Fuller spot on to rescue Stoke
Stoke forward Ricardo Fuller held his nerve to convert the late penalty that rescued a 1-1 draw against Hull on Saturday. Tony Pulis's side trailed against their fellow Premier League team at the Britannia Stadium after Hull's Marlon King struck on the stroke of half time. But Fuller extended Stoke's impressive recent run to one defeat in six matches when he won and coverted a spot-kick with 17 minutes remaining.
Fuller's equaliser kept Stoke above the relegation zone and left Hull frustrated as the visitors' winless run stretched to six matches. Hull manager Phil Brown had sprung a surprise before kick-off as he handed former England international Nick Barmby a recall, while Stoke's top scorer Fuller returned after suspension as the hosts went in search of a fifth successive home league win. Hull have taken 14 of their 22 points this season away from home but they were under pressure in the early stages.
Fuller should have given Stoke the lead when a loose ball fell his way but the Jamaican failed to hit the target from close range. After that Stoke's most likely threat in the first half were Rory Delap's long throw-ins into the penalty area. Delap has caused problems for several top-flight defences with his low-trajectory deliveries, but Hull tried to disrupt his rhythm when substitute Dean Windass warmed up next to the defender as he prepared to take a throw. The veteran forward was booked and Stoke still went close from another throw moments later as Leon Cort flicked a header goalwards and Hull keeper Boaz Myhill saved.
Only Chelsea have scored more goals than Hull on their travels this season and the visitors snatched another away goal on the stroke of half-time. Sam Ricketts floated in a free-kick, Michael Turner headed down and King took a touch before curling into the top corner. Delap's long throws continued to worry Hull and Cort's header drew an impressive parry from Myhill early in the second half.
But Hull responded with the best move of the match as Geovanni and King interchanged to tee up Dean Marney, whose shot from the edge of the area was stopped by Stoke keeper Thomas Sorensen. Stoke got back on level terms in the 73rd minute after striker Fuller was brought down by Myhill in the penalty area. Referee Keith Stroud pointed to the spot and Fuller picked himself up to drive his penalty past Myhill, who got a hand to the ball but couldn't keep it out.