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Sunday 21 September K.O. 16:00

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Britannia Stadium | 1st May 2012 19:45

Stoke v Everton

Everton were forced to settle for a point at Stoke but the Toffees deserved more.

The Potters were their usual physical selves but required a lucky Cameron Jerome equaliser in the second half to force a 1-1 draw.

The Blues' opener - a Peter Crouch own goal - had itself been due to a sizeable slice of luck but in terms of possession and chances they were much the better side.

The point did at least extend Everton's lead over Liverpool in the Premier League table with Fulham winning at Anfield.

David Moyes made two changes for the game, bringing the outstanding Tim Cahill and Victor Anichebe into his starting XI.

Everton's players celebrate taking the leadEverton's players celebrate taking the lead

And it looked as if the visitors were willing to go toe-to-toe early on with Anichebe pushed up alongside in-form Nikica Jelavic.

From a fifth minute corner Sylvain Distin headed Everton's first sight of goal wide but then Stoke attempted to seize control.

Matty Etherington tried his luck with a volley from the edge of the box which was a yard over then Robert Huth was off target from a Rory Delap throw.

That was the first of a few testing moments for the Everton defence but they managed to weather the Stoke's principal weapon.
 
Anichebe was forced off midway through the half with Magaye Gueye on to replace him. The change prompted a minor reshuffle with Pienaar moving infield but the Blues became more fluent.

Frustration is etched across Victor Anichebe's face as he limps out of the actionFrustration is etched across Victor Anichebe's face as he limps out of the action

They enjoyed some extended periods of possession but only had a couple of Leon Osman efforts to show for it until Gueye centred and Jelavic diverted the ball over off his knee 10 minutes before half time.

Steven Pienaar was superbly denied by Asmir Begovic and Gueye slashed wide before the Toffees took a fortuitous 44th minute lead.

Tony Hibbert's cross should have been routinely cleared but Marc Wilson's header hit Crouch and trickled over the line.

Stoke pressed early in the second half but the first decent chance fell the way of Osman who sliced wide following good work on the break from Jelavic and Pienaar.

Optimistic and unsuccessful claims for a penalty followed when Stoke reckoned Osman had felled the much sturdier Kenwyne Jones.

Substitute Cameron Jerome beats Tim Howard to levelSubstitute Cameron Jerome beats Tim Howard to level

Clearly unhappy with his side's attempts to restore parity, Tony Pulis made a triple substitution with 25 minutes left and it was new man Jerome who made the instant impact.

He raced through the defence, made the most of a lucky bounce and sent in a shot that flicked Jagielka on its way past Tim Howard.

The unfortunate stand-in skipper headed a corner over at the other end and then Moyes introduced Denis Stracqualursi to proceedings.

But neither he nor subsequent replacement James McFadden had much of an impact as Stoke finished the stronger with Huth and Jones close to finding a winner.

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