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Saturday, 11 May, 2002, 14:27 GMT 15:27 UK
Stoke seal promotion
Stoke striker Deon Burton puts his side into the lead with a poacher's goal
Goalscorer Burton proved a handful for Brentford
Brentford 0-2 Stoke City

Stoke broke Brentford hearts - and the curse of the south stand dressing room - to seal promotion to Division One with a deserved win at the Millennium Stadium.

Eleven teams have fallen foul of the changing-room hoodoo since February 2001.

But Deon Burton's first-half strike and an own goal by Brentford forward Ben Burgess finally put an end to that jinx.

The Bees simply had no sting in their tail and, despite a spirited second-half display, their well-organised opponents ran out worthy winners.

  Key incidents
16 mins: Deon Burton puts Stoke ahead
44 mins: Brentford's Ben Burgess deflects a Bjarni Gudjonsson free-kick past his own keeper

Stoke can now look forward to life in the First Division alongside Reading and managerless Brighton, who are rumoured to want Steve Coppell as their new boss.

The game started brightly and Burton gave an early sign of his intent when, with only 50 seconds on the clock, he almost latched on to a defence-splitting pass.

However, Brentford's Michael Dobson made a timley challenge to deny the busy forward a chance on goal.


It has taken two-and-a-half years to get into the First Division - but we have completed the job
Stoke boss Gudjon Thordarson

Stoke asserted themselves with far greater conviction and, as the half wore on, were duly rewarded for their endeavour.

Arnar Gunnlaugsson whipped in a dangerous corner, which the tall figure of Chris Iwelumo flicked on for Burton to dispatch a typical poacher's goal.

Stoke defender Peter Handyside contained the threat of Brentford striker Lloyd Owusu
Handyside commanding in Stoke's defence

Brentford's only noteworthy chance during the first half fell to Burgess in the third minute, but the on-loan striker skied over from close range.

Yet Burgess did find the net just before the interval and his contribution would prove to be the most telling of the afternoon.


We conceded two goals from two set pieces which really disturbed the players
Brentford boss Steve Coppell

Gunnlaugsson was brought down on the edge of the Brentford area and from Bjarni Gudjonsson's free-kick, Burgess deflected the ball past stranded keeper Paul Smith.

With Stoke in the ascendancy, Brentford looked to striker Lloyd Owusu to produce something special.

But he was thwarted by Neil Cutler in the Stoke goal, whose second-half heroics kept Brentford at bay. Cutler also produced a superb save to deny Mark McCammon late on.

Ultimately, the two-goal deficit proved just too much for Brentford, who could not find a way past a resolute Stoke defence.


Brentford: Paul Smith, Anderson, Ingimarsson, Powell, Dobson, Paul Evans, Rowlands (O'Connor 78), Hunt, Sidwell, Owusu, Burgess (McCammon 70).
Subs Not Used: Gottskalksson, Boxall, Theobald.

Stoke: Cutler, Clarke, Handyside, Shtaniuk, Thomas, Gudjonsson, O'Connor, Dinning (Brightwell 85), Gunnlaugsson (Vandeurzen 74), Burton, Iwelumo (Cooke 57).
Subs Not Used: Oulare, Viander.

Attendance: 42,523

Referee: G Laws (Whitley Bay).

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
Stoke's Peter Handyside
"It's absolutely fantastic"
Brentford boss Steve Coppell
"The players are really dejected"

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