STOKE CITY FC 2 WEST HAM UNITED 1
Ricado Fuller was at his impish best today.He was full of it,backheels,flicks,and just so powerful running.West Ham simply could not handle him at times.He made both goals.He may not be scoring himself at the moment,but he came really close on several occasions.
Stoke got off to a cracking start with James Beattie getting his first goal(11min) of the season from the penalty spot,after some neat football by the Potters cut through the visitors defence.Fuller received the ball,moving way from goal toward the corner flag.His backheel unhinged the Hammers defence putting Etherington in on goal.He was tripped in the area as he was about to shoot.
West Ham pressed for an equaliser,forcing Stoke back into their own half .From a corner Upson netted (34 mins).It looked as though Sorensen was coming for the ball,but then backtracked leaving the tall defender with an easy finish.
The second half saw serious attacking intent by West Ham,but with very little end product - hardly any shots on goal,although Shawcross brilliantly blocked an attempted effort by Cole when he looked odds on to score.
Stoke attacked on the break,and as the half progressed the visitors found Ricardo Fuller particularly hard to handle.He got to the by-line on a number of occasions cutting the ball across Green's goalmouth.Some of these efforts were wayward,but one was converted by the inrushing James Beattie for his second,and the winning goal(69 mins).Fuller skinned Upson on the right,shot across goal,Green at full stretch pushed the ball away only for it to be bundled into the net,along with the covering fullback.
On the upside a result we just about deserved,3 points ,and 9th spot in the Prem table,but make no mistake WHU were no mugs.On the down side we could be losing the services of Huth for a while if the FA decide that he did indeed cuff Upson.