Charlie Adam proved the match-winner again as Stoke City earned a well-deserved 1-0 win over an ineffectual Fulham side at the Britannia Stadium, leaving the Cottagers winless in five Premier League games.
Fulham struggled to cope with Stoke's aerial threat for the entire game and it was a Peter Crouch knock-down that provided decisive, which Adam converted with ease to provide the Potters with the three points.
With Brede Hangeland suspended following his dismissal in last Sunday's defeat against Sunderland, Phillipe Senderos made a rare start at center back, while Ashkan Dejagah, Chris Baird and Mladen Petric also came into the starting eleven.
Pulis was also been forced into a defensive switch as Ryan Shotton came in at left back for the injured Andy Wilkinson; the rest of the team remained unchanged from the 1-1 draw with West Ham on Monday.
After a fairly even, albeit scrappy, opening fifteen minutes, Stoke began to dominate and, predictably, it was a set-piece that led to the first chance with Huth heading just wide from an Etherington corner.
Stoke's pressure continued to tell and it was a typical Stoke goal that eventually provided the breakthrough. Shotton got forward down the right and provided an excellent cross to the back post, aimed at Peter Crouch. Crouch got above Senderos with ease and nodded down for the lurking Charlie Adam, who duly took a touch and turned it home for six yards out to provide Stoke with the lead.
Fulham continued to struggle with Stoke aerially and it was from another corner that another great chance went begging for the home side, Shawcross heading onto the underside of the bar from another excellent Etherington corner.
Fulham failed to assert itself on the game and that pattern looked set to continue in the second half as, just after the break, Whelan fired over from the edge of the area after Schwarzer flapped at yet another Etherington delivery.
Stoke's pressure was relentless and the next chances came with twenty-five minutes remaining, Huth and Shawcross failing to capitalize from free headers following successive corners.
It was 73 minutes in before Asmir Begovic was finally forced into a save as Fulham pushed forward, Berbatov firing straight at Begovic following a nice move.
Fulham began to come into the game more as itthey pushed men forward in the latter stages, but there were few chances as it was ultimately unable to break down a typically resolute Stoke defense.
With minutes remaining, a linesman's flag was all that denied Kenwyne Jones a first Premier League goal of the season but the three points were already safe for the Potters.
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