STOKE CITY 1 COVENTRY CITY 3
This match will be memorable for the dire display of yellow card happy referee A Marriner - apparently with Premiership pedigree -and his (fortunately) nameless useless linesman.Between them they saw to it that Stoke got nothing from this game.
The cagey first half was notable for missed chances from Fuller and Lawrence which on another day they would have scored from.Coventry did not have a shot on target in the first half.
With their first meaningful shot came a goal in the 58th minute, when Mifsud rifled the ball across Simonsen's dive into the far left corner of the net.Stoke responded immediately with Shawcross heading in a cross.His header which clearly crossed the line was clawed back from behind the line by keeper Konstantopoulos.Both referee and ineffectual linesmen judged...no goal.Coventry went further in front when Adebola had an aerial one on one with the Stoke keeper.No real contest as the tall striker headed into the open net to score his customary goal against the Potters.
Stoke responded in spirited fashion, their pressure resulting in a clear and obvious penalty when Fuller was felled in the area.Both officials bottled the decision and waved play on.Stoke were not to be denied.A few minutes later Lawrence was played into the area where he appeared to be upended by a defender (but by no means as obviously!!),a penalty was awarded,which Lawrence took himself,placing the ball expertly wide of the keeper into the bottom right corner of the net.
As Stoke chased the equaliser Coventry always looked likely to catch them on the break,which they duly did in the 79th minute when Mifsud got his second ,quite the best of the afternoon,when he volleyed powerfully into the roof of the Stoke net as he came in from the right.
Again Stoke's performance was such that they did not really deserve to lose.With just a little more luck at the right times they would certainly have drawn if not won this match.The Potters drop to 9th place in the league table,and it will be of some concern that in the last two home matches they have conceded 7 goals.
Coventry were robust throughout and shackled dangerman Fuller well, if quite often not legally!!Leon Cort had a steady game and Danny Pugh looks as though he needs a couple more games to get up to speed.
We've seen some pretty rank refereeing displays at Stoke in recent years but this is up there with the worst of them.Mind you remembering Rob Styles dismal performance at Stoke a few years back (didn't seem to affect his prospects) it would appear that Mr. Marriner's career progress is unlikely to be affected.