Jermaine Pennant's first goal of the season was enough to secure all three points for Mark Hughes' side at Upton Park in a game that will not live long in the memory.

Stoke City won just two away games in the whole of last season, and given West Ham's present form, did not look likely to take anything away from London today. But Pennant's fifth goal for Stoke secured their first away win since April.

Kenwyne Jones came into the Stoke City side in the only change, after his hat tick against Walsall in The Capital One Cup. Peter Crouch started on the bench. West Ham were without midfielder Alou Diarra, Andy Carroll and George McCartney.

Stoke started the stronger team with Charlie Adam and Marc Wilson linking up well with Jones but Jussi Jääskeläinen was all over their efforts.

Jones was running the defence riot and proving to his manager why he was right to chose him over Crouch, he made a strong run down the centre but the end product was over the bar.

Stoke had one of the best efforts of the half when Marc Wilson hit a volley from the edge of the box which was spilled by Jaaskelainen. Walters then closed down the the loose ball and managed to put a shot in but the goalkeeper somehow managed to get a hand to it and put the ball behind.

The attacking intent that Stoke were playing with seemed to shock West Ham and they were not able to put a shot together for most of the first half until Matt Jervis put in a brilliant cross on the touchline and Modibo Maiga managed to break free from the defence, but couldn't equalise on the opportunity.

The Hammers took over the possession heading into the interval through Jervis but were unable to capitalise on their advantage and make any sort of breakthrough.

Stoke came out fighting for the second half and had West Ham on the back foot, but as with The Hammers before the break they didn't have anything to show for the sustained pressure.

Steven Nzonzi had one of the best chances as he unleashed a shot from 30 yards out before  West Ham pounced as Stoke failed  to clear a corner. The ball was nodded into the path of Winston Reid 16 yards out, but could only watch his shot dip just over the bar. 

West Ham were on top heading into the last 20 minutes and Stoke introduced Glenn Whelan and Jermaine Pennant in the places of Matthew Etherington and Charlie Adam as a way to combat their possession, Whelan was straight into the action but couldn't equalise on his chance in the box.

Whelan won a free kick after then referee deemed Reid had fouled him, Pennant took advantage of this and opened his scoring account for the season. A fabulously taken kick and Jaaskelainen got no where near it.

Maiga was getting nowhere against Robert Huth and Ryan Shawcross, West Ham missed Andy Carroll today, the sooner he gets back from injury, the sooner The Hammers can get back on track.

A very scrappy game which lacked conviction in the final third, both teams could have had goals if they had the quality to finish but overall Pennant's superbly taken free kick proved to be the difference.

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Topics:
#Stoke City
#Premier League
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