind.
Johnson flies in the air to deny Jones of yet another headed effort on goal. The pressure is mounting.
Whitehead looks to combine with Fuller, but the striker's return pass is well cut out by the visiting defence.
Delap looking to cause problems with a long throw-in. It drops short, and it's cleared, but he'll get a second chace.
Pennant chips in a lovely ball in towards Jones, but Foster does well to recover from an early fumble and claim possession.
Birmingham haven't won on the road since a 2-1 victory at Portsmouth last season, and with only two draws from their five matches away from St. Andrews this season, the signs aren't promising early.
It's all Stoke in the early stages, but yet another decision goes against them, as they should have been awarded a corner. Goal kick is the decision, as Birmingham try to get themselves into it.
The hosts continue to heap the pressure, but Foster corageously rushes from his line to deny Higginbotham the chance to score. Surprise, surprise - Pulis wants a penalty!
Etherington pushes forward and beats Ridgewell for pace, but can't beat off the rest of the Birmigham defence, winning a corner.
Stoke are awarded a free kick about 40 yards from goal. Etherington waits patiently to take the kick, as the referee has a chat to a few of the players inside the area.
Pennant causing problems on the right for Stoke, and he gets another glorious ball in looking for Jones, but this time Foster rushes off his line to meet it.
Stoke fans begin to lift in voice, after their side went very close to opening the scoring in the first 10 minutes.
Stoke moving forward with real purpose for the first time tonight. Pennant keeps the ball alive, and fires a ball across the face of goal in towards Jones. But his headed effort deflects of an opponent and should be a corner, but a goal kick is given.
Larsson combines with Gardner, and then fires a volley from distance! Not a bad effort by the midfielder, but it flies over the bar.
A minor decision goes in favour of Stoke, as Zigic is adjudged to have handled the ball. The home fans ironically cheer the decision, as if they've just scored a goal.
Jerome gets on the end of a Gardner through ball, but the linesman's flag is raised for offside.
Neither side can maintain possession early on, as the ball is played from goalkeeper to goalkeeper.
Scrappy start by both sides, as Faye gives up the ball to Zigic, and the visitors surge forward. Zigic plays it wide to Beausejour - making his first start for the club.
Zigic gets his first touch for the night, and he does look like he may be a handful for the Stoke back four this evening.
And we're underway at the Britannia..
Birmingham can climb into the top half with three points tonight, whilst Stoke need a win to distance themselves from the relegatuion zone.
Birmingham: Foster; Carr, Johnson, Dann, Ridgewell; Larsson, Ferguson, Gardner, Beausejour; Zigic, Jerome
Stoke City: Begovic; Huth, Higginbotham, Faye, Collins; Pennant, Delap, Whitehead, Etherington; Fuller, Jones
The team news is in. Tony Pulis is without injured skipper Ryan Shawcross, who picked up two yellow cards in Stoke's fourth successive defeat at Sunderland, whilst Alex McLeish will start with Nikola Zigic and Cameron Jerom up front yet again.
Nikola Zigic will be a threat for the Blues.
Join us at 1945 GMT to see Stoke take on Birmingham in the Premier League.