2016 - 2017

2016 - 2017

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Run Ends! Charlton 1 Stoke City FC 0

One unbeaten run ends....but Saturday should see the start of another when much improved Cardiff are the visitors to The Brit.

Charlton had the edge for much of last night's encounter,but Stoke's defiant defensive resistance in which Ryan Shawcross was prominent, was only broken in the last 10 minutes.Charlton had to rely on Sam's goal 7 minutes from the end,the player netting after receiving the ball from ex - Crewe player Varney,who was himself in a position which looked suspiciously offside.

Stoke had chances throughout the game, and in added on time could have gained themselves a point.As against Newcastle the chance fell to substitute Jon Parkin,who did everything right directing the ball on goal only to see keeper Weaver make a last ditch save with his leg.

Still in 4th spot and with results elsewhere going for us.....hang on tight, it promises to be an eventful ride from now to the end of the season!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Just What The Doctor Ordered....Stoke City FC 3 Preston NE 1

It was going to be interesting to see whether or not The Potters suffered a hangover from Wednesday's cup excursion north.

In the event Stoke got off to a slow start against Preston,and were second best until in the 18th minute when record signing Leon Cort got his head to Delap's long throw in -the throw cleared three Preston defenders - to glance the ball up and over his marker and the keeper into the net.
Stoke's second goal (27min) resulted from a Liam Lawrence cross from the right. Preston keeper Lonergan failed to gather,dropping the ball at Cresswell's feet for a simple tap in.

Preston got themselves back into contention when Brown headed in a Lewis Neal cross on 67 minutes.Five minutes later Stoke gave themselves a 2 goal cushion again when Leon Cort bagged his second of the match with a header from Liam Lawrence's right side corner.The goal virtually snuffed out the Preston threat,Stoke winning comfortably in the end.

So a very positive reaction from the team,and a result which temporarily moved them into third spot in the table.Following the late kickoff draw between Watford and Charlton Stoke return to 4th position,four points off the top and one point off second place.

Things continue to look good...next up Charlton away,a week on Tuesday.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Back To Business.....Stoke City Welcome Ryan Shawcross

The perfect Keegan antidote....Ryan Shawcross has put pen to paper,joining Stoke for an initial £1m,on a 3 1/2 year contract.For details click the link.

The Sentinel: Link

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Keegan Factor Fazes Stoke


The carefully orchestrated announcement of Keegan's return to St. James's,adulatory national news coverage at peak time,ahead of tonights match,the appearance of the man himself in the Directors Box flanked by the Chairman and the owner a few minutes into the first half,all served to generate an emotional tide which swept around the city and the stadium which submerged The Potters for long periods of this game.

Yesterday we might have expected a smaller,edgier home crowd...a subdued home team following their 6-0 mauling at Manchester.What we got was a totally transformed atmosphere,a bigger crowd (boosted by very late ticket sales) in party mood,plus a home team uplifted,and feeling it just couldn't lose.

Michael Owen opened the scoring in the 8th minute.Newcastle had Emre sent off for running his studs down Eustaces shin on 30 minutes- payback as he saw it for an earlier crunching tackle on him by the same player which only merited a free kick awarded by ref Uriah Rennie.Almost immediately an unmarked Cacapa headed in the second goal from Milner's corner.

Stoke were still second best after the break, Milner(68) and Duff(76)doubling the home side's lead.

In the early moments of the first half before Newcastle's opener Liam Lawrence had produced a fine cross shot from the right which keeper Given pushed away (to Ryan Shawcross whose follow up found the side netting).Liam didn't really show again until the 89th minute when he curled a beautiful shot into the net from the left edge of the penalty box for Stoke's consolation goal...more an act of stubborn defiance really, delivered with genuine quality.Subtext....we'll be back!

What about the 3,000 Stokies? Great support for the team from beginning to end ...brilliant!

No disgrace in the circumstances,and Stoke can now return to the more important business of the Championship,with a 'little'more money in the pot to finance their ambition.

Kevin Who??

You might have known.....

Potters and Fans Travel In Style!

Click Here For Larger
Just another sign of the times!The Stoke team overnighted at Manchester Airport,were joined on the plane by coachloads of early rising fans from the Potteries for the flight to Newcastle,and celebrated the Manager's 50th birthday en route!

All part of the carefully planned preparations for tonights big match.


Go...arrrrrn Stoke !!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

The Transfer Window 2008

The club is making a pretty good job of handling the media coverage this time round.Unlike last year no rash promises followed - as some saw it - by major disappointments.This time we have had the confirmation of Danny Pugh's move, then Grif,followed after a suitable time (quite rightly to keep the interest bubbling amongst fans no doubt)by yesterday's news of a Stoke City club record fee £1.2m paid to Crystal Palace for Leon Cort.

Another short period of 'will he won't he sign',should culminate in a breaking of that record again where the man involved - whose signature could be central to our longer term success - Ryan Shawcross, decides to join us on a permanent basis.

If Peter Coates interview last week is anything to go by there will be other incoming players to follow them.

Exciting times at The Brit....there may be something in the notion that the building process is not only geared to obtaining promotion but also - should we succeed in that ambition - to staying in the Premiership Reading style!

Monday, January 14, 2008

Share Of The Spoils...Ipswich Town1 Stoke City FC 1

Portman Road has been something of a fortress for Ipswich.Their only defeat there came last week against Premiership Portsmouth in the Cup.Only two Championship sides hve avoided defeat there.

To cover for Mama Sidibe's departure to the African Cup of Nations Cresswell moved inside to partner Fuller,recreating their old Preston partnership.

Stoke had the best early chance with keeper Alexander pushing aside Lawrence's shot for a corner.The home side took the lead through right winger Haynes in the 18th minute.He received the lateral ball,accelerated, cutting inside Dickinson.His strong shot hit the far post and ran back along the goaline and into the net.In the next few minutes Ipswich could have been out of sight.Simonsen saved from Haynes again,and next a retreating Shawcross managed to clear off the line.

Nowadays though with Stoke you can rely on the team finding a way back.On 33 minutes Cresswell received the ball down the left,and he cut the ball inside to Pugh.He moved forward into the penalty area,pushed the ball between two defenders,to Fuller who shot sweetly with his left foot,across the keeper.into the far right corner of the net.

The second half saw chances for both sides.Fuller received a defensive clearance,accelerated out of his own half leaving one Ipswich defender on his backside and outpacing another to produce a one on one with the keeper.Alexander dived in managing to flick the ball away as Fuller was simultaneously clattered by recovering Ipswich defenders.

Substitute Jon Parkin had the other noteworthy chance.Lawrence worked the ball through to him on the right corner of the 6 yard box.As Alexander advanced Parkin cleverly flicked the ball over him.The keeper made absolutely no contact with the ball,but plenty with Parkin taking his legs from under him.A legitimate penalty denied at the death!

Currently Stoke are draw experts,but again here only a whisker away from a win,whether dewserved or not.A good result,which might have settled for before the match,and the team remain in 4th place in the table.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Griff In!

Stoke City FC have just completed the transfer of former player Andy Griffin from Derby County.The fee is £300,000.His contract is for 4 1/2 years.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Not Counting All The Chickens....But...!!

Stoke are clearly making every effort to bring in the additional players they will need to sustain a promotion challenge.We know Danny Pugh's move from Preston has been finalised,at a fee of £500,000.

Leon Cort to Stoke from Crystal Palace(if the Beeb's commentator's info was accurate !)is a done deal at around £1m,although so far there doesn't seem to have been confirmation elsewhere,or perhaps we've missed something somewhere.

In talks with Andy Griffin,too, to bring him back from the nightmare Derby move he should never have made.

Quite the biggest and the most significant development so far though is that Stoke are in negotiations with Man.U with regard to a permanent move for Ryan Shawcross.Pull that one off and it will be Xmas all over again.Good luck to all concerned...and everything crossed!

Monday, January 07, 2008

Lots Of Great Stuff On 'The Potters' Sentinel Link Tonight!

....if where you live means you can't by a Sentinel ( five pages of coverage...brilliant!) then,almost as good, read the Jan 7th news clips on 'The Potters' Sentinel Link to the left....then follow it with the Sentinel's archive offering at

LINK to Sentinel Archive

....great atmosphere ,some video and a lovely collection of action shots from the Stoke v Newcastle Cup Tie (let it run too long and you end up wlth Vale's match at Carlisle,which might take the edge off things a little...then again maybe not! What was the score?

FA Cup 4th Round Draw Pairs Stoke and Arsenal....But Let's Not Get Ahead Of Ourselves !

Draw for the fourth round of the FA Cup

Arsenal v Stoke City/Newcastle
Coventry v Walsall/Millwall
Oldham v Huddersfield Town
Swindon/Barnet v Fulham/Bristol Rovers
Wigan v Chelsea
Luton/Liverpool v Swansea/Havant & Waterlooville
Southend v Barnsley
Southampton v Norwich/Bury
Man Utd v Tottenham/Reading
Portsmouth v Plymouth
Derby/Sheff Wed v Preston
Watford v Wolves
Peterborough v Charlton/West Brom
Sheff Utd v West Ham/Man City
Mansfield v Middlesbrough
Tranmere/Hereford v Cardiff

To be played on 26 & 27 January

So Near...Yet So Far! Stoke City FC 0 Newcastle Utd 0

Stoke came out of this 3rd Round FA Cup match knowing that they could have and should have won, especially on their showing in the second half.The whole match was engrossing, and certainly on this evidence there is no doubt in my mind that if promotion comes Stoke's way this season Manager Pulis,suitably backed financially,is capable of putting together a team which would be able to hold its own in the Premiership.

Newcastle had more of the class players,more with a better first touch,but especially for parts of the second half,they didn't seem to fancy the battle in the rain as much as the Stoke team.

Not much was seen throughout of the attacking pairing of Michael Owen and Viduka,largely due to the close and effective defensive attentions of young Shawcross (watching Sir Alex Ferguson will have been impressed - apart from one misjudgment his performance was superb) and Leon Cort.Duff threatened danger down the right wing to start with,but was then largely snuffed out by the tenacious Dickinson.Dickinson even found time to leave his entirely legal mark elsewhere knocking Rozehnal backwards in a crunching tackle.

The Stoke midfield was busy, with Man of the Match Pugh partnering Captain Eustace.They managed to match the Butt Smith combination for the visitors.Lawrence and Cresswell,particularly the former,were not as much in evidence as they have been in recent weeks going forward,but provided admirable defensive support to the back four.

In the first half Stoke seemed to be affording Newcastle more respect than they deserved,because when they began to apply concerted pressure in the middle part of the second half especially the visitors defence began to creak.To be fair Faye played a major part in keeping Stoke at bay.Stoke's purple patch coincided with the replacement of Mama Sidibe (he didn't seem to be too happy!).Parkin's entry on 66 minutes galvanised the team.

Immediately Parkin put Fuller through...he took out the keeper as he cut the ball back from the byline in his customary fashion.From close range Parkin connected but unfortunately his effort seemed to strike the body of Taylor/Faye (not sure which!)who had backtracked and seemed to be sitting on their backsides on the goaline.The ball rebounded to safety.

Shortly afterwards Parkin had a header saved by Given,and - seriously contentious - Taylor put his fist to a Fuller drive which was destined for the bottom left corner of the net,deflecting the ball narrowly wide.A good shout for a penalty in my book!

Whilst we didn't get as close again it has to be said that on the second half showing alone Stoke deserved a win.

What about the crowd? Not a sell out,just a touch under 23,000,but what an atmosphere...THE BRIT ROCKED! Superb support for the lads from beginning to end!

LINK : BBC Match Report,includes video highlights
The replay on Wednesday week now has the added spice of a 4th Round tie against Arsenal at The Emirates Stadium.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Owen (and Barton?) Back For Newcastle United!

Stoke face a Newcastle team not enjoying the best of fortunes at the moment in the Premiership..That said, for the FA Cup 3rd Round BBC televised match at The Britannia Stadium on Sunday evening they are able to welcome back from injury the not inconsiderable talent of England striker Michael Owen.

At the moment it is not clear whether or not Joey Barton - now released on bail following an alleged assault in Liverpool over the holiday period - will feature.

The match will provide a yardstick for Stoke...how big the gulf to be bridged is between where we are now and mid table in the Premiership,always assuming, of course, we can manage to clear the promotion hurdle this time round!

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Stoke City FC 1 Hull City 1

A New Year's Day crowd of 15788 saw Stoke share the points with a very determined Hull team. Both sides had chances to snatch a win in the closing minutes but to be honest the draw was a fair result.Stoke were without Ricardo Fuller - attending a close family funeral in Jamaica - and it showed.

Jon Parkin playing against his old club was unable to make any impression,apart from one close range effort which looked all the way a goal until the visiting keeper got down to pull off a brilliant stop.His replacement Pericard had a few minutes at the end of the game but as you would expect looked well off the pace,so that the two late chances which saw him in on the Hull goal were not converted.

Mama Sidibe,goal-less but seriously active for most of the season so far,seemed somewhat distracted throughout.It was suggested after the match that his mind might have been on the African Nations Cup which starts shortly.My money would be on the fact that his style of play demands a lot physically and that playing three tough games in a short space of time there had not been enough time for recovery.

Stoke's 33rd minute goal came coutesy of a Cort header from Delap's long throw in from the right.Hull equalised on 61 minutes with Folan heading in Windass'left wing cross at the far post.Just before halftime a tremendous Liam Lawrence shot - destined for the top right corner of the net - was clawed away right handed by keeper Myhill at full stretch.

Seriously disappointing was the reaction of an element of the home crowd ....first Sidibe's substitution was greeted with ironic cheers,then at the end of the match,again, the team's efforts were rewarded with quite audible boos from some.Where they are coming from it really is difficult to imagine, but perhaps I'm missing something or maybe its now become a minority cultural thing, best ignored by the players and the rest of us!

Where does all this - and the completed holiday programme - leave us? Very handily placed after yesterday's results still in fourth spot in the table, 4 points off the top.That can't be bad...can it? Go...arrn Stoke!