Safe Potters sink troubled Tigers
Liam Lawrence guaranteed Stoke's Premier League survival with a stunning strike in a 2-1 win which pushed Hull closer to relegation. Lawrence blasted home from 25 yards with 18 minutes remaining to double his side's advantage after an earlier Ricardo Fuller effort. Andy Dawson replied with a stoppage-time free-kick but it was too late as Stoke held on to clamber to 42 points and safety. Thomas Sorensen was the first goalkeeper tested when he palmed over a Daniel Cousin header after Craig Fagan won the ball on the right. Stoke snatched the lead five minutes before half-time when the ball kindly broke to Fuller from a Lawrence cross and the striker made no mistake as he turned and fired past Boaz Myhill from close range. Glenn Whelan went close to adding a second for Stoke after the break with a dipping half-volley. With a replica of his earlier effort, Whelan then went even closer just after the hour with a well-controlled shot which crashed against the inside of the post. Lawrence doubled Stoke's lead with his stunning strike. Again afforded far too much space on the right, the former Sunderland man took a Fuller pass in his stride and unleashed a fierce shot which gave Myhill no chance. Dawson netted belatedly with a curling free-kick as the game entered six minutes of stoppage time but it was too little too late. Hull complained after substitute Geovanni thought his late shot had been deflected for a corner but referee Howard Webb awarded a goal-kick and then blew the final whistle.
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