WEST HAM UTD 3 STOKE CITY FC 1 Carling Cup 5th Round After extra time.
Stoke bossed the first 40 minutes,taking a deserved lead in the 6th minute,when Kenwyne Jones nodded in from a Pennant corner,but they did not build on their advantage.The last few minutes of the half West Ham came on stronger,which set the pattern for the second half.
Nevertheless it took West Ham until the 84th minute to get back on terms,a Parker header ,as Stoke visibly wilted.A day less for Stoke to recover from the weekend games?Several players included who were not full match fit?Who knows?What we do know is that defeat became something of an inevitablity as the momentum switched to,and remained with The Hammers.Extra time saw goals from Da Costa (96mins) and Obinna (118mins) which sealed Stoke's fate,and exit from the competition.
Tuncay started the match but did not finish it,maybe because he will be in the lineup at Everton.Eidur Gudjonsen came on as sub,but unlike the West ham subs made little impression,except perhaps Berbertov like that he could not be bothered unless the ball was played to his feet.
Some speculation that the approach of winter has led him to reconsider his position:nice boats in Monaco harbour, better weather, warming the Monaco bench,now a rather more attractive proposition than the incinerator,rain,and the cold of the Brit.He has not figured in as many games for Stoke as I thought he might,but each time we have seen him so far he has seemed a little sluggish,maybe even still carrying a little extra weight despite the fitness regime at Stoke.
So a night that started so promisingly,ended in disappointment,and with more than a few messages in the ether which will need to be interpreted,and maybe acted upon.