Hughes angered by officials

Crouch’s 71st minute head secured Stoke victory in a poor game at the Britannia Stadium, but Hughes feels the game was overshadowed by the challenge on Ireland from Maynor Figueroa late in the first half.

The tackle left Ireland needing ’12-15 stitches’ in his calf and having to be replaced by Charlie Adam at the interval, with Hughes furious the challenge was left unpunished.

???I was really disappointed with the performance of the referee and his officials,??? Hughes said. ???We all talk about certain challenges in games in recent weeks but this is worse than any of them in my view.

???The officials didn???t do their jobs today. We had a couple of yellow cards which I thought in comparison to the one they missed on Stephen Ireland was astounding really.

???Unfortunately we lost Bojan, Stephen Ireland came in and did really well for us in a similar position and now we???ve lost him. Although we???ve won that has really taken the edge off the day.???

Record breaker

Crouch???s fourth goal in as many matches was the former England international???s 46th Premier League header, lifting him above Dion Dublin and level with Alan Shearer at the top of the all-time list. ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ????

???Any record that Alan Shearer holds is a good record to have and I???m very pleased to equal such a fantastic player,??? Crouch told Sky Sports. ???Hopefully I can get a few more.

???I think we had probably had that little more belief that we were going to win, and aside from the last few minutes at the end I thought we were in control.

???It was a scrappy game, but they???re the ones that if you want to be in the top half of the league you???ve got to win and fortunately we did.???