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Page last updated at 16:01 GMT, Saturday, 16 May 2009 17:01 UK

Stoke 2-0 Wigan

James Beattie
James Beattie heads in Stoke's second in their 10th home win of the campaign

Goals from Ricardo Fuller and James Beattie gave Stoke a comfortable win which saw them move above Wigan and into 11th in the Premier League table.

The match only sprang into life in the 69th minute when Fuller's persistence saw him evade three defenders and fire past Latics goalkeeper Richard Kingson.

Beattie sealed victory soon after when he headed in Matt Etherington's cross.

Wigan, without a win in seven games, struggled to respond and Fuller almost headed home a third goal late on.

The home side's solid performance underlined the progress they have made in their first year in the Premier League.


With the Potters' safety already guaranteed, their 10th league win of the season at the Britannia Stadium means they approach their final game of the campaign Arsenal next week with a chance of securing a top-half finish.

Wigan will end the season with much less optimism, and the inability to score that is the root of their problems was again apparent here.

Pulis hails Stoke team effort

The Latics had the best of a poor first half with Paul Scharner and debutant Cho Won-hee forcing saves out of Stoke keeper Thomas Sorensen.

At the other end, the closest Stoke came to breaking the deadlock was when one of Rory Delap's trademark throws flew straight into the net without another player managing to get a touch.

The visitors continued to misfire after the break, with Charles N'Zogbia and Lee Cattermole both wasting chances when well placed.

Bruce voices Wigan disappointment

But Stoke eventually came good and Fuller put them ahead when he reached Liam Lawrence's hoisted pass and battled past Emmerson Boyce, Titus Bramble and Maynor Figueroa before firing home.

Beattie added a second seven minutes later when he met Etherington's cross at the far post and headed home.

By now, Wigan boss Steve Bruce had brought Mido off the bench in an attempt to increase his side's attacking threat but it was Stoke who went closest to scoring again before the end when Fuller headed inches wide.

Stoke manager Tony Pulis:
"We are absolutely delighted to have won here for the supporters, who have been fantastic.

"It has been a difficult week because after we won at Hull we were safe and the relief of having Premier League football next year takes the edge off.

"We wanted the players to enjoy the week but also have a right crack."

Wigan boss Steve Bruce:
"The longer it went on I thought they had the cutting edge and I thought the first goal was always going to win it.

"Overall I didn't think we did enough going forward and we got punished at the other end.

"For too long we've relied on our defensive organisation and when you look at the first goal we've had five attempts to tackle him but Fuller is decent.

"He is the difference and he won them the game today. He kept at it, he was determined, he scored a goal and he was a handful."

Stoke: Sorensen, Shawcross, Abdoulaye Faye, Cort (Pugh 46), Wilkinson, Lawrence, Delap, Whelan, Etherington (Diao 76), Beattie (Cresswell 86), Fuller.
Subs Not Used: Simonsen, Olofinjana, Kelly, Tonge.

Goals: Fuller 69, Beattie 76.

Wigan: Kingson, Melchiot, Boyce, Bramble, Figueroa (Edman 81), Scharner, Cho (Watson 58), Brown (Mido 73), Cattermole, N'Zogbia, Rodallega.
Subs Not Used: Pollitt, Koumas, De Ridder, McManaman.

Att: 25,641

Ref: Lee Probert (Wiltshire).

BBC Sport Player Rater man of the match: Stoke City's Thomas Sorensen 7.71 (on 90 minutes).

Please note that you can still give the players marks out of 10 on BBC Sport's Player Rater after the match has finished.

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see also
Premier League as it happened
16 May 09 |  Premier League
Premier League photos
16 May 09 |  Premier League

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