2016 - 2017

2016 - 2017

Saturday, March 31, 2007

Stoke City4 Leicester City 2

Leicester came to Stoke, to their credit, aiming to win the game,rather than putting 10 men behind the ball as others have done at the Britannia Stadium recently.

This made for an excellent game of football much enjoyed by the fans,Stoke eventually emerging worthy 4 - 2 winners.

The official man of the match was John Eustace who indeed played very well showing some of his old touch in the midfield,but for me the obvious selection was Ricardo Fuller,who made 3 goals for his colleagues,and scored one,a penalty,after he had been upended in the box.

Leicester opened the scoring with Kenton tapping in when Simonsen dropped the ball (little doubt for me that he was jostled as he tried to make the catch).Stoke soon equalised when Fuller played a delightful ball from the right into the path of Parkin who took the chance confidently.

10 minutes later Fuller was brought down in the box,took the penalty himself,sent the goalkeeper the wrong way and placed the ball in the net with ease.

On 58 minutes Leicester came back into the match when Hammond's shot was deflected past a helpless Simonsen in the Stoke goal.

Stoke responded by rolling up their sleeves and continuing to get stuck into Leicester.Their reward came when Fuller rolled the ball in from the left to Sidibe who was charging toward goal.The opportunity was identical to Parkin's earlier in the match.I must confess I fully expected the usual Sidibe outcome which we have seen many times this season ie the ball sails over the bar into the crowd or either side of the goal into the advertising boards.Sidibe had other ideas this time finishing every bit as confidently as Parkin had done earlier,placing the ball firmly into the net.

Stoke's final goal,the icing on the cake, came from Lawrence in added on time,from a Ricardo Fuller pass.

Stoke still remain 5 points from the playoffs, still in 9th place,and with 61 points

Stoke: Simonsen ,Hoefkens ,Zakuani ,Fortune ,Higginbotham ,Lawrence ,Eustace ,Russell (Dickinson ,46 ) ,Martin (Hendrie ,73 ) ,Parkin (Sidibe ,63 ) ,Fuller
Subs not used: Hoult,Vass,

Friday, March 30, 2007

Massive Game For Stoke

Stoke play Leicester tomorrow with Manager Tony Pulis looking for nothing less than a win from his team. He has clearly (publicly at least) not given up on Stoke reaching the playoffs, even though it might only be an outside chance.

Several players are struggling with injuries - in a couple of cases needing late fitness checks - and Andy Griffin is suspended.

Beckham & McClaren & Ferguson....&Stoke City FC

To his great credit David Beckham resisted any temptation to put the knife into England manager Steve McClaren.As he received a Sports Industry Award he had nothing to say about McClaren but praised the way in which the England team came through what in so many different ways was a difficult game against Andorra.

Alex Ferguson was critical of what he called the mocking culture which has taken root certainly in England.He has to be right that the treatment meeted out to the England manager and team from the earliest stages of the match on Wednesday night was seriously unhelpful if not potentially positively destructive.

Much is made of the fans right to demonstrate their feelings.All well and good after the match but as John Terry rightly remarked such behaviour isn't going to improve things, as players inevitably retreat into their shells in the face of it.

Which brings me round to Stoke.Could negativity from a small but vocal (at the matches and through the media) proportion of the fan base in some way have damaged Stoke's chances this season?

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Strong Stoke Performance.....So Near....Sunderland 2 Stoke City 2

Stoke were within a minute of pulling off a splendid victory at Sunderland,the home side equalising in the dying moments.Strong Stoke were good value for their 2-1 lead with goals from Russell and Hoefkens (a cracking strike this one!)

Fuller came on in the second half and made one typically forceful run down the right then leaving Sunderland defenders in his wake as he made toward goal along the by line.His cut back was back heel flicked by Sidibe,who was very unlucky to see his excellent effort come back off the post.

A goal and it would have been game over.As it is Stoke remain 5 points off the playoffs,but again they can go forward with great confidence to the Norwich match.It's definitely not over yet!!

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Crucial Win For Stoke...Stoke City 2 Southampton 1

Stoke got back to winning ways at home today,coming from behind to beat Southampton with goals from returnee Jonathan Fortune,and loanee Lee Martin.

Following a spate of home draws this win ensures Stoke do not fall any further behind the clubs in the playoff places,and sets them up well for their important away match at Sunderland on Tuesday night.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Could Well Be That's It For This Season...Plymouth 1 Stoke City 1

Stoke could only manage a draw with Plymouth today.Darel Russell scored in the second half to cancel out Plymouth's penalty opener just before halftime.

Surprisingly Stoke are still in 9th position,and although only 5 points off the playoff places, they have played more matches than a good few of the teams ahead of them.It does not look good just now,but you never know....as long as it is mathematically possible...... still 30 points to play for !!