Stanis­las and Sur­mann sink Stoke

Sunday Independent (Ireland) - Sport - - SOCCER -

STOKE have been sucked into the Premier League rel­e­ga­tion zone af­ter two goals within 133 se­conds earned Bournemouth a first top-flight vic­tory on their trav­els this sea­son.

Ed­die Howe’s side had lost each of their four away fix­tures, but An­drew Sur­man’s opener at the bet365 Sta­dium was swiftly fol­lowed by a Ju­nior Stanis­las penalty, awarded af­ter Ryan Shawcross tripped Benik Afobe.

The Pot­ters pulled one back in the sec­ond pe­riod through Mame Diouf but a 2-1 loss saw them drop into the bot­tom three fol­low­ing a run of one win from eight in all com­pe­ti­tions.

Amid typ­i­cally blus­tery Stafford­shire weather, Stoke’s af­ter­noon got bleaker shortly af­ter kick-off.

The first of two goals in quick suc­ces­sion orig­i­nated down the right, where Jor­don Ibe spot­ted Adam Smith’s run to the by­line. His pull-back to Stanis­las al­lowed the for­ward to tee up Sur­man to steer a well-con­trolled ef­fort into the cor­ner of Jack But­land’s net.

It went from bad to worse from a home per­spec­tive as just 80 se­conds later Stoke con­ceded a penalty.

Stanis­las’ ter­rific back-heeled nut­meg of Kurt Zouma re­leased Afobe to run at the re­turn­ing Shawcross, whose clumsy scis­sor-kicked chal­lenge felled the Cher­ries for­ward.

Stanis­las had to con­vince Afobe to let him take the penalty and he made no mis­take from the spot trig­ger­ing jeers from the dis­grun­tled Stoke fan­base.

Un­sur­pris­ingly Mark Hughes aban­doned his back-three sys­tem af­ter an in­ef­fec­tive first half where they ac­com­mo­dated their vis­i­tors’ time and space.

Glen John­son was also re­placed by Pe­ter Crouch as Hughes sent out an­other SOS to his tow­er­ing tar­get man and within four min­utes Stoke had pulled one back.

A semi-cleared cor­ner reached Pi­eters and his ball back into the box ric­o­cheted kindly to Diouf via Si­mon Fran­cis’ at­tempted clear­ance off Choupo-Mot­ing, and the Sene­galese bun­dled the ball past Be­govic with his thigh.

It was a script Stoke had fol­lowed so many times in re­cent years — throw­ing on Crouch. But there was to be no spir­ited sec­ond-half come­back from the hosts, though, at the start of what they thought would be a run of fix­tures to shoot up the divi­sion.

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