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Record run ends at Stoke

Posted on 11 December 2011  - 12:00

Our record-equalling unbeaten run in the Premier League came to end at the Britannia Stadium on Sunday.

Our record-equalling unbeaten run in the Premier League came to end at the Britannia Stadium on Sunday.

Eleven unbeaten and on the back of six-successive wins before the trip to the Potteries, the team was rattled by Stoke's flying start, rewarded by a 13th-minute opener by former Spur Matthew Etherington.

Having weathered that storm, we then conceded again just before half-time and try as we might in the second half, that mountain was too high to climb.

Harry Redknapp made one change from last week's win against Bolton with Rafa van der Vaart back in for Jermain Defoe.

Stoke were straight onto the front foot with the first of Ryan Shotton's long throws half-cleared to Etherington, who volleyed back at goal from 14 yards only for Brad Friedel to tip around the post.

Our failure to clear another throw led to the first goal. The ball came back out to Shotton on the right, his cross was deflected and looped high into the box and controlled by Peter Crouch - with a suspicion of handball - and he turned it back for Etherington to finish.

Luka Modric forced a fine save from Thomas Sorensen on the half-hour as we got back into the game but we were hit again by Shotton's throw two minutes before the break.

This time Jonathan Walters flicked on and Etherington was there again, volleying into the ground and into the far corner for 2-0 at half-time.

Harry changed the team around at half-time. Seb Bassong and Defoe replaced Assou-Ekotto and Aaron Lennon as the managed switched to a 3-5-2 system with Gareth Bale and Kyle Walker employed as wing-backs and van der Vaart in behind Adebayor and Defoe.

We dominated the next 35 minutes. Bassong headed over, Defoe fired wide and Jonathan Woogdate deflected Walker's cross inches wide.

Modric was then brought down by Glenn Whelan, Adebayor converted the penalty and we were back in it at 2-1 with 63 miutes in the clock.

The home goal lived a charmed life for the next 20 minutes.

Thomas Sorensen tipped over Scott Parker's shot destined for the top corner, Adebayor curled inches wide and Sorensen denied Modric from 20 yards.

Modric's cross then created havoc and Younes Kaboul fired at goal but a combination of Ryan Shawcross and Woodgate cleared off the line with the lads appealing for handball.

As play continued, Modric found Adebayor who finished well from close range but celebrations were cut short by the linesman's flag. Replays later showed he was onside.

There were more appeals for handball as Shawcross blocked Defoe's close-range effort on 78 minutes and Adebayor was inches away sliding in for Bale's cross.

Our hopes of finding the equaliser all-but ended 10 minutes from time when Kaboul was sent off for a second yellow card.

Try as they might, the 10 men couldn't fashion that final clear-cut chance - it wasn't to be on this occasion.

Stoke (4-4-2): Sorensen; Woodgate (Delap, 84), Shawcross, Huth, Wilson; Shotton, Whelan, Whitehead, Etherington (Palacios, 88); Crouch, Walters. Unused subs: Begovic, Jones, Fuller, Upson, Jerome.

Spurs (4-4-1-1): Friedel; Walker, Gallas, Kaboul, Assou-Ekotto (Bassong, 46); Lennon (Defoe, 46), Modric, Parker, Bale; Van der Vaart, (Giovani, 88); Adebayor. Unused subs: Gomes, Corluka, Pienaar, Sandro.

Goals: Stoke - Etherington (13, 43). Spurs - Adebayor (penalty, 63).

Attendance: 27,529.

Referee: Mr C Foy.