Despite controlling the encounter from the first minute to the last, Nathan Jones’ men were unable to score the goal their performance deserved to inflict a first defeat upon Owls boss Steve Bruce. The visitors thankful to goalkeeper Kieren Westwood for producing two outstanding saves during the entertaining contest. He
somehow kept the returning Bojan’s goal-bound effort out of the net with a great save down to his right just two minutes after the restart, before making an equally as important save to thwart Benik Afobe’s powerful header soon after.
The impressive Tom Edwards also saw a strike from 25-yards curl agonisingly past the post, just before man-of-the-match Peter Etebo suffered similar fate with a long-range drive of his own.Referee Andrew Madley was at the centre of attention 20 minutes from time when he waved play on despite Bojan appearing to have been fouled in the penalty area just as he looked set to pull the trigger.
The Owls, who had barely tested Butland throughout the encounter, very nearly stole a lead 10 minutes from time when Etebo was dispossessed on the edge of his own penalty area, but thankfully the England stopper was quickest off his blocks to save Sam Winnal’s strike.
Jones introduced Mame Diouf and Verlinden from the bench, and both made late impacts with Diouf firstly freeing Ince whose shot was saved by Westwood – 60 seconds before Verlinden’s teasing delivery was glanced wide, with the goal at his mercy, by Danny Batth.
A better performance from Stoke, a cutting edge is still missing, but the green shoots are growing. On to Blackburn…