Stoke City grabbed a win over a Brede Hangeland-less Fulham -- the Cottagers' fifth consecutive goal without a win -- thanks to a first half Charlie Adam goal. It wasn't exactly a compelling display at the Britannia, but the Potters will be more than happy with the three points anyway.
The early stages of the match were predictably stodgy. Stoke's muscular style seemed to unsettle the visitors, and it was the Potters who dominated the early exchanges in a very Stokey, boring manner. Crosses and long balls were hit into Mark Schwarzer's box, and eventually it was pretty clear that one of them would pay off.
It took 26 minutes, but eventually it did. Peter Crouch nodded down a Ryan Shotton cross, and Charlie Adam was, somehow, the first to get to the ball. The former Rangers midfielder took a touch to steady himself, then nutmegged Schwarzer to give the hosts a 1-0 lead.
Ryan Shawcross nearly doubled said lead shortly thereafter when he rattled the crossbar from a corner. His free header was made possible by a sneaky little shove on Aaron Hughes, but justice for the minor foul was done when Shawcross failed to keep the ball down.
Elsewhere, there was a bit of a kerfuffle in midfield after Robert Huth decided to ramp up Stoke's policy of physically intimidating Dimitar Berbatov by digging his studs into his back. The Bulgarian was incensed at the treatment, which turned into a confrontation involving Shawcross as well. Miraculously, no limbs were broken.
The second half came and went with minimal fuss. Steve Sidwell missed a chance for a Fulham equaliser due to his being Steve Sidwell, and in the 89th minute Kenwyne Jones had what would have been a well-deserved second Stoke goal overturned for offside. Some bobbing and weaving at the corner flag later, and the hosts had their third win of the season. Not a bad match from Tony Pulis and the Potters.