Crouch comes back to haunt Southampton as his goal earns draw
London: A goal by Peter Crouch against one of his former teams earned Stoke just their seventh point away from home from this season as they secured a creditable 2-2 draw with Southampton at St Mary`s on Saturday.
All the goals came in the first half as the Saints twice took the lead, only to be pegged back on both occasions by a determined Stoke side, who followed up their fine 2-1 win over Manchester United last week with another good result.
Southampton went ahead as early as the sixth minute with a free kick from a tight angle on the edge of the area from striker Rickie Lambert, his eighth goal in the Premier League this season.
Despite largely dominating the early exchanges, Southampton failed to add to their lead and paid the price in the 38th minute when Stoke equalised after Peter Odemwingie latched onto a wonderful defence-splitting pass from Charlie Adam, and slotted home.
It was the Nigerian striker`s first goal for the Potters since moving from Cardiff.
A stung Southampton re-took the lead almost immediately when a cross-cum-shot from Northern Ireland international midfielder Steven Davis in the 41st minute embarrassed Asmir Begovic in Stoke`s goal and sneaked into the net.
But the home side were only able to hold onto the lead for a minute with Stoke instantly pegging them back through a headed goal from Crouch, who played for Southampton back in 2004/05.
Neither side were able to snatch a winner in a largely lacklustre second half.
Despite dominating possession and having 17 shots to Stoke`s five, Southampton were unable to force a decisive third goal and the game petered out into a draw.
It was the second between these two in the Premier League this season following a 1-1 draw at the Britannia last November.
The result - Southampton`s fifth home draw of the season - left the Saints in ninth place with Stoke three places and 10 points further back on 26 and just three points above the relegation places.