Stoke played brilliantly in the first half giving improving QPR little opportunity to make their mark on the game.They took the lead in the fourth minute when Delap's low trajectory long throw in from the right,cleared the six yard box,was pursued by Fuller,who skilfully clipped the ball back into the danger area for Cresswell to head home.
Stoke's second goal on 19 minutes came from well worked free kick on the edge of the QPR box.Eustace pushed the ball sideways,Pugh dummied and Lawrence lashed the ball into the top right corner of the net.
The quality of the football for the remainder of the half was probably the best that we have seen all season.
The second half was rather an anticlimax from a Stoke point of view.QPR had Blackstock sent off for a nasty looking foul on Shawcross. They promptly came back strongly, controlling affairs with a midfield of three against two.They looked dangerous and it was no surprise when Vine pulled a goal back for them on 63 minutes with a sweetly hit curling shot that gave goalkeeper Simonsen absolutely no chance
As Stoke looked increasingly nervous the visitors went after an equaliser.Fortunately it was Stoke who got the next goal.On 77 minutes a Lawrence short corner from the left was returned to him as he made his way toward the visitors penalty area.He crossed the ball to Cort on the right who headed back across goal and into the net.His first goal for Stoke and hopefully many more to come!At 3-1 QPR did not pose as much of a threat as they had earlier,just the odd attacking moment to cause nervous home fans to attack their fingernails!!
Referee Uriah Rennie had a really good game....our friend from a few weeks back, Mr. Marriner, would do well to watch and learn!!