A Fan's View: Stoke 0 Albion 0

Before the game 2,900 Albion fans would have took a point at the Britannia Stadium but we were sent back down the M6 with an overwhelming feeling of injustice.

Inspired goalkeeping from Asmir Begovic saw him come out on top of three one on ones, denying Stephane Sessegnon and Morgan Amalfitano whilst Mulumbu was denied a stonewall penalty after being bought down by Charlie Adam in the area.

Meanwhile Boaz Myhill had very little to do, a fifty yard effort causing the Wales international to back pedal and tip the ball over the bar was the busiest he looked all afternoon.

The Albion line up was filled with attacking options as Anichebe returned to the starting XI. It took the visitors just six minutes to cause Stoke problems. Sessegnon set the tone for the afternoon with a piercing run through the home sides back line only to be denied by a last ditch challenge from Steven Nzonzi.

Sessegnon  was put through by Saido Berahino in the 18th minute before skipping past Huth with the first of three superb saves from the stoke shot stopper keeping the scores all level as he turned away sessegnon’s low drive.

Begovic came to Stokes rescue again seven minutes later denying Amalfitano who tried to lift the ball over the on rushing keeper after Sessegnon had pulled out two defenders before teeing up the Frenchman.

Not long into the second half The Baggies were denied a stone wall penalty as Charlie Adam bought down Mulumbu as he made his way into the area in front of the travelling support. Howard Webb – a World Cup Final referee – and his assistant failed to notice a challenge that pulled off Mulumbu’s boot, much to the bemusement of the away support.

Towards the end of the game Albion game closer and closer to snatching all three points to no prevail. James Morrison and Nicolas Anelka were introduced on the hour mark but it was Sessegnon who continued to terrorise the Potters’ defence.

As the visitors pushed further and further up the field the home side managed to hit the Baggies on the counter-attack. Steven Ireland missed a superb chance after Anautovic beat Ridgewell down the right and squared it into Ireland who smashed it over the bar when he should have tested Myhill who had little else to do all afternoon.

That was until Adam caught Myhill off his line and tried his luck from 50 yards. Myhill got back just in time to tip the ball over his crossbar.

Just after, City failed to clear a McAuley free kick and the ball unsurprisingly fell to Sessegnon who let rip with a volley from 25 yards but failed to cause Begovic and major problems.

Clarke then made his final change of the afternoon as Anichebe made way for Shane Long who played just behind Anelka.

As full time approached Mulmbu came close with a curling effort that swerved just wide of the far post.

Begovic saved a point for the home side again in the dying moments as Sessegnon skipped past three red and white shirts only to be stopped by the outstretched Bosnian who confirmed his Man of The match performance.

All in all we have to be disappointed to have not grabbed all three points having some fantastic chances. Beforehand you would have taken a point, The Britannia is a tough place to go and it extends our unbeaten run in the league to five games. We are also unbeaten away from home this season which is a lot of positives to take away from the game.

The fact we have players like Morrison, Anelka and Long to come off the bench just shows how far we have come in terms of squad depth. Sessegnon has made a superb start to his Albion career and although not quite as influential at Stoke so has Amalfitano.

The impact Berahino has had on the first team this season is a great advertisement for what the club is doing at youth level. The future looks bright for us with steady improvement year on year. We have a great tactician in Steve Clarke who has bought in some top quality players.

The only concern I have at the moment is the fact that our strikers are failing to cause problems and we are having to rely on our three midfield men. Fortunately they all have goals in them and I am excited to see just how far we can go this year.