Great day out...great result....and thanks to WBA and Watford table toppers again tonight
Beefburger outside the ground £3.20p.....bap fresh maybe sometime last week (you sort of know this when you bite the front of the bap and the back edge falls off!)...not the best.Inside the ground a pie (tasty steak and kidney)/carling(500ml bottle) combo...£5.Neither matched the fare on offer on the pitch,particularly in the second half.
Coventry bossed the first half,skimming the bar not long after kick off,having one or two other chances,but finally netting through Elliot(31mins) from the penalty spot,after a desparate Stoke boot attempting to clear caught a Coventry player rather than the ball.Ameobi went off injured (replaced by Sidibe) having had no real chance to strike up an understanding with Fuller.Next to go was Griffin (40mins),who once again was being given a really hard time.He really is only a pale shadow of the player that we had last season,so much so that there is speculation that he is carrying an injury of some sort.As it turned out his replacement Shawcross put in a virtually flawless performance,partnering Cort in the centre,with Riggott moving out to fullback.To be honest Stoke's defence was rarely troubled after this change.
The second half belonged more or less entirely to Stoke.Coventry offered less and less in attack as Stoke built up real momentum.Rory Delap,stand in Captain,prompted his forwards.On 54 minutes Fuller was put through on goal in front of the Stokie supporters.Four defenders converged on him,one taking his legs.Uriah Rennie had no hesitation awarding the penalty.Fuller took it himself tucking the ball inches inside the right post with Schmeichel diving the right way.
Tony Pulis' masterstroke was to bring on Liam Lawrence for Pearson in the 67th minute.This built up the pressure on the Coventry defence,with two crosses in particular passing in front of the home goal without a Stoke forward being able to apply a finishing touch.However in the 79th minute Stoke interplay - the final telling touch again just an oh so important toe in by Mama Sidibe,to deflect the ball- put Cresswell clear in on goal.Schmeichel blocked, but the ball ran out kindly to Lawrence who had no trouble netting the winner.
The funny thing about the game was that circumstances-in the form of enforced changes - brought about a better balance in the team,plus more bite and aggression.A fine win for The Potters appreciated and wildly celebrated by the 3000 fans present.
With WBA and Watford cancelling each other out Stoke go top.WBA have a local derby match -their remaining match in hand- with Wolves on Tuesday night.
It seems ever so simple... can we win the next three games to gain automatic promotion...yes we can!