2016 - 2017

2016 - 2017

Tuesday, December 27, 2011



This match was pretty much a stalemate,both sides proceeding with caution rather than adventure.Each side had their moments,moments which could have decided the match.Sharing the points was right though.

Stokes's standout moments : Robert Huth  heading over the Villa bar twice,opportunities that he might have expected to score from; Wilson heading the ball against the underside of the bar,a splendid effort which,two inches lower would have gone in,but as it was (maybe already 75% over the line)it came down onto Agbonlahor's chest,and out to safety.

For Villa Heskey headed against the outside of the Stoke goalpost,various crosses eluded defenders and strikers alike in the Stoke area, Delfouneso was put in on Sorensen  by Agbonlahor's cross from the left,but our keeper managed to get a foot on the ball,moving it away to safety,and Villa's best chance was gone.The other piece of excitement came when ,uncharacteristically given his superb form since returning to the side,Sorensen fumbled N'Zogbia's  freekick from the right of goal.Fortunately the ball fell to Shotton was on hand to effect a clearance upfield.

A workmanlike,but uninspired performance,from Stoke.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011



Stoke were set up to hold onto the point they started with....if they could.Virtually the entire first half was played out in Stoke territory.the home side created plenty of chances,numerous shots, the closest of which,up to the half hour mark,hit the angle of post and bar.

Aguero scored the inevitable opener,but as chance would have it from an offside position.Done we may have been for that goal,but there was no doubt about the second goal a few minutes later.Whitehead won the ball on the byline to left of goal.Inexplicably he tried to pass out to a teammate who was in a central positon just outside the penalty area.The ball went astray,falling to Johnson,who cracked an unstoppable shot low into the left hand corner of the net beyond  Sorensen's despairing dive.No shots,no forward momentum from Stoke through the entire 45 minutes.

We pushed out a little in the second half,without achieving any serious penetration.Manchester City added to their lead with a second goal for Aguero.He simply had to turn the ball into the net from Nasri's cross from the right.

Both sides made substitutions without any noticeable change in the shape of the match.Stoke completed the match without having registered a single shot on goal.Tommy Sorensen was busy,performing heroically throughout,saving his best effort to deny Aguero his hattrick in the 93rd minute.

Monday, December 19, 2011



Stoke rode their luck in the first half - no-one more so than Woodgate - then turned on the style in the second half to come away with all three points.

Wolves bossed the first half with most of the threat originating with Jarvis down the left side.Woodgate had a torrid time of it,first of all  earning a booking for chopping the Wolves wide man down,then conceding a penalty with a second indiscreet challenge.He was lucky to stay on the pitch.Hunt converted the chance to put Wolves in the lead.Immediately afterwards Woodgate looked exceedingly relieved to be withdrawn in favour of Pennant,with Shotton going to fullback.

From that moment on Stoke began to look more settled. Following a livener from the Manager at halftime our heroes took control of the match.Whelan prompted from the midfield, Pennant and Etherington probed down the flanks.Crouch and Walters buzzed about upfront.

We were back  on equal terms seven minutes into the half. Dynamo Walters won a somewhat fortuitous freekick outside the Wolves box, falling to Johnson's perfectly fair tackle.Huth smacked the ball powerfully goalwards, it took a deflection off Doyle in the Wolves defensive wall,sufficient to beat Henessey,giving us a deserved equaliser.

Peter Crouch led our forward line skilfully.His link up and hold up play is splendid,knitting things together,so that we are able to mount a real threat from open play.It was no surprise that he netted his 99th Premiership goal,with a close range far post header,from Etherington's pinpoint cross from the left.

Wolves huffed and puffed but could make no real impression.We are now 8th in the table with 24 points,having won four league matches in a row, another first!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011



Cast your mind back to the QPR match.We didn't play well, maybe deserved to fall behind,but even when we roused ourselves from our torpor,the referee gave us nothing,obvious penalties denied,so we took nothing from the game.What goes around comes around,we said.

Well,sure enough, it did on Sunday,and that left Spurs manager,Harry Redknapp fuming,a distinctly unhappy Harry.Spurs arrived at The Britannia Stadium on a fine winning run.For the first half they were unable to cope with us,as we chased,harried,bullied them out of their stride.Our contingent of ex-Spurs players were well to the fore.Matthew Etherington netted twice and could have had another.Peter Crouch won everything in the air,held the ball up when it was needed,prompted his teammates,and set up Etherington's first.Woodgate coped quite well with Bale and Lennon.

Tottenham simply never got to grips with us,from the off ,totally thrown by our all action approach.

Redknapp  changed things around at halftime.His substitutions and change of formation,brought about a complete change in the visitors.They played some splendid football,got a goal back,an Adebayor penalty,after Whelan was adjudged to have fouled Modric.The ball pinged around our box,Sorensen made several classy saves,last ditch blocks and deflections,all contributed to the excitment.Ryan Shawcross led a charmed life,indeed could have conceded two penalties (certainly as Redknapp saw it),first wrestling with Kaboul in the area,then clearing off the line with his elbow.Adebayor had a legitimate goal chalked off by the assistant referee.

Stoke were hanging on by their fingertips,a number of the players looking completely drained 20 minutes from the end,indeed looking as though they were running through treacle!Can't say that I've ever seen Jon Walters so tired that he was unable to chase a ball down.Ten minutes from time he still managed to chase down the left,fell over when challenged by Kaboul,the defender getting his second yellow,and a sending off.

A figure 5  was plucked from the air by the officials,by way of added on time,just to heighten the tension.

Stoke,to their credit,held on to record a magnificent result.It was a pleasure to be there to see it,though in the closing stages not easy on the nerves or the heart!

Monday, December 05, 2011



I have to admit that this result was unexpected, but all the more enjoyable for that.The last seven days have been most productive for us Potters.Six points out of six in the Premiership taking us to the much happier place that is 8th in the table,with almost half the points that we need to stay up.Plus qualifying for the next stage in the Europa Cup,with a game to spare,the future looks rosy again.Oh,and a clean sheet too.With 7 central defenders on duty,you could perhaps have predicted that.

Robert Huth provided the one highlight  of this match.Picking up where he left off last season,he showed our strikers how it should be done.Not trusting that Dean Whitehead's shot would beat keeper Howard, in the style of the world's greatest strikers he applied a deadly efficient toe poke,deflecting the ball past helpless defenders into the Everton net.Gary Lineker would have been impressed, and no doubt about it,Crouchy definitely was!