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THAT WAS A BRIT TASTY! Pulis salutes Potters' passion.


STOKE 1 Jones 52 EVERTON 1 SHAWCROSs 36 (og) THE GOOD news for visiting teams at Stoke is that the Rory Delap long throw era appears to be all but over.

The bad news is that the Britannia STADIUM remains as tough an ordeal of physical and mental strength as at any time in the five seasons since TONY PULIS brought them intothe Premier League.

Stoke have not been beaten on their own patch in 15 Premier league games since Sunderland got a fairly fortunate 1-0 win in a match played in a blizzard last February.

This was as good an example as any of why, and it's not just the noise of the home crowd who have been officially nominated as the noisiest in the top division.

In place of Delap's guided missiles have come Charlie Adam's corners and freekicks.

If they are prettier then the difference is marginal.

But it remains every bit as effective and Everton's David Moyes became the latest manager to be reminded about that yesterday.

Everton, clinging on to fourth place in the table and a dream of getting another crack at Champions League football, are as good as anybody in the game when it comes to the virtues of hard work, battling and running.

And they played a bit of passing football too. They were also given the perfect gift of a Ryan Shawcross own goal after 36 minutes.

But the response was a storming second half comeback that brought an equalising header by Kenwyne Jones and only a couple of great bits of goalkeeping from Tim Howard, in his 200th consecutive league game, stopped Stoke getting all three points.

Moyes admitted: "Even at a goal up we were never in control of the game.

"They have a great record here and it isn't hard to see why.

"We did have a chance at the end, but they put us under a lot of pressure in the second half.

"In fact, it is maybe a measure of our progress this season that we are disappointed coming here and only getting one point."

Everton's goal was their 1,000th in the Premier League era.

But it was not the sort of polished finish they might have hoped for to reach such a landmark.

Steven Pienaar and Leighton Baines swapped passes before Pienaar floated in a cross and Shawcross, stretching to head it away, only managed to loop the ball over the top of the stranded goalkeeper Asmir Begovic.

It was just reward at the time for some superb passing football.

Nikica Jelavic had been denied a goal when his shot hit Shawcross and the Stoke skipper had also cleared off the line from Scot Steven Naismith.

And when Leon Osman missed a sitter when he ran on to Baines' centre just before half-time it looked as if Everton would go on and win easily.

But, after Pulis had shaken his side up at the break, the game changed totally.

Adam missed a big chance within a minute of the break.

And then came a classic set-piece routine for the goal.

Stoke packed one side of the box for Glenn Whelan to pump in a free-kick from the half way line - but the Irish international rolled it across the centre, Shawcross hit it forward from a different angle, and Jones outjumped Phil Jagielka to steer the ball into the corner.

Everton goalkeeper Tim Howard was too slow to react - but made up for it later with saves that stopped substitute Cameron Jerome finding a winner later on.

Stoke boss Tony Pulis said: "The first half was very even, but they got the goal off the top of Ryan's head. They had a great chance to kill the game and if they had scored then it would've been a different game.

"We were let off and I told the lads at half-time to go and give it a blast.

"We then had four other great opportunities to score a second.

"We've had chances in all of our games, but we need to put the ball into the net more.

"When we got the goal you could feel the confidence flow in Kenwyne and then everybody else - it is so vibrant here.

"The crowd get going and it is like a pulse that runs through the players - it is a special ground for lots of reasons.

"When we need them they have always been there."

ELLIS' VERDICT A COSTLY error by Everton goalkeeper Tim Howard gave away a goal but he was still the man who stopped Stoke getting all three points.

It's a special ground for lots of reasons STOKE BOSS TONY PULIS


POINT MADE: Kenwyne Jones heads home the equaliser

YOU BELIEVE IT Stoke's Kenwyne Jones looks certain to score (left) but somehow his effort goes wide (right) sKEN

sTHE EYES HAVE IT A coy Steven Pienaar is congratulated on Everton's first goal

THAT WAS SHAW UNLUCKY ?Stoke's defender Ryan Shawcross looks dejected after his own goal at the Britannia
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Sunday Mirror (London, England)
Date:Dec 16, 2012
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