Stoke blazed to a three goal lead within the first 20minutes at Bramall Lane. Cresswell got the opener on 2minutes tapping in Liam Lawrence’s cross from the right side from close range. Beattie put through his own net on 6 minutes from 12 yards out, and on 19minutes following another telling Cort header, this time onto Lawrence’s free kick from the right, the ball found its way to Shawcross whose shot from the left side of the 6 yard box made its way into the home net. The Blades fans were left stunned, stoney- faced, and silent. The remainder of the half was played out uneventfully. Stoke had had four chances and scored from three of them…not a bad ratio at all. Sheffield left the pitch at half time to a chorus of boos from their fans.
Sheffield had a great deal of the play throughout the second half without being able to penetrate the strong Stoke defence, in which Cort and Shawcross were prominent, repelling all that was thrown at them. The ironic cheers from the home fans said it all as Sheffield forced Simonsen into his first serious save on 92 minutes, their first direct shot on goal in the whole match.
Three points take Stoke up into 5th place, and following WBA’s home defeat to Coventry, just 2 points off the automatic promotion places!! We have a hard working TEAM….DOING US PROUD…long may it continue.