Stoke duly completed the double over Dave Jones's team,bringing their 10 game unbeaten run to an end into the bargain.Stoke had enough good chances to win the game comfortably,but in particular Mama Sidibe's failure to convert Fuller's squared pass - when faced with an open goal - with the score at 2-0, provided encouragement to the Bluebirds, who promptly reduced the deficit,leaving us all biting our fingernails for the last few minutes.
Except for short periods Stoke bossed the match.Cardiff were neat in midfield but were beaten back by the very determined Stoke rearguard marshalled by England U 21 call up Ryan Shawcross.Fuller was a real handful for the visiting defenders all afternoon.Sidibe performed well as target man.Rory Delap showed some nice touches in midfield,and Salif Diao was very much a steadying influence.
Stoke took the lead on 39 minutes when Johnson turned the ball into his own net from a Lawrence corner.After the break Fuller continued to threaten Cardiff, driving at the heart of their defence at every opportunity.On 57 minutes he picked up the ball near the half way line in the middle of the pitch and set off directly for the Cardiff goal.Two defenders converged on him inside the penalty area, bringing him down. Ref Steve Bennett had no hesitation in awarding the penalty,which Fuller himself coolly converted,sliding the ball along the ground into the bottom right corner of the net - his 13 th goal of the season so far.Within seconds of Mama missing his opportunity on 63 minutes Hasselbaink pulled one back for Cardiff.
The tense finale was punctuated by Stoke attacks which could have brought another goal.Ricardo Fuller for example had another one on one with the keeper but was unable to take advantage.
With this result Stoke temporarily lifted themselves into 3rd spot on 50 points.Following Watford's televised win against Wolves ( to which incidently John Eustace contributed a very solid performance) they reverted to 4th place.