2016 - 2017

2016 - 2017

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Back To Home Winning Ways! Stoke City FC 3 Queens Park Rangers 1

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!!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Firing Blanks ...Burnley 0 Stoke City 0

The match can be summed up quickly....forgettable!!Two sides playing equally poorly...very few moments of excitement for the fans....very few shots either on or off target.Taking a positive Stoke managed a return to basics, recording a clean sheet.

Stoke are now in 10th place on 24 points and surprisingly still only 3 points off the play off positions (or if you like 7 points off automatic promotion!)despite a continuation of a disappointing run of results.

They were once again facing a team who were playing in front of their new manager for the first time,although this does not appear to have immediately given them any sort of lift!

One or two strange selections and positional shifts in the Stoke team..in Fuller's absence through suspension Pericard in, with Parkin as sub,although the latter did come on relatively early in the 51st minute.

Two home games to come now....QPR on Tuesday night...with Norwich (you might have known it...they recorded their first win under new manager Glen Roeder yesterday after playing like lemons for most of the season so far!!)to follow on Saturday.You never know...two wins and we could be up amongst the action...God forbid, two more home defeats and we might begin to look down the table rather than up.

My money is on 6 points for Stoke by Saturday night....but then who was it that felt England would win 2-0 on Wednesday?

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Pulis In For England Job!!??

Following this morning's inevitable sacking of Coach Steve McClaren, as England failed to qualify for the Euro Championships, should Stoke Manager Tony Pulis throw his hat in the ring to be his successor?

(Ex?)Goalkeeper's Revenge!!!!England Blow It! England 2 Croatia 3

So we don't make it to the Euro Championships afterall, despite Israel and Andorra's mighty efforts on our behalf against Russia.

To me it is a mystery why Steve McClaren decided to include a rookie keeper in a match of this importance.
We know Robinson had made his share of mistakes....but...!Carson in only his second game for his country was not favoured by the weather and underfoot conditions.With the Wembley pitch muddy and showing water in places,the rain tippling down, you somehow knew that Croatia would shoot on sight to test the new keeper out.Sure enough their first shot on target produced the visitors first goal.Fair enough a firm shot,bouncing awkwardly just in front the keeper...not ideal!ButCarson was poorly positioned certainly not square on to the ball,which duly struck his arm and carried on up into the net.

It would be wrong to blame him for the other two goals.Croatia turned our defence inside out for their second goal,and the third was a fine shot from ouside the box across the keeper for the winner, after England had managed to get back into the match at 2-2.Indeed at 1 - 2 Carson made a brilliant reflex save from close in.

Each time the TV cameras found Robinson his face gave nothing away.....but you had to wonder what he might have been thinking...!!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

England To Win Tonight?

Steve McClaren is emphatic that England will go for a win at Wembley tonight to ensure qualification for the Euro Championships next summer.

His team selection with Crouch as loan striker might cause us to think that obtaining the essential draw is uppermost in his thoughts.

How about England to win 2 - 0?

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Ryan Shawcross Is English !!

Ryan Shawcross ,on loan from Manchester United,has made a major contribution to Stoke's early successes this season.His form has attracted attention such that he could well be moving into consideration for a place in the England U 21 set up....not bad for a lad who previously played for Wales schoolboys !!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Another Wobble At Fortress Stoke........ Stoke City FC 0 Sheffield United 1

So Stoke go into the international break having lost at home for the third time in a row. Not conceding as many goals as in the previous two games Stoke nevertheless allowed a very average Sheffield United team to escape from the Brit with all three points.

Stoke got off to a high tempo start and it was well over 30 minutes before Sheffield were able to venture into Stoke’s final third. Plenty of Stoke pressure yielded only one on goal strike.Plenty of forward momentum but not much in the way of serious threat.As is often the way Stoke were made to pay for their inability to turn pressure into goals.

Sheffield had their first shot on goal in the 39th minute. A minute or so later a great ball from the right by Webber bypassed the Stoke defenders finding Carney by the left hand post but he only managed a half hearted effort into the side netting.You had the feeling that something more was coming. Sure enough in the 43rd minute Sheffield took the lead. A corner from the right was played high into the Stoke goalmouth. Simonsen was nowhere as he tried to get a clearing touch onto the ball. Rolling out to Webber on the left the ball was drilled sharply back into the goal where Villa loanee Cahill’s strong downward header found the net despite Simonsen getting a hand to it.

From the beginning of the second half Sheffield seemed happy to sit back to protect their lead, playing mainly on the break. Beattie, generally well marshalled by Stoke, missed with an easy headed chance from close in,just before Parkin came on for Sidibe in the 66th minute. Parkin immediately played a beautifully weighted ball which put Fuller in on goal.As he was about to shoot defender Cahill managed to get a foot in to clear..Jamaican winger Demar Philips came on for his debut on 78 minutes.Action in the Sheffield goalmouth resembled the Alamo in added on time,but Stoke just could not find an equaliser.

Pugh is looking sharper with each game he plays. Philips looked promising in the few minutes he had on the pitch.Stoke drop to 9th place in the table.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Never Say Die Potters Get Late Winner!

SCUNTHORPE 2 STOKE CITY 3

Scunthorpe's Glandford Park is not an easy place to go to....Stoke did not have things all their own way in this match,and for a good part of the game were second best to the 'young' home team (average age 22 and getting better all the time according to Manager Adkins!)

Cresswell's opener for Stoke - a shot from the far right side of the penalty box in the 26th minute following a trademark surging run down the right wing, and cut back by Ricardo Fuller - was cancelled out by Hayes on 31 minutes.The second half was bossed by the home team but Stoke did not concede again until the 85th minute when Goodwin scored with a powerful unstopable shot into the roof of the net from some distance out.It looked like that was it,especially as both Fuller and Lawrence had failed with excellent chances to post a lead earlier in the half.

Far from lying down though, the spirited Potters came back strongly as we have come to expect.A Stoke freekick centrefield on the edge of the Scunthorpe penalty area was played right,Lawrence cut the ball in toward goal where an under pressure Hayes put into his own net (88).Scunthorpe heads dropped,and two minutes into added on time Liam Lawrence headed Danny Pugh's brilliant cross on the run from the left wing into the Scunthorpe net to seal the win.The three points take Stoke back up to 7th place in the league table.

After a quietish game on Saturday Danny Pugh was much more prominent in this match playing a part in both Cresswell and Lawrence's goals.The other newcomer Leon Cort also had a very strong game at the heart of the Stoke defence,with Manager Tony Pulis suggesting the player would have a headache after the number of clearing headers that he had put in during the match.Encouragingly Cresswell now has 3 goals in 3 matches...it is good to see that someone in the team might turn Ricardo Fuller's splendid approach work into goals on a more regular basis.

Great result from Stoke....next up Saturday's televised match at The Britannia Stadium against Sheffield United.Lively Liam Lawrence is unfortunately suspended for the match.Could a possible replacement be Jamaican Demar Philips who was once again on the bench last night? Hope so!

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Premiership Referee? I Don't Think So Judged On Today's Display!

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.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Leon Cort Signs!!

Leon Cort comes to Stoke initially for 2 months.The signing was completed in time for him to play tomorrow against Coventry City.

Danny Pugh Signs For Stoke City FC...But Cort Transfer Still Held Up!

A Stoke target for some time former Manchester United player Danny Pugh has joined City from Preston N E initially on loan with the deal to be finalised in January. He is likely to go into tomorrow's squad against Coventry.The 25 year old would play on the left side of midfield.

Leon Cort's transfer still seems to be held up so there must be more than a little doubt that he will be able to play for City tomorrow.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Cort Signing....Final Touches?

Crystal Palace central defender Leon Cort has trained with the Stoke players over the last two days even though he has not yet signed for the club.According to reports in The Sentinel the player is keen,so are the clubs,but details/size of the transfer fee (earlier rumoured to be around £1m) are having to be adjusted as it now seems that Stoke defender Clint Hill will not be moving in the opposite direction.

Link :The Sentinel