TOTTENHAM 3 STOKE CITY FC 2
Stoke were set up for this match as many people expect them to play against Bolton in the FA Cup semi-final next week..Pennant and Etherington down the flanks providing a service to Kenwyne Jones and Walters,a midfield featuring Delap and Whelan,with Huth and Shawcross paired centrally at the back.Higginbotham's absence was covered by switching Marc Wilson to the left,to allow Andy Wilkinson to play in his customary right back position..
Following an almost habitual slow start we could have been out of it within 20 minutes,2-0 down,through Crouch and Moderic, and the home team having failed to cash in on other chances.
Then a flash of genius from ex-Spurs man Etherington,clearly determined to show what they had lost.He picked up the ball in our half on the left,motored down the wing pursued by Huddlestone,cut around the outside of him as they entered the penalty area,drew and nutmegged the keeper, before sliding the ball into the far side of the net.
Yes we then lost another softish goal to Crouch before the next helping of good news.KENWYNE SCORES....AGAIN....AT LAST!!! So pleased for him,he's clearly been trying so hard, but things have just not been happening for him.Well on this occasion Bale was dallying on the ball,not a good idea with a very determined looking Wilkinson approaching at speed.No contest.....Welshman loses ball,which breaks conveniently to Jones.Kenwyne headed directly toward goal before smacking an unstoppable shot into the top right corner of the net from twenty yards out.
So you could say, summarising the half,Stoke outplayed but very much in it.
As with Chelsea last week Stoke gathered momentum as they pushed further up the field.Jon Walters had one golden opportunity but was unable to make anything of what seemed like an open goal equalizer chance.Not sure that the ball did not go off his thigh and onto the post,with Gomez nowhere in sight.Kenwyne hit another twenty yarder,which the keeper got a hand to,plus he placed a header wide,a chance he would definitely have netted earlier in the season.
So no points,still 6 points off the drop,and a performance, in the end,which would have seen off lesser sides than Spurs.