STOKE CITY FC 2 HULL CITY 0
Stoke passed the magical 40 point mark yesterday,and were excellent value for the win that all but guarantees a third season in the top division.To be honest Hull offered very little real threat throughout the game,and considering their position in the league seemed to lack ambition.A point seemed to be their aim,and apart from one brief attacking flurry in the home penalty area midway through the second half they seldom looked like getting it after Fuller's early strike.
We had to wait just six minutes for the Jamaican flier to open the scoring.A fine flick on from Dave Kitson- who incidentally won all the early aerial exchanges - was allowed to drop by defender McShane.In a flash Fuller was away and past him,finishing with a beautiful shot with the outside of his right boot over advancing keeper Myhill into the net.In a vain attempt to get to the ball McShane clipped Fuller's heel,the resultant injury taking the striker out of the game at halftime,and reducing his effectiveness for the remainder of the first half.
With Tuncay on for Fuller Stoke continued to press for a second goal.It duly arrived after the visitors went down to ten men,when Boateng was stretchered off with a facial injury received totally accidentally as Tuncay attempted an overhead kick.Ian Dowie had already made his three substitutions.
On 90 minutes Sidibe, on for Kitson,got his head to a long ball,directing it to Tuncay on the edge of the Hull penalty box.He squared the ball to Etherington.Having brought the ball under control he rolled a beautifully weighted diagonal ball to Lawrence,free to his right.Lawrence did not panic,his shot - more of a pass really - went along the ground,straight as a die into the corner of the Hull net.Funnily enough this was his first goal since the Hull away win last season,which itself guaranteed our safety!Superb football from The Potters,another quality goal.
Eight minutes of added on time were played out uneventfully.Three points then from a workmanlike performance,which had more than a few moments of high quality football from The Potters.Kitson again had a fine game,getting about the pitch,winning balls in the air and on the ground,making telling passes to set coleagues free on a number of occasions.His partnership with Fuller,certainly on today's evidence,looks to have real potential.Will he be leaving us at the end of the season...maybe not...Etherington continues to impress...another fine game from him!