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PA Wire/PA Images Michael Oliver (left) gives a red card to Stoke City's Ibrahim Afellay.
# Rough and Tumble
Stoke earned two straight red cards in five first-half minutes
Midfielders Ibrahim Afellay and Charlie Adam have been shown straight red cards.

STOKE CITY WERE  reduced to nine men in the first-half of their 1 – 0 defeat to West Brom at the Britannia, with midfielders Ibrahim Afellay and Charlie Adam shown straight red cards.

Afellay was shown his marching orders after twenty-five minutes when he reacted angrily to a trip on the halfway line. The ex-Barcelona man lashed out at Craig Gardner, striking him in the face. The referee wasted no time in producing the red card and also booked Gardner for the challenge.

Just five minutes later, Stoke were down to nine men when Scottish international Charlie Adam was sent off. Adam tackled West Brom defender Craig Dawson on the far-side of the pitch and the players seemed to tangle. The assistant referee immediately raised his flag and the referee produced the red card for an apparent stamp.

Tony Pulis’ immediate reaction was to bring Rickie Lambert off the bench to replace defensive midfielder Claudio Yacob. A clear signal of his intent to capitalise on Stoke’s misfortune and secure an invaluable three points.

It looked like Stoke were going to hold on until the break as West Brom failed to find the breakthrough. But just on the stroke of half-time, the ball fell kindly for Solomon Rondon and he gave the Baggies a one nil lead.

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