2016 - 2017

2016 - 2017

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Foggy Afternoon At The Brit !!


The fog swirled around the ground as this match was contested by two of last season's promoted teams.Last year Hull gave us one of our most searching examinations,and today they arrived boasting the second best away record in the Premiership,including the scalps of Arsenal and Tottenham.A difficult game in prospect then....and so it proved.

Most of the play in the first half was in the midfield,with the visitors play every bit as robust as Stoke's.Neither side managed to generate any clear cut openings,but the half ended disastrously for The Potters.In added on time Rickett's free kick was nodded on,finding an unmarked Marlon King,whose shot across Sorensen found the top right corner of the net.To the best of my recollection Hull's first shot of the match!

Stoke looked a lot livelier in the second half,although much of their play was route one.Their threat increased when Tonge came on for Soares,who was not having a particularly effective game.Tongue played a ball across the Hull six yard box with Delap arriving a split second too late to turn the ball into the net.Ricardo Fuller had a header brilliantly saved on the line by keeper Myhill.

On 73 minutes Stoke secured a Fuller penalty equaliser.Fuller had powered into the Hull penalty area challenged by two defenders, and was tripped by keeper Myhill as he shaped to go round him.The keeper got a hand to the spotkick but was unable to keep the ball out of the net.

Another point earned in front of 27,500 sell out crowd...13th in the Premiership table....Ricardo Fuller on 6 goals..sweet!

Next up the Carling Cup Quarter Final against Derby County, and tomorrow the draw for the 3rd Round of the FA Cup.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Boing Boing....Stoke City FC 1 West Bromwich Albion 0

The Baggies clearly came to the Brit to set out their stall to leave with the point they started with.4-5-1 said it all.In the event they left with nothing to show for their efforts thanks to Mama Sidibe's Ritchiesque headed goal in the 84th minute.

Again a virtually full house of 26,613 were there to see the action.Stoke showed no hangover effect from their Man Utd experience,and went about their business as usual at home....very much in WBA's faces,closing them down quickly,providing very little opportunity for the visitors to string passing moves together .

Dave Kitson came in for suspended Ricardo Fuller,I am sure hoping that he would be able to open his goal account for the Potters.Unfortunatey he suffered what looked like a knee injury only a few minutes into the game and was replaced by striker Cresswell (who's last Premier League goal was notched in 2000!).For K itson.....When your luck's out.....

Creswell was busy throughout without looking likely to score.Soares had a couple of chances to put his team ahead but could make nothing of them.His deadball/freekick delivery was generally poor,and it was no surprise in the second half that he was replaced by Tongue.

The first half saw each side have one decent chance.For Stoke Sidibe took the ball down skillfully outside the penalty box before blasting a shot which looked all the way a goal until Carson's intervention.For the Baggies Ishmael Miller shot over when he might have done better.

The second half was Stoke's.The Baggies were largely ineffective going forward,but Stoke for their part did look threatening at times. Danger particularly came down the left touchline with Higginbotham overlapping.Higginbotham, Cresswell,Delap,and Tongue managed some excellent interpassing in the latter stages of the game.

The goal came from Higginbotham's run down the left,a smart one two with Tongue,and an exquisite cross by the fullback, which Sidibe rose majestically to meet,heading the ball back over the stranded WBA keeper into the left corner of the net.A goal good enough in its construction and execution to win any game.

One or two potential worries...in addition to Kitson,Ryan Shawcross hobbled off the pitch in the second half,and Abdy Faye seemed to be carrying a leg injury for part of the second half ( the man is an absolute rock at the very heart of our defence....he would be sorely missed if unavailable).

So 13th place, 17 points from 14 games,4 home wins on the bounce............boing bounce (WBA last beat Stoke at home in 1982!)

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Manchester United 5 Stoke City FC 0

Not sure if Stoke have played in a league match in front of a 75,500 crowd.Certainly they have not in recent times.Memorable today throughout the match were the splendid ,dare I say defiant, songs and chants from the Stokie contingent present in the so called Theatre of Dreams.Loud and impressive indeed.

On the pitch the Stoke team did not really reach the standards of play of recent weeks....maybe they were not allowed to.Manchester United took their visitors seriously enough.Sure Rooney and Ferdinand were missing,but they fielded Ronaldo (new contract rumoured to include £170,000 a week in wages),Berbatov,Tevez,and a selectionof European match regulars.

Against Liverpool Stoke benefitted from Gerrard's early free kick being chalked off by the ref.Today there was no similar reprieve as Ronaldo scored in the 3rd minute,his fierce free kick moving in the air sufficiently to deceive keeper Sorensen,who,on another day might have been able to deflect the ball over the bar.If that goal set out a different scene it was one in which for much of the half Stoke held their own,and made occasional threatening forays into the United half.

Stoke,and the match,were killed off by goals either side of halftime.Carrick took a ball across the edge of the penalty area,centrally placed,he worked the ball from his right foot to his left before shooting home on 45 minutes.Only 4 minutes after the break Berbatov fired home from close range in front the Stretford End.

End of contest,but Stoke continued to resist,until the 84 th minute.Young forward Welbeck,on for a few minutes experience, struck an unstoppable rocket of a shot from outside the area into the top corner of the Stoke net.A winning candidate for 'Goal of the Month' if ever I saw one,and easier now to see why the likes of Frazier Campbell go out on loan.

Visibly tired Stoke conceded another free kick on the edge of their penalty area.With his earlier goal Ronaldo's kick went over the Stoke defensive wall.This time (89mins) he deceived Sorensen by bending the ball around the right edge of the wall just inside the post,beating the keeper's despairing dive to his left.

On the day United had a bit too much for us....no shame in that.We fall to 14th in the table with 14 points from 13 games,and with some home matches to come starting with the baggies next Saturday.Another observation we've played the 'top four' sides and not disgraced ourselves......even more significant we average a point a game from those matches,something that many would not have expected when the season began.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Potters Reach Carling Cup Quarter Finals!


The Potters continued their sedate progress in this year's competition in front of a decidedly repctable 15,458 fans.A goal in each half allied to a save or two from Simonsen (when it was only 1-0) was sufficient to see them through to potentially another big money spinning fixture ,ideally at home.

Glen Whelan had an excellent match,crowning his performance with a 21st minute goal from a free kick,following a foul on Pugh.

Pugh himself put the match beyond doubt in the 59th minute,slotting the ball home from Kitson's astute pass.

Kitson turned the ball into the Rotheram net twenty minutes later after keeper Warrington failed to hold a Whelan shot,but his effort was ruled out for offside.

Bring 'em on..... but who????

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Stalemate....Wigan 0 Stoke City FC 0

Stoke Manager set out his stall for at least a point from this visit to the JJB Stadium.Same team as last week but different tactics,ensured that Wigan were able to improve ther dismal home record.

The plan was clearly to defend in depth,and hope for something on the break or from a set piece.The first materialised, the latter did not.Stoke had very very few chances of note,in the first half Shawcross and Sidibe headers were about it.

The Potters saw even less of the Wigan goal in the second half as they were pushed back by the home side.Once again Thomas Sorensen in goal showed us what marvellous acquisition he is,as he he kept our Premiership show on the road with a series of fine saves from Zaki,Palacios,Camara,and Koumas.The best by far was a double effort,Sorensen getting down at is right post to save with his feet from Palacios,getting up smartly to punch Bramble's strong follow up shot over the bar.

So a point gained,and more bookings.Ricardo Fuller and Ryan Shawcross look to be heading for suspensions in the very near future,which would take a lot out of the team if it were to happen.We remain in 12th place in the table having risen at one stage to a dizzying 9th!!

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Gunner Stunner ! Stoke City FC 2 Arsenal 1

Funny old world as Greavsie used to say to Saint.....from the opening 10 weeks of the Premiership season Stoke gathered 7 points,week 11 saw a 3 day haul of 6 points from consecutive home wins.

Make no bones about it Arsenal were never really at the races in this game.Stoke were in their faces from the start,and quite a few of the visitors did not really fancy it much.
Stoke scored a goal in each half both from Rory Delap low trajectory rocket throw ins.On 10 minutes a throw from Delap zipped in, reached Fuller,who joyfully knocked it into the net past Almunia.

In the 73rd minute another colossal throw from the left was flicked on by Ryan Shawcross for Olofinjana to chest the ball into the Arsenal net.He wasn't bothering about how dignified it looked.....ball chested down, Olo falls forward,bobbling ball hits him again (chest? head?...not sure) and goes into the net.Impossible to defend against.....training ground move? Stunner!!!

Stoke two goals to the good,cue delirious celebrations amongst the 24,000 Stokies around the ground and amongst the players on the pitch.

So 12th in the table tonight with 13 points from 11 games ....and not lookingout of place amongst the big boys!

Arsenal ended the match with only 9 players on the pitch for the last few minutes.Sub Van Persie had been on the pitch less than 12 minutes when he was dispatched to the dressing room by referee Rob Styles for an idiotic and pointless challenge on Stoke keeper Sorensen.Another sub,England's Theo Walcott was taken off with a damaged shoulder.Arsenal did score a Clichy consolation goal in added on time when his free kick,initially heading wide, was deflected just inside Sorensen's right post.

Arsenal had possession but today were unable to find their killer touch,largely due to the immense efforts of the combative Stoke team.Stoke themselves played some good football,and had other chances to score,the most notable of which was a fine Almunia save from Salif Diao.