Stoke 1-1 Everton

Stoke striker Cameron Jerome
Stoke striker Cameron Jerome

Cameron Jerome came off the bench to earn Stoke a point against Everton at the Britannia Stadium.

Former Liverpool striker Peter Crouch's own goal put David Moyes's side in front just before half-time.

Other than Rory Delap's long throws, Stoke struggled to create decent chances until Jerome was brought on as part of a treble substitution midway through the second period.

Moments later the striker burst clear to finish from just inside the area.

It was the third time Jerome, who joined in a £4m deal from relegated Birmingham last summer, has come off the bench to score this season and he has only managed one other league goal.

Having made just six Premier League starts since his move to Stoke, Jerome, 25, recently expressed his frustration at being used as a substitute.

The former Cardiff man will hope his latest contribution can help push him past Tony Pulis' established partnership of Crouch and Jonathan Walters.

Although Pulis will be grateful for Jerome's impact, Stoke are still limping through the final weeks of the season and now have just one win in their last nine matches.

Everton can at least be content with moving a further point clear of Liverpool after extending their winless run to seven games in this forgettable tussle.

In announcing Delap's new one-year contract before kick-off, manager Pulis had claimed his veteran midfielder offers much more than just his famed long throw.

Other than a Matthew Etherington effort that flew over from just outside the area, Delap was the source of all of Stoke's first-half opportunities, with Robert Huth, Ryan Shawcross and Kenwyne Jones all failing to make the most of opportunities from the former Republic of Ireland international.

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Pulis praises 'fantastic' Stoke

Everton lost Victor Anichebe, who had a penalty appeal turned down after a Huth challenge, to injury but his replacement Magaye Gueye immediately gave them plenty of thrust down the left.

The French youngster's cross was seen late by Nikica Jelavic and the Croatian could only send an improvised effort over the bar with his knee.

But the visitors took the lead just before the interval when Tony Hibbert's cross hit Marc Wilson and glanced in off Crouch's back.

Everton continued to soak up Stoke's direct attacks and Jelavic, Steven Pienaar and Leon Osman combined for the latter to slice wide from a good position.

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Everton unlucky not to win - Moyes

Pulis attempted to spark his team with a treble substitution and, within moments, it made a difference.

Jerome charged on to a loose ball near the halfway line and neither Phil Jagielka or John Heitinga made a challenge before the striker produced a calm finish.

The Potters striker also lifted a header over the bar from a ball shortly after before Huth had a free-kick deflected straight to Tim Howard.

Stoke manager Tony Pulis:

"We looked a little bit jaded after playing Arsenal here at the weekend. Everton are a good side but the attitude in the second half was fantastic.

"I'm no genius. If (the treble change) works, it works, and I felt it was right to put a bit of pace up the sides and up the top and the two lads did smashing and Glenn anchored the midfield well.

"QPR and Bolton are fighting for their lives and our final two matches will be a great challenge for us."

Everton manager David Moyes:

"You would expect them to finish strongly with the crowd behind them. It was a good point but we looked like scoring the second goal and played some good stuff so we are unlucky not to go away with the points.

"We're not impressed by the defending for their goal. You would hope someone would take the ball off him.

"(Finishing above Liverpool) is not desperately important, the important thing is to finish in the top 10 and this point might just about secure that. If we can win the last two games and finish up there it will be a good season for us."

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