Forward Jon Parkin answered his few remaining detractors amongst the Stoke support in the best possible way yesterday when he took an excellent through pass from Mama Sidibe,nonchalantly nutmegged Charlton defender McCarthy in the opposing penalty area, and cleverly curled the ball along the ground around goalkeeper Weaver into the net for the winning goal which gave a scratch Stoke City team a result they richly deserved.
Parkin's heavy build disguises a real deftness of touch around goal.Again he showed the abilities that we saw when he was on loan last season,not only to be in the right place at the right time,but also to finish cooly.He is a far far better player on this evidence than many doubters would have us believe.
Parkin's goal came in the 78th minute,adding to Fuller's beautifully taken 58th minute equaliser - a powerful right footed shot as he ran along the front edge of the penalty area, giving the diving Weaver absolutely no chance,entering the net just inside the post - after Charlton had taken the lead through a Fortune deflected free kick two minutes earlier.
Sidibe made a major contribution to the win.He ran two thirds the length of the pitch with the ball from his own half before putting the pass through for Parkin to score,and he caused sufficient chaos going for a flick on that a Charlton defender unintentionally nodded the ball into Fuller's path for his goal.
Defensively Shawcross and Dickinson gave a good account of themselves,the former getting a broken nose for his trouble.Special mention to stop gap loan signing Jody Craddock who had an outstanding game at the centre of defence,especially as he met his teammates for the first time in the dressing room before the match!!
A great result and top of the table after 2 games!