Swansea City’s unbeaten away record was ended by “a gift from heaven” according to Stoke City manager Gary Rowett.
The Swans lost 1-0 on Tuesday night to drop to 10th in the Championship table, but the only goal of the game should have been ruled out by referee Paul Tierney.
Joe Allen claimed it against his old club but the Wales midfielder was clearly offside when he scored the only goal of the game 12 minutes after half-time.
In an honest appraisal Rowett said: “It was a gift from heaven.
“But you take what you’re given sometimes. It was offside, so we’ve had a bit of fortune. Having watched it back, it was definitely offside.
“But even if you discount the goal, we’ve had the three of the clearest chances in the game.
“We started to create some good opportunities late on – and it was much better. But certainly the goal gave us a nice platform at a good time because maybe our play hadn’t been quite good enough to get the lead.”
Potter had selected an unfamiliar line-up from his injury hit squad, but they had acquitted themselves well and might well have been ahead before Allen’s goal.
Yet it was a familiar theme to the goalless performances at home to Bristol City and Nottingham Forest, where the Swans manage some neat approach work, but lack conviction when it comes to taking chances.
Potter had praise for his team and accepted the offside call as an occupational hazard.
Reflecting on Allen’s goal, he said: “It felt strange at the time and seeing it back it’s an obvious one.
“But it’s part of football and these mistakes happen. I won’t be the first guy to moan about an offside decision.
“From our perspective we look to what we can do a little bit better. We could have created more chances than we did, but we’ll probably play a lot worse and pick up points.
“It would have been nice to win here, but it’s nice to come back. I would have preferred to go home with three points though.
“However, we showed a great attitude and spirit, we showed a lot of character. I’m disappointed to lose because we put a hell of a lot into the game.”
Defeat for Swansea means they have now not won consecutive away league matches since January 2017 and also ended their recent two-match unbeaten run.
Swans midfielder Daniel James went close to equalising in the 72nd minute but his right-foot deflected shot was well saved by an alert Jack Butland.
There was almost a point rescued late on when Scotland international Oli McBurnie forced Butland to athletically tip over the bar, but Stoke held on.