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EUROPA LEAGUE THIRD QUALIFYING ROUND 1ST LEG: Stoke take narrow first leg lead to Croatia

Stoke celebrated a 37 year absence from European competition with a narrow 1-0 first leg win over Hajduk Split in the Europa League qualifying round. It should have been more comfortable for the Potters who had the opportunities to take a two goal first leg lead to Croatia next Thursday.

In the end Tony Pulis's team had to settle for an early header from Jon Walters after only three minutes to settle the tie.

Kenwyne Jones looked the most likely to add to the scoreline going close on several occasions, but Hajduk Split doggedly held out ensuring they remain in the tie.

Referee: Babak Rafati (GER)

Venue: Britannia Stadium

Attendance: 26,322

Stoke scorers: Walters 3 Hajduk Split scorers:

STOKE 01 Begovic 04 Huth (yellow card) 17 Shawcross 28 Wilkinson 06 Whelan 07 Pennant (Whitehead 75) 12 Wilson 24 Delap 26 Etherington (Shotton 88) 09 Jones 19 Walters

Substitutes 29 Sorensen, 05 Collins, 30 Shotton, 39 Woodgate, 14 Pugh, 15 Diao, 18 Whitehead

HAJDUK SPLIT 01 Subasic 07 Vejic 19 Inoha 22 Maloca 28 Ruben Lima 11 Andric 14 Tomasov (Sharbini 85) 18 Oremus 21 Mario Brkljaca 99 Anas Sharbini (Ljubicic 90+2) 13 Vukusic (Vukovic 63)

Substitutes 12 Kalinic, 17 Kukoc, 33 Dens, 08 Ljubicic, 09 Sharbini, 20 Vukovic, 91 Saric

 It's kicking off again! Click here for your No1 source for Stoke transfer market news and gossip.

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Dave Williams

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