Stoke City kept their first home clean sheet since November as they played out a 0-0 draw with West Bromwich Albion on Saturday.
Tony Pulis’ men have managed only one win in 2013, but displayed a strong defensive performance against West Brom, who had won three of their past four games to help push for a top-eight finish.
A point for Stoke has seen them climb up to 10th on goal difference, but they are locked with four other teams on 33 points.
West Brom stay eighth in the English Premier League, a point behind seventh-placed Liverpool.
Steve Clarke’s West Brom were the livelier of the two teams early in the encounter at Britannia Stadium.
Chris Brunt forced Asmir Begovic into an early save after James Morrison put the midfielder through on goal.
Despite a rocky start, Jon Walters went on to have the best chance of the first half, with his shot deflecting off Jonas Olsson before creeping inches wide of Ben Foster’s goal.
West Brom started the second half brightly as Jerome Thomas’ cross was directed to Romelu Lukaku, who headed the ball towards the Stoke goal, but Begovic caught with ease.
Stoke also came close in the early stages of the second half, but Peter Crouch and Matthew Etherington saw their chances go to waste after some resilient keeping from Foster.
Clarke’s side looked dominant, with West Brom repeatedly breaking on the right side of the pitch.
Morrison’s crosses provided a challenge for Stoke to deal with, although Lukaku failed to make use of his opportunities.
Kenwyne Jones was introduced just after the hour-mark at the expense of Crouch before West Brom responded by bringing on Peter Odemwingie for Thomas.
The Nigerian almost immediately made an impact as his 25-yard strike was saved by Begovic.
Stoke came agonisingly close to the opening goal with 10 minutes to go, as Marc Wilson’s header travelled inches wide of the goal following Dean Whitehead’s corner.
Despite late chances for Charlie Adam and Jones, West Brom held firm to gain a very valuable away point.
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