Stoke maintained their position at the top of The Championship,seeing off a serious challenge from the the Tractor Boys in front of an appreciative and supportive season's highest crowd of almost 23,500!
Ipswich had chances,notably falling to Lee, before Stoke took the lead just before halftime.Again it was Liam Lawrence doing the honours.He latched onto a defensive clearance as he came in from the right wing.He was well outside the box on the right as he struck the ball,which flew straight and true into the top left corner of the visitors net.Goalkeeper Bywater had absolutely no chance of getting a hand on the ball.Sponsors Man of the Match,Liam now has 13 goals for the season,one behind Ricardo Fuller.
While there were a few scares this match had nothing like the feel of the previous two home games.You always had the feeling that Stoke were going to come out with the right result.
With each match he plays Whelan looks like a real steal from Sheffield Wednesday.A quality midfielder well able to break up attacks but also able to play a perceptive defence splitting through ball to his forwards.He had a great game.
Bearing in mind the acquisition of Fulop from Sunderland attention focussed on Simonsen's performance....one flap at a cross,one fumble, and one fine save!For the most part then a steady performance.
Top then at least until Tuesday night....and the team clearly determined to hold on to what they have!