Saturday, April 25, 2009
This result was sort of expected.The match earlier in the season was one of few chances, with much of Stoke's effort foundering on defender Hangeland.Much the same happened in this game.....few chances,but with the home team converting one of theirs.
Stoke were without both regular fullbacks,Higginbotham and Wilkinson,and up front Beattie.Nevland came on as sub (20mins), scoring on 29 minutes.Having gathered the ball in midfield he passed out to Johnson on the right.He cut the ball into the penalty area for the advancing Nevland to shoot home.
Stoke had a few chances,the best of which was a fabulous strike on the run from Lawrence which went narrowly wide of Schwarzer's post with the Fulham keeper beaten.
Not to be then, on a day when WBA took out Sunderland and Hull fell to Liverpool.......hopefully tomorrow's results (and Monday night's)will be equally favourable !
Saturday, April 18, 2009
This was a fairly dour encounter between two physically imposing sides.Stoke as they had done last week created the best chances but it seemed we were drifting toward a goalless
stalemate.Then on 75 minutes Stoke broke the deadlock.
Higginbotham crossed from the left, Beattie moved the ball on to Liam Lawrence,who received the ball in the visitors penalty area shimmied aside from a defender and drove the ball along the ground at Rovers keeper Robinson.He got a hand to the ball but it still had sufficient momentum to roll over the line into the net.Cue wild celebrations .
Unlike last week there was relatively little threat from in Blackburn in the remaining minutes.They simply did not look like getting back on terms.
At the final whistle there was much joy amongst the players on the pitch, and the fans on the terraces.Pick of the celebrations was Abdy Faye's run around the four sides of the pitch,waving to the fans and kissing his club badge as he went.
Like the rest of us he was well happy....39 points, 11th in the table,and five games still to play....not bad so far for the no hopers !!!
Still not yet mathematically certain that we will stay up, so expect TP and his players to keep their collective feet on the gas. Europe? Why not.
Sunday, April 12, 2009
We took the lead when captain Abdy Faye (33mins) headed home Liam Lawrence's corner kick,to register again his former club for the second time this season.
For the next half hour or so Stoke bossed the play,culminating in a blitz on the visitors goal in the early minutes of the second half,during which keeper Harper saved from Ricardo Fuller,and both Whelan and Faye had goal bound efforts cleared off the line. Add to that two or three appeals for handball in the area,and you have some idea of how close Newcastle were to total collapse at that point.
Stoke had one other golden opportunity on 69 minutes.A fast Stoke breakout involving Fuller and Lawrence played Etherington free on goal from the left,but with Harper coming out the midfielder's shot passed just wide of the post.
Having survived the onslaught the visitors clawed their way back into the match,earning a point when sub Carroll's looping header from Duff's cross found the Stoke net (81mins).
In the end more than a little dissappointing to get only a point (how things have changed this season !!) especially as all the other results seemed to go in our favour.
Still another point closer to safety.
Saturday, April 04, 2009
Stoke clearly enjoy meeting the Baggies....fielding an attacking team Stoke secured their first away win of the season...indeed their first double,in the process lifting themselves to a heady 13th place.
The best of starts came with Ricardo Fuller's opener in the second minute.His fellow striker Beattie got the other just after halftime (49mins) ,further enhancing his reputation not only among the Stoke following,but also the media.An inspired buy if ever there was one.
Luckiest escape of the season? Not buying Scott Carson!
So what do we need to stay in the Prem? From the optimists one more win with 7 games to play.The pessimists think two wins and a draw.Somewhere in between more like.
What is certain is that Tony Pulis is taking absolutely nothing for granted.Neither will our team.
UPDATE.....it just gets better, a proper newspaper report on the match in 'The Times'(here) which gets away from the lazy journo stereotype of The Mighty Potters. Hats off to Mr Rawsley for his excellent piece.