2016 - 2017

2016 - 2017

Saturday, December 29, 2007

8 Matches Without Defeat.....and Counting! Plymouth 2 Stoke City FC 2

Stoke had the chances to win this match and claim all three points but in the end it was not to be. Cresswell put the Potters ahead in the 8th minute.On 32 minutes Fuller rounded the home keeper but unfortunately struck his shot against the post.

Plymouth never looked likely until they picked up a rather fortuitous penalty three minutes from the break.Shawcross slid in to tackle last season Stoke loanee Martin.The ball struck his hand....a yellow card and a penalty!Keeper Russell Hoult,in for Simonsen,saved the spot kick from Ebanks-Blake,butas the ball rebounded out he could do nothing about the follow up.Immediately Stoke could and should have restored their lead, responding with Sidibe contriving to head wide of an open goal when it was more difficult not to score.

As at Barnsley on Boxing Day, the home side came more into the game in the second half.Against the run of play though Shawcross headed Stoke into the lead in the 57th minute,his 7th goal of the season.Ten minutes later Plymouth were back on terms when Timar scored after Hoult - there's a suggestion that he was impeded - failed to cut out a cross ball.

Hoult was sent off for fouling as he challenged for an up and over ball.The ten men successfully held out for 15 minutes or so.One point definitely better than none,and although Stoke drop to fourth place they are still only one win off the second automatic promotion place.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Wow !!....Hat-Tricks Coming Along Like London Buses! Who's Next?

BARNSLEY 3 STOKE CITY FC 3

Honours even at Oakwell,as last year, but this well earned point moves Stoke up into 3rd spot in the table,three points off the top.

Stoke were awarded the last of the games three penalties in the 98th minute.Ice cool Liam Lawrence converted to equalise,adding to his first half penalty and second half goal from a well worked free kick routine,to notch a well deserved hat-trick.

A creditable result and full testimony to the team's never say die approach to games.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Another Huge Dollop Of Common Sense From The Oatcake Fanzine Editorial Team....A Must Read For All Stokies!!

(With kind permission of The Oatcake,Stoke City Fanzine.)

Martin Smith and Dave Frith are to be congratulated on their fine well balanced editorial piece in Saturday's West Brom edition.It was a real pleasure to read,and will have appeal for ALL Stokies.

Saturday's atmosphere and vocal support were tremendous.....sensible men, and I believe we're listening to them!!!

(If the print below seems a bit small...it is! Click on the image below....a LARGER version should open in a new window.)

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Reggae Boy Ricardo Fuller Stuffs Baggies For Christmas

STOKE CITY FC 3 WEST BROMWICH ALBION 1

Ricardo Fuller Hat-trick Hero...Man of The Match...the sponsors had no option!

Fourth placed Stoke outplayed leaders WBA-no bad side in most people's estimation - at The Britannia Stadium this afternoon.They managed another brilliant team performance,with striker Ricardo Fuller topping it off with a splendid hat-trick of goals.

The first half was virtually all Stoke with front runners Sidibe and Fuller creating havoc amongst the visiting defence.Crucially Fuller bagged his first goal after only 5 minutes through on the keeper from a Sidibe flick to put the visitors on the back foot.Stoke could have gone even further ahead as the half progressed,but on 38minutes Fuller netted again,lurking at the edge of the 6 yard box to left of goal the ball reached him from Lawrence's right side free kick and he drove it unerringly across the goalkeeper and into the righthand corner of the net.

WBA, encouraged by their 2500 away following,and two attacking substitutions -Kevin Phillips and the giant Ishmael Miller ( on loan from Manchester City),were much more in evidence in the second half bringing more pressure to bear on the Stoke goal where,apart from one slip up Simonsen was in fine form.

A little against the run of play in the 66th minute, Ricardo Fuller was set free on the left.He faced a defender,whom he first turned inside out,then accelerated past into the penalty area, before shooting -it seemed through the legs of another defender - across the diving keeper and into the right corner of the net.A goal of the highest skill and quality,which,had it been a Premiership match, would have had the TV pundits purring for weeks.

West Brom's goal on 72 minutes was nodded in from close range by Bednar. After a defensive header out by Stoke was lobbed back into the goalmouth,Bednar was first to the ball as Simonsen changed his mind about coming out to claim.
Stoke's win,their seventh consecutive match undefeated,leaves them still in 4th place in the table,but now only 1 point off the automatic promotion places,or if you are really ambitious three points from the top!

Don't often have the opportunity to say something constructve about the referee,but today Mr Halsey put in a sensible, intelligent, unfussy performance......it was more than mildly amusing when Russell Hoult dived on top of him as he was doing his pre-match warmup exercises lying on the grass in front of The Boothen... the measure of the man was in the good humoured exchanges that followed between them!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

The Oatcake Link

Not sure what's happening with this link at the moment.Rivals changed the format a few weeks back...at that time the match reports were out of date and the replacement for the previous message board was painfully slow, if it worked at all.

Recently the whole thing has 'defaulted' to the Premiership.

It may well be that the link address to the Rivals site needs changing.I will wait a little longer to see what happens,then make adjustments if they are needed after Christmas.

Things Continuing To Shape Up Nicely At Stoke City FC

To add to last week's good news that Salif Diao is back with the club,this week Ricardo Fuller's vote of confidence extending his contract by 2 years to 2011,and - I feel every bit as important to achieving our short term goal of reaching the Premiership - Ryan Shawcross remains with us until the end of the season.

All serious statements of ambitious intent by the club...and still the prospect of additional new faces to help sustain a promotion push.

Good times again for all Stoke supporters!!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Now You See Them...Now You Don't.

In recent years Santa has always brought me Stoke's annual calendar.For sure it will now be in the club's shops..sensibly, so as to be there ready for the start of the New Year.Every year there is an inescapable inevitability....

I haven't seen a copy yet but half the fun on Christmas day is first to see which of the 'pin up' players featured is still with the club,and then second to see which one's are still with us by the end of the January transfer window.The 2007 Calendar was hit particularly hard.
Doobs left us on 31st January...so its a long time before he pops up as the December pic.

But (a significantly slimmer)Pottermus saves the day....the December page has been offered to a good friend,a life long Reading fan.He has decided views on whether or not their £800,000 signing of MD represented value for money.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Stokie Xmas Cheer!!….Blackpool 2 Stoke City FC 3

A season record 1900 partying fans followed The Potters to Bloomfield Road, a complete sell out of the away ticket allocation.

Stoke fell behind in the 13th minute to a great strike from the edge of the box, Flynn’s goal being the first time this season that the home side had scored earlier than the 30th minute in any game.

Blackpool found the physically bigger Stoke team difficult to cope with, Fuller’s pace particularly troubling the slow Blackpool defence. Fuller missed several chances, then broke his barren goalscoring spell, equalising in the 37th minute. A Lawrence free kick from the right cleared the keeper and found him unmarked to left of goal.He brought the ball under control well, and hammered it into the net off the top right angle of bar and post. Completely on top at this stage Stoke went ahead on 41 minutes when a Lawrence corner was met by the incoming Cort (furthest right in pic),the big defender heading his 3rd goal since joining The Potters on loan from Crystal Palace. Throughout the half Stoke’s lively counter-attacking exposed the ponderous Blackpool back four. Stoke went in with a well deserved half time lead.

Immediately after the restart Fuller turned several defenders inside out as he cut in toward the home goal. About to shoot he was knocked to the ground but no penalty followed. Play was end to end as the home team committed players forward, with Stoke playing a much more open game than usual. Blackpool looked dangerous moving forward on occasions, with the tricky Hoolahan making a real impression.

Just as a livelier Blackpool seemed to be coming back into the game, Fuller was put through on goal by a Lawrence flick on, outpaced the defenders, and netted his 8th goal of the season to the keeper's right. On 75 minutes Morrell missed from 7 yards out during a period of home pressure, as the ball was coming back onto the Stoke defence a little too often for comfort, as they sat back on their lead.

On 88 minutes a home corner was poorly defended , and with the visitors asleep, Barker placed his free header into the Stoke net to make it 2-3, and set up a difficult last few minutes. Stoke were hanging on at the end, but scraped through to bag the three points , lifting themselves into 4th place in the table in the process.

Increasingly Liam Lawrence is emerging as a vital cog in the Stoke attacking machine,having a direct hand in all three goals.Certainly all his recent performances mark him out as another seriously effective bargain buy at £500,000.

It is reported that Fuller had a chat with the manager during the week...a most constructive one if yesterday's individual performance is anything to go by!

Bring on The Baggies next Saturday…1st against 4th at The Brit….hopefully a pre- Christmas Cracker!!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Stalemate At The Brit...Stoke CityFC 0 Watford 0

A draw was a fair result between two evenly matched physically strong sides.Both had chances to win during the course of the game.Marlon King missed for the visitors,putting the ball narrowly wide of the post on two occasions.

For Stoke the best chances fell to Ricardo Fuller at either end the second half.He was unlucky with both,or put another way the keeper Lee was lucky with both.The first opportunity on 53 minutes was made by Sidibe when he forced his way past a defender to right of goal and cut the ball back from the byline to Fuller in the centre of the penalty area.He applied a firm side foot to the ball as it reached him,but the goal bound shot luckily -for Watford- hit the keepers legs as he dived right,and rebounded clear.Lee really did not know much about that save!

The second,a minute from the end of the match came from a ball over the top,which put Fuller one on one with the keeper as he outpaced Demerit to the ballFuller did everything right, attempting to place the ball to the keepers left as he came out.Again Lee managed to get something on the ball - leg again I think - and the ball went clear.
On another day Fuller would have scored with both.Throughout the game he looked sharp and different class.One memorable mazey dribble in the first half took him past three defenders (who on their showing throughout the match were no mugs) in the visitors penalty area,and his intelligent cut back was wasted, crossing the goalmouth with no other Stoke player remotely close to what would have been a simple tap into an empty net.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Tales Of The Unexpected?....Sheffield Utd 0 Stoke City FC 3

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.

TV Stars!! We Certainly Hope So.

Not only is Stoke City's top of the table clash with leaders Watford being televised this coming Sunday on Sky,but also the BBC are to screen their match with Everton in the FA Cup at 6pm on Sunday January 6th 2008.
Things are really looking up.

Wouldn't it be nice if sometime during the rest of the season a few of our AWAY matches were covered too.But perhaps at this time that might seem just a little ungrateful!

Sunday, December 02, 2007

A Big North Eastern Fish To Fry: Stoke City FC v Newcastle United FA Cup 3rd Round


FA Cup third round draw

Matches to be played on the weekend of January 5-6.

Preston v Scunthorpe
Port Vale or Chasetown v Cardiff
Colchester v Peterborough
Bolton v Sheffield United
Blackburn v Coventry
Brighton v Mansfield
Northampton or Walsall v Millwall
Charlton v West Brom
Watford v Crystal Palace
Luton or Nottingham Forest v Liverpool
Plymouth v Hull
Aston Villa v Manchester United
Tranmere v Hereford
Tottenham v Reading
Burnley v Arsenal
Bristol City v Middlesbrough
Fulham v Bristol Rovers
Huddersfield v Birmingham
Horsham or Swansea v Havant & W
Sunderland v Wigan
Oxford or Southend v Dagenham & Red
Everton v Oldham
Derby v Sheffield Wednesday
Southampton v Leicester
West Ham v Manchester City
Ipswich v Portsmouth
Wolves v Cambridge
Barnsley v Blackpool
Chelsea v QPR
Stoke v Newcastle
Swindon v Burton Albion or Barnet
Norwich v Bury

Saturday, December 01, 2007

More Carpet Football Than Hoofball !! Stoke City FC 2 Norwich City 1

Stoke could easily have won this game by a five or six goal margin.Norwich had one clear chance from which they scored in the first half,one in the second which was pushed away, otherwise the Stoke keeper was untroubled.

Norwich took the lead in the 4th minute when a clever Dublin flick on found Huckerby coming in from the left,and one on one with the Stoke keeper he made no mistake.
Stoke had a series of chances to equalise.The biggest threat was posed by Liam Lawrence, who had the beating of the opposing fullback.On three occasions he got behind his man,but each of his cutbacks failed to find a Stoke player in the right follow up position to profit.

INEXPLICABLY a number in the crowd booed THEIR OWN STOKE TEAM off at half time.One has to wonder what they actually want.Stoke played plenty of good attractive football,showed excellent approach play with the ball being interpassed on the GROUND, and total commitment
The only thing that Stoke's performance lacked in that half was goals,which with the ball running more kindly for them they would have scored.A downward header by Mama Sidibe sticks in the mind,being parried away brilliantly by the keeper when it looked odds on a goal.Norwich had clearly done their homework with two and sometimes three players snuffing out the Fuller threat.What is happening though is that other players are finding a little more freedom as a result with Lawrence,in particular benefitting.

Stoke were back on terms minutes into the second half when Lawrence crossed from the left and Cort placed a powerful header into the Norwich net.Thereafter it was virtually all Stoke.Bags of chances were made but not converted.Leon Cort could quite easily have had a hat trick of headers to add to the one he had already scored.Cresswell missed with the goal at his mercy.Fuller was denied when his powerful cross shot was parried away by the keeper at full stretch.Stoke penalty claims were turned down by the referee.Such was Tony Pulis'annoyance that he had something pointed to say.Whatever he said was relayed to the referee and our Manager was promptly dispatched to the stand.

The winning goal, when it did come, was scored from close in by Cresswell (again a headed assist by Cort - off Lawrence's left side corner - creating the chance) two minutes from time,and was received rapturously by the home crowd which was just shy of the 20,000 the club had expected,as it reduced admission prices for the day.

Great result....just outside the playoff places...can't be that bad...can it?