Stoke established a solid defensive platform as the first half progressed.The closest they came to scoring was when the crossbar denied a Dickinson effort as the half closed. This followed a weak Cort header straight at keeper Marshall from a Lawrence corner on 26 minutes,which was saved easily. Neither side was able to establish prolonged superiority from the possession they enjoyed.
The Potters emerged from the break and put the home side under more concerted pressure.Diao was replaced by Fuller who, perhaps surprisingly, started the match on the bench.Stoke took the lead on 58 minutes when Mama Sidibe got his head to a Delap long throw,flicking the ball on and into the net.Only his second goal of the season but potentially a very important one.
Ryan Shawcross replaced Cort on 81 minutes,and Gallagher took Sidibe's place on 84 minutes.Throughout the second half Stoke were the stronger team without being able to give themselves the second goal to consolidate their winning position.
A deserved win on balance.Riggott again looked a very shrewd acquisition cool calm and collected at the heart of the defence,with Carlo Nash behind him dealing effectively whenever he was called upon,particularly with two fine second half saves from Cureton.
With Bristol City drawing against Watford Stoke continue in second place.Bristol lead the table on 67 points,with Stoke on 66 points.Both have played 38 games.