London: Peter Crouch's late equaliser ensured Stoke City gained a 1-1 draw away to Newcastle on Sunday that kept them in 10th place in the Premier League.
Peter Crouch. Pic./AFP
A mediocre match belatedly burst into life in the final 16 minutes when Jack Colback, who moments earlier might have been sent off for a second bookable offence following a poor challenge on Victor Moses, fired Newcastle into the lead to the delight of the St James' Park faithful.
But much-travelled former England striker Crouch made sure Newcastle did not leapfrog Stoke when the beanpole forward's trademark header at the back post gave the visitors a share of the spoils. "I thought we controlled the game and deserved to win," Crouch told Sky Sports. "I was pleased to get the goal and the point was the least we deserved." Meanwhile midfielder Colback admitted he had been fortunate to still be on the pitch when he scored.
"I made two fouls all game so I wasn't repeat offending but if I had of been sent off I wouldn't have had much argument," he said. "You get that bit of luck in the game sometimes and it has paid off." Earlier, Burnley let slip a two-goal lead for the third straight match as they were held to a 2-2 draw by fellow-strugglers West Bromwich Albion at Turf Moor. This result did see the Clarets climb out of the bottom three, although they are now just a point clear of the relegation zone.
Burnley were 2-0 in front after just over half an hour on Sunday thanks to goals Ashley Barnes and Danny Ings. But Burnley then conceded two headed goals from corners, Chris Brunt pulling one back for the Baggies on the stroke of half-time before Nigeria striker Brown Ideye equalised in the 67th minute. Ideye's leveller was the 14th headed goal that Burnley had conceded in the league so far this season -- the most in the English top-flight.
Burnley at least came away with a draw, having lost 3-2 to Crystal Palace after going 2-0 up in their last home match and been knocked out of the FA Cup 4-2 by Tottenham Hotspur after establishing two-goal lead at White Hart Lane. "It's just a lack of concentration from setpieces that we need to improve on," said Ings. "It's very disappointing from ourselves today, considering we started the game so well."
Relieved West Brom boss Tony Pulis said: "We started as though it was a Sunday morning stroll. "Half of them looked as though they were still in bed. They (Burnley) deserved to be 2-0 up. The saving grace was the goal just before half-time. "The big thing today was not to lose. It is one defeat in six since I came to the football club," added Pulis, who made new signing Darren Fletcher his captain on the Scotland midfielder's West Brom debut. Manchester United, Fletcher's former club, will leapfrog Southampton into third place in the table if they win away to West Ham in Sunday's final Premier League match.