Jon Walters and Rory Delap scored late goals as Stoke continued their unbeaten home start by seeing off Fulham with a dominant second-half display.
A tedious first half gave way to a thrilling second period, in which John Arne Riise smashed a fine 25-yard free-kick against the bar for the visitors.
But Stoke were on top and deservedly went ahead when Walters turned in Matthew Etherington's miscued shot.
And Delap headed in number two from Etherington's cross to seal the win.
The gripping second 45 minutes, in which the home side steadily increased the pressure until they finally broke Fulham's resistance, was a welcome relief after a soporific first half.
Fulham boss Martin Jol had said he would be happy with a point before the game, and although neither team could be accused of an ultra-defensive approach, both seemed unwilling to risk committing too many men forward early on.
Peter Crouch was the focal point for Stoke and his most telling contribution led to the half's outstanding chance seconds before the break.
The gangly striker played a one-two with Jermaine Pennant as the winger cut in from the right, and although Pennant easily jinked past centre-half Brede Hangeland, he shot narrowly wide of the far post.
Crouch had earlier hopelessly miskicked an excellent volleyed chance from eight yards out after a delightful Pennant cross.
Fulham, who began in the sort of positive manner you would expect from a side who had won their last game 6-0 , fared little better in front of goal despite some promising approach play.
Riise blazed a fierce shot over the bar and Bobby Zamora sent a fine header narrowly wide from Chris Baird's inviting cross.
The lack of potency in open play inevitably led to both sides looking to profit from long throw-ins - Stoke with the familiar Rory Delap bombardment and the visitors through Riise's efforts.
STOKE'S HOME RECORD 2011/12
- 2-0 v Fulham (Premier League)
- 2-1 v Besiktas (Europa League)
- 1-1 v Man Utd (Premier League)
- 0-0 v Spurs (7-6 pens) (Carling Cup)
- 1-0 v Liverpool (Premier League)
- 4-1 v FC Thun (Europa League)
- 0-0 v Chelsea (Premier League)
- 1-0 v Hajduk Split (Europa League)
Delap's throws caused the greater panic, particularly after the break as a much-improved home side started to get on top and create chances.
Riise did crash a fantastic, trademark free-kick against the bar from 25 yards but it was the Potters who increasingly posed the greater threat.
Marc Wilson's header was brilliantly blocked on the line by the expertly positioned Danny Murphy and Delap hit the post with a curled, deflected strike after some nifty footwork on the edge of the box.
But the excellent Etherington - who played despite requiring injections in his back - proved the inspiration Stoke needed.
His shot, following a corner, was heading just wide of the far post but Walters was quickest to react and knocked the ball home from close range.
And in the closing stages he ensured the hosts - who are four Premier League games undefeated at home, and eight in all competitions - rose to seventh in the table, when his delightful free-kick was powerfully headed home by Delap from six yards.
Fulham remain winless away from home this term and have just the one Premier League victory from their eight fixtures.
Stoke City manager Tony Pulis:
"It was a great result because Fulham are a decent side and looked really dangerous off their long throws and set-plays.
"But in general play I didn't think they caused us too many problems. We had six or seven good opportunities to score and we would have been very disappointed if we hadn't won.
"We've got it going [at home] and the crowd have been fantastic. They get behind us brilliantly. It's been a great start to the season for us."
Fulham manager Martin Jol:
"We did well for 80 minutes but from a free-kick they scored and the negative thing is that we gave away unnecessary free-kicks which you shouldn't do against them. I think we contained them but it's not easy on this pitch to play our football.
"I thought we were OK. We hit the post and had a couple of chances so to give it away in the last 10 minutes is harsh.
"I don't think we played well enough to win but we contained them for 80 minutes. We were pretty good at the back."
- 01 Begovic
- 17 Shawcross
- 20 Upson Booked
- 28 Wilkinson
- 06 Whelan Booked
- 12 Wilson
- 16 Pennant Booked (Whitehead - 82' )
- 24 Delap Booked
- 26 Etherington (Diao - 90' )
- 19 Walters
- 25 Crouch
- 29 Sorensen
- 04 Huth
- 30 Shotton
- 15 Diao
- 18 Whitehead
- 09 Jones
- 33 Jerome
- 01 Schwarzer
- 03 JA Riise
- 05 Hangeland
- 06 Baird Booked
- 18 Hughes
- 04 Sidwell
- 13 Murphy Booked (Etuhu - 80' )
- 23 Dempsey
- 08 Johnson (Sa - 84' )
- 25 Zamora Booked
- 30 Dembele (Duff - 36' Booked )
- 38 Etheridge
- 02 Kelly
- 28 Briggs
- 10 Kasami
- 16 Duff
- 20 Etuhu
- 09 Sa
Live Text Commentary
Full Time The referee brings the game to a close.90:00 +3:45
Shot by Clint Dempsey from 25 yards. Save by Asmir Begovic.90:00 +0:19
Direct free kick taken by Asmir Begovic.90:00 +0:19 Substitution
Substitution Salif Diao replaces Matthew Etherington.90:00 +0:19
Free kick awarded for a foul by Bobby Zamora on Dean Whitehead.86:42
Assist on the goal came from Matthew Etherington.86:42 Goal scored
Goal! - Rory Delap - Stoke 2 - 0 Fulham Rory Delap grabs a headed goal from inside the penalty box. Stoke 2-0 Fulham.86:16
A cross is delivered by Matthew Etherington,86:16 Booking
Booking Chris Baird receives a caution for unsporting behaviour.86:09
Unfair challenge on Matthew Etherington by Chris Baird results in a free kick.84:59
Foul by Steve Sidwell on Dean Whitehead, free kick awarded. Strike on goal comes in from Glenn Whelan from the free kick.83:54 Substitution
Substitution Carlos Orlando Sa replaces Andrew Johnson.80:07
Corner taken short by Clint Dempsey.79:24 Substitution
Substitution Dean Whitehead on for Jermaine Pennant.79:24 Substitution
Substitution Dickson Etuhu joins the action as a substitute, replacing Danny Murphy.79:05
Assist on the goal came from Matthew Etherington.79:05 Goal scored
Goal! - Jonathan Walters - Stoke 1 - 0 Fulham Jonathan Walters finds the net with a goal from close in to the bottom right corner of the goal. Stoke 1-0 Fulham.79:00 Booking
Booking Bobby Zamora receives a yellow card.76:44
Bobby Zamora restarts play with the free kick. Effort from 20 yards by John Arne Riise.76:44 Booking
Booking Matthew Upson shown a yellow card.
Booking Booking for Danny Murphy for dissent.75:47
Matthew Upson concedes a free kick for a foul on Danny Murphy.75:18
Chris Baird takes the free kick.75:18 Booking
Booking Booking for Glenn Whelan.75:06
Glenn Whelan gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Andrew Johnson.73:51
Jermaine Pennant sends in a cross, Chris Baird makes a clearance. Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Jermaine Pennant from the left by-line, Headed effort from inside the box by Matthew Upson misses to the right of the target.72:06
Danny Murphy gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Jermaine Pennant. Marc Wilson produces a shot on goal direct from the free kick.71:32
The official flags Andrew Johnson offside. Indirect free kick taken by Matthew Upson.70:03
Free kick taken by Mark Schwarzer.70:03 Booking
Booking Jermaine Pennant booked.69:37
Free kick awarded for a foul by Jermaine Pennant on Clint Dempsey.69:27
The ball is swung over by Jonathan Walters, Aaron Hughes makes a clearance.68:10
Clint Dempsey fouled by Andy Wilkinson, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick taken by Danny Murphy.67:02
Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Matthew Etherington, Header on goal by Peter Crouch from inside the box goes harmlessly over the target.66:36
Rory Delap takes a shot. Mark Schwarzer makes a save.65:49
Free kick crossed by Jermaine Pennant, Danny Murphy manages to make a clearance.65:49 Booking
Booking Damien Duff goes into the referee's book for dissent.65:33
Free kick awarded for a foul by Steve Sidwell on Jermaine Pennant.65:00
The ball is delivered by John Arne Riise, Matthew Upson makes a clearance.64:01
Rory Delap gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Bobby Zamora. Brede Hangeland takes the direct free kick.63:51
Matthew Etherington produces a cross, Mark Schwarzer makes a save.61:30
Ryan Shawcross fouled by Bobby Zamora, the ref awards a free kick. Asmir Begovic takes the direct free kick.60:12
The ball is sent over by Andrew Johnson, Andy Wilkinson makes a clearance.58:22
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Jermaine Pennant by Danny Murphy. Asmir Begovic restarts play with the free kick.57:40
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Clint Dempsey by Rory Delap. Danny Murphy restarts play with the free kick.56:51
Brede Hangeland concedes a free kick for a foul on Matthew Upson. Asmir Begovic takes the direct free kick.55:22 Booking
Booking Rory Delap is shown a yellow card for unsporting behaviour.55:14
Rory Delap challenges Clint Dempsey unfairly and gives away a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Danny Murphy.52:01
Foul by Rory Delap on Steve Sidwell, free kick awarded. Aaron Hughes takes the free kick.50:59
Effort on goal by Rory Delap from 35 yards cleared the goal.48:02
Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Jermaine Pennant from the left by-line, clearance by Clint Dempsey.45:41
Jermaine Pennant produces a cross, Matthew Etherington takes the chance to get an effort at goal. Blocked by Aaron Hughes.45:01
The referee starts the second half.45:00 +2:31 Half time
Half Time The ref blows to signal half-time.45:00 +2:11
The ball is crossed by Damien Duff, Matthew Upson manages to make a clearance.45:00 +1:26
Foul by Bobby Zamora on Ryan Shawcross, free kick awarded. Asmir Begovic takes the free kick.45:00 +0:07
Jermaine Pennant has an effort at goal from deep inside the area missing to the left of the target.44:21
Foul by Bobby Zamora on Jermaine Pennant, free kick awarded. Andy Wilkinson takes the direct free kick.43:29
Danny Murphy gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Peter Crouch. Direct free kick taken by Glenn Whelan.42:11
The ball is delivered by Jermaine Pennant, save by Mark Schwarzer.39:40
Headed effort from deep inside the penalty area by Bobby Zamora misses to the right of the target.37:33
Unfair challenge on Glenn Whelan by Bobby Zamora results in a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Matthew Upson.37:04
Matthew Etherington produces a right-footed shot from just outside the area that goes wide left of the goal.36:18
Bobby Zamora gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Matthew Upson. Glenn Whelan takes the direct free kick.34:00 Substitution
Substitution Damien Duff joins the action as a substitute, replacing Moussa Dembele.34:00
Matthew Etherington delivers the ball, Unfair challenge on Mark Schwarzer by Peter Crouch results in a free kick. Mark Schwarzer takes the direct free kick.32:39
The ball is crossed by Jermaine Pennant.31:29
Free kick awarded for a foul by Glenn Whelan on Danny Murphy. Danny Murphy restarts play with the free kick.30:46
Jermaine Pennant crosses the ball, Chris Baird makes a clearance.28:37
The ball is sent over by Jermaine Pennant.26:26
Moussa Dembele concedes a free kick for a foul on Matthew Etherington. Free kick taken by Glenn Whelan. Matthew Upson takes a shot. Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Jermaine Pennant from the left by-line to the near post, Bobby Zamora manages to make a clearance. Danny Murphy gets a block in.25:50
Shot by Rory Delap from 20 yards. Blocked by Bobby Zamora.23:32
A cross is delivered by Jonathan Walters, Aaron Hughes manages to make a clearance.22:38
Foul by Glenn Whelan on Clint Dempsey, free kick awarded. Steve Sidwell restarts play with the free kick.21:15
The ball is delivered by Jermaine Pennant, Peter Crouch has an effort at goal from close in which goes wide right of the goal.20:08
Mark Schwarzer fouled by Peter Crouch, the ref awards a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Mark Schwarzer.18:37
Effort on goal by John Arne Riise from just outside the penalty area goes harmlessly over the target.15:39
Corner taken right-footed by Jermaine Pennant from the left by-line to the near post, clearance made by Chris Baird.10:40
Glenn Whelan fouled by Clint Dempsey, the ref awards a free kick. Rory Delap takes the free kick.9:21
Peter Crouch is caught offside. Free kick taken by Mark Schwarzer.7:15
Steve Sidwell fouled by Glenn Whelan, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick taken by Danny Murphy.4:55
Corner from left by-line taken by Danny Murphy.4:13
Free kick awarded for a foul by Jonathan Walters on Brede Hangeland. Mark Schwarzer restarts play with the free kick.0:00
The referee gets the game underway.
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