2016 - 2017

2016 - 2017

Saturday, November 28, 2009

A GOOD RESULT.....OR A DISAPPOINTMENT ?

BLACKBURN 0 STOKE CITY FC 0

Blackburn's recent record looked pretty impressive,the team having won its previous five home matches on the spin.A tough match in prospect then,but the Potters have been up for most challenges so far this season.

Some selection surprises from our manager.He decided to keep the back four from last week.Wilko thus kept his place even though Abdy Faye was available once again.Quite right too !Tony Pulis went for Liam Lawrence, more of an all round attacking threat, in preference to Rory Delap,and also Mama Sidibe for a not fully fit Beattie.

The match itself was far from a bore draw,goalless but certainly not drab.End to end football was the order of the day,with numerous chances at both ends to have won the match.Stoke's best chances fell to Dean Whitehead,Liam Lawrence,and latterly James Beattie - playing against one of his old clubs - who managed to sky a sitter on 75 minutes after coming on as sub.Throughout Etherington and Fuller maintained a real attacking threat,which the home team struggled to cope with.

Blackburn were denied by good saves from Tommy Sorensen,hit the post,and at the death could have snatched all the points but Samba contrived to head wide.

Given Blackburn's fine home record and excellent recent form this has to be seen as a good result for Stoke,yet tinged with a little disappointment because they were unable to convert any of the numerous chances that they created.Whatever, this was a big improvement on last season's 3-0 setback on the same ground.Again an indication of the progress that we have made.....still 9th,and equal on points with Liverpool !!

Monday, November 23, 2009

STOKE BACK ON TRACK

STOKE CITY FC 1 PORTSMOUTH 0

Stoke scored their winner in the 74th minute.It was the culmination of a superb passing movement involving several players in swift one-twos,to set Ricardo Fuller partially free of the visitors defence.The striker still had it all to do,but he followed a little jink to the right with a beautifully struck shot around the keepers full length dive,the ball curling just inside the right hand post.

A quality strike from the Jamaican star for his first goal of the season.

The match itself was a pretty dour struggle,which exactly matched the weather.It was cold,damp,a gusty wind,with occasional flurries of rain.Certainly these were not conditions conducive to high quality football.Especially in the first half Portsmouth played the ball around with some confidence,O'Hara and Kanu generally being at the heart of their more creative moments.Stoke for their part created very little.

The only direct shot of note on either goal was a penalty kick within the first ten minutes.This was awarded by the linesman (ass ref)against Delap for a seriously high kick,which floored a Pompey forward.Boateng's penalty effort was weak and to everyone's relief was smothered by Sorensen in the Stoke goal.

The second half was somewhat livelier than the first,with Stoke taking rather more control - at times!Tony Pulis did not wait long to make his substitutions after the break bringing on Liam Lawrence and Mama Sidibe for James Beattie and Salif Diao.The moves injected some attacking life into the team,and importantly lifted the crowd.

After Fuller's goal my favourite moment was Wilkinson's storming run forward in the last few minutes.Cutting the ball this way and that - at some speed - he beat several defenders,reached the 18 yard box,and under further challenge unleashed a powerful cross shot,which a yard or so lower would have found the top corner of the visitors net.Rightly he was named Man of the Match by the sponsors.

Where does this result leave us? Back to 9th place in the Premiership table,and after 13 games on 19 points.Respectable I would say!!

Sunday, November 08, 2009

TUNCAY NOT THE ONLY UNHAPPY BUNNY!

The buildup was all Hull City.Manager's job on the line,in the bottom three,not scored for three games,always lose if they go a goal down .......Well you sort of knew that fate was being tempted here,certainly as far as Stoke were concerned.

The Potters looked the business in the first half,not seriously dominant but good enough to hold onto the lead that Matt Etherington gave them in the 29th minute.He was set free by Shawcross's long punt toward the left wing.With a clear run on goal he beat keeper Duke with a fierce shot inside the near post.

The morgue like atmosphere at the KC Stadium was lifted by a most unlikely character.Remember that cracking volley last season,his only Prem goal for Stoke?Who was it? Old boy Olofinjana brought Hull back on terms - and I suspect Manager Brown back from the dead - with an exquisite curling shot from the edge of the box,which easily beat Sorensen's despairing dive.

Hull began seriously to believe.Stoke brought on Kitson and Tuncay,still looking to win the game themselves.Tuncay scampered about for precisely seven minutes.Abdy Faye stupidly got himself sent off for a second yellow card,Tuncay was pulled off,to be replaced by defender Wilkinson.The turkish international was not best pleased ( anyone lip read in Turkish?)going off down the players tunnel rather than resuming his place on the bench.

Shoring up the defence proved futile,as in stoppage time Sorensen had trouble dealing with a dipping Bullard long range effort,and the man with the incredibly long name (take a deep breath....Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink) was on hand to pop the ball in the net for the winner.