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Stoke 1-0 Hull: Peter Crouch's header earns hosts victory

A second-half header from substitute Peter Crouch secured Stoke City a narrow 1-0 home win over Hull in the Premier League on Saturday.

In a poor game where clear-cut chances were few and far between, Crouch's 71st-minute looping header from Charlie Adam's pin-point cross beat Allan McGregor and found the far corner.

The striker had only replaced Mame Biram Diouf less than two minutes earlier, with the match-winner equalling Alan Shearer's record of 46 Premier League headed goals.

Victory is Stoke's sixth in 11 league games, while Hull's recent unbeaten run has been halted at three games.

Sone Aluko, one of three Hull changes from last week's win against QPR, came closest for the visitors in the first half by dispossessing Philipp Wollscheid on the touchline before dragging his shot across goal from a tight angle.

Stoke, unchanged from their late win over Aston Villa, saw Stephen Ireland have an early shot blocked by Alex Bruce and Steven N'Zonzi drag a low effort well wide as the hosts looked to try to impose themselves.

Jon Walters flick from Victor Moses' low, driven corner on the half-hour mark needed to be cleared at the far post by Jake Livermore, with the resulting set-piece seeing Phil Bardsley charged down in a goalmouth scramble by a combination of Aluko and Livermore. Play continued as the hosts appealed for a penalty, with Ireland's scuffed volley into the ground bobbling kindly to McGregor.

The home crowd became increasingly frustrated as Erik Pieters was cautioned for a challenge on Gaston Ramirez and Moses was booked for catching Tom Huddlestone with a trailing arm as the pair challenged for a header.

Adam replaced the injured Ireland at the interval and brought an immediate reaction for the Potters, seeing a low strike from distance go just wide before bending a free-kick inches wide with McGregor at full stretch.

Crouch found the net for the fourth match running to give the hosts the lead, before striking wide minutes later after N'Zonzi headed the ball across goal.

Hull introduced Dame N'Doye and then Abel Hernandez in pursuit of an equaliser and won a series of corners, but the closest they game to an elusive goal was when Marc Wilson charged down Paul McShane's close-range shot in injury time.

SOCCER SATURDAY VERDICT - CHARLIE NICHOLAS

"The first half was pretty dismal and very little happened. There were only two attempts on target during the whole game and the second one was a goal. Adam came on at half-time and changed the tempo of the game. He got in the pockets of space and within five minutes, he had two really good efforts. They both went wide but you could just feel something was different.

"It was a really windy day, which you always get at the Britannia. Adam waited for Crouch to get into position and he just pitched the ball in the air so the big fella could get there in time and hit the target. Other than that, it wasn’t brilliant, not to be enjoyed. Jelavic was out, N’Doye was on the bench and Hull offered very little. The next two games could be massive for them - Sunderland and then they’re away to Leicester."

Player Ratings

Stoke: Begovic (6); Bardsley (6), Wollscheid (5), Wilson (7), Pieters (6); N'Zonzi (7), Whelan (7); Walters (6), Ireland (6), Moses (6); Diouf (6).

Subs: Adam (7), Crouch (7).

Hull: McGregor (6), Figueroa (6), McShane (7), Bruce (6), Meyler (6), Huddlestone (5), Livermore (5), Dawson (6), Aluko (6), Ramirez (6), Elmohamady (5).

Subs: Hernandez (6), N'Doye (6), Quinn (5)

Man of the Match: Charlie Adam


Headlines for Hull City this week

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  • Stoke 1-0 Hull: Peter Crouch's header earns hosts victory


  • A second-half header from substitute Peter Crouch secured Stoke City a narrow 1-0 home win over Hull in the Premier League on Saturday.

  • Hull's Michael Dawson says Premier League visit of Sunderland is 'massive'


  • Hull defender Michael Dawson admits Tuesday’s game against Sunderland has taken on added importance following the defeat at Stoke.

  • Mark Hughes angered by officials in Stoke win over Hull


  • Mark Hughes believes the best team won in Stoke's 1-0 victory over Hull, but was left fuming at the officials for missing a "shocking" challenge on Stephen Ireland.

  • Steve Bruce angered by 'offside' goal in Hull's 1-0 loss at Stoke


  • Hull City boss Steve Bruce blasted the match officials after letting Peter Crouch's header in Stoke's 1-0 win to stand.

  • Liverpool cleared of breaching UEFA Financial Fair Play rules but Hull reach settlement


  • Liverpool have been cleared of breaching UEFA Financial Fair Play rules but Hull have reached a settlement with European football's governing body.

  • Hull manager Steve Bruce calling on his side to match Stoke's progress


  • Steve Bruce says Hull must aim to match Stoke's longevity in the Premier League.

  • Bruce says UEFA's FFP inquiry into Hull inevitable


  • Hull manager Steve Bruce is adamant that UEFA's Financial Fair Play investigation into the club was unavoidable.

  • Stoke City v Hull City preview


  • Stoke have Geoff Cameron back from a one-match suspension as they welcome Hull to the Britannia Stadium on Saturday.

  • Rumours in the Press: Wenger handed £50m warchest


  • Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger will be given a £50m warchest in the summer and Chelsea have joined the race to sign Southampton's Nathaniel Clyne.

  • Rumours in the Press: United target Clyne move


  • Manchester United are preparing to move for full-back Nathaniel Clyne and Raheem Sterling is set to extend his Liverpool contract.

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