1-0: Assombalonga (2, moved ahead of Batth to convert Howson’s lovely cross from the byline)

Referee: Darren Bond (Wigan) – there were a couple of debatable decisions but overall he kept the game flowing. 7

Bookings: Clucas (62, dissent)

Attendance: 22,890

Entertainment: **

Boro Stoke

Shots on 2 1

Shots off 5 13

Corners 2 10

Offsides 2 2

Fouls 12 8


6 Randolph: Another clean sheet even if he didn’t have to make the quality of saves that he has needed to before;

8 McNAIR: Can’t be faulted for his display after being asked to slot in to the defence

7 Flint: Made a couple of telling interceptions and clearances when Hull kept pushing in search of an equaliser

7 Shotton: A calming influence at the back from start to finish in what was a new look defence again;

7 Howson: Supplied the sweet cross for the opening goal, a number of other deliveries and did his best to track McClean

6 Mikel: Without really imposing himself on the game like he can, he still did well to protect the back four when he was asked to

6 Clayton: Played further forward than he would like but still got through the work without creating things

5 Besic: Looked to get involved and move things on without ever looking like he was in complete control

5 Saville: Asked to play a couple of different roles and improved when he was slotted into the middle, almost scored;

5 Fletcher: Put himself about without ever looking like he would add to his goals tally against the Potters

6 Assombalonga: A fantastic start with an early goal when he moved ahead of his man to take his scoring total to 14 for an up and down season


Downing (for Besic 55): Looked to give Boro more balance and creativity down the left. 5

Tavernier (for Gestede 73)

Hugill (for Assombalonga 83)

(not used): Konstantopoulos (gk), Spence, Wood, Gestede.

STOKE CITY (4-4-2): Federici 6; Edwards 6, Collins 6, Batth 7, Williams 5; McCLEAN 7 (Diouf 85), Allen 6, Clucas 6, Etebo 6; Vokes 5, Afobe 5 (Verlinden 71). Subs (not used): Haugaard, Bauer, Adam, Bolan, Jarvis.

MAN OF THE MATCH: Paddy McNair - he might not have played much since arriving from Sunderland but he could be a huge player for the last few games if he keeps playing like this.