2016 - 2017

2016 - 2017

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

PLENTY TO BE PROUD OF

ARSENAL 1 STOKE CITY FC 0

Stoke have not won at Arsenal for 30 years.Could our lads break that dismal record?Maybe a quick answer as first Walcott hit the post,then Stoke went a goal down in 7 minutes from a poorly defended corner.The ball was played long from the right, over the Stoke defence.Bendtner played the ball back in for Squillaci to head his first Premier League goal in past a helpless Begovic from 3 yards.

Wilson featuring at right back had his hands full with Arshavin,on early for Fabregas,and Nasri pushing down the Arsenal left.The home side monopolised possession without really getting through the City rearguard.Pugh at left back largely succeeded in blunting the threat from the speedy Walcott.

As the half wore on Stoke were pushed further back into their own half,with just the occasional breakout.On 35 minutes Carew brought a full length save  from the Arsenal keeper with a powerful shot from distance.

On 39 mins Shawcross clumsily tripped Arshavin on edge of box.Nasri hit the freekick to the left of the Stoke goal and safety.Shortly after we had a freekick of our own which Jermaine Pennant dropped dangerously into the home box.The keeper fisted away.  

Stoke came out of their shells a little more.Barely 2minutes into the second half Pennant down the left,ball into Shawcross whose goal bound header was knocked away for a corner,which came to nothing.Huth lept mightly but unfortunately headed over from a Delap long throw,as Stoke continued to press.

With 13  minutes to go Fuller came on for Walters. For Arsenal Chamakh replaced Bendtner.Arsenal felt the mounting tension,their fans increasingly nervous.A Pennant freekick beat the defensive wall,but flew into the side netting.Five minutes of added on time,but no Stoke equaliser this time round despite the Arsenal panic.

A dogged hardworking display from Stoke,which had Arsenal hanging on at the end.

Mr.Wenger did not look one happy puppy!

Stoke: Begovic,Wilson,Shawcross,Huth,Pugh,Delap,Whitehead,Whelan,Pennant,Walters,Carew.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

FA CUP QUARTER FINALS ...HERE WE COME

STOKE CITY FC 3 BRIGHTON HA 0


Stoke got off to a super start in the match with big John Carew heading in from a Delap long throw in (14 mins).Jon Walters doubled the lead. A Pennant run down the right was taken on by the overlapping right back Wilson, whose ball in was redirected into the net by the striker (22 mins). Etherington, starting the match following a hamstring injury went off at this point, looking decidedly uncomfortable, to be replaced by Ricardo Fuller.


Stoke’s third goal, before halftime, fell to Captain Ryan Shawcross. Jermaine Pennant’s corner from the right was headed across goal, to the unmarked skipper, who headed home his first goal since our cup exit against Chelsea last year.


No further goals in the second half, with The Potters playing their way into the final eight. Kenwyne Jones came on for Carew, but again did not look likely to score. With the fans on his back life continues to be difficult for him. Fuller seemed below what we know to be his best, until the last few minutes when he suddenly managed a couple of his mesmerising dribbles. The second culminated in a shot to the near post which the keeper parried away for a corner. Even more than at Birmingham last week the selection of Wilson and Pugh at fullback seemed to increase our creative options.



A thoroughly professional performance against the high scoring Division One leaders, in a fixture that might have posed problems for us in the past.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

BEGO BLUES

BIRMINGHAM CITY 1 STOKE CITY FC 0

What goes around comes around. A week ago we were elated as we snatched the points from Sunderland with Robert Huth's late late goal.Today we suffered a similar fate as Birmingham did the same to us.

Changes to our line up saw Pugh at left back and Wilson in for Wilkinson.Probably most significantly Etherington did not feature at all thus halving the wing service to Carew and Jones.Etherington finished last week's game strongly,but for a little while now he has looked as though he is carrying some sort of injury.The received wisdom today was that he was actually injured,but looking at Birmingham's pudding of a pitch it is at least as likely that the manager was worried that he might aggravate the existing condition.Walters was the replacement.

Stoke had some of the better moments of the first half with Pennant lively against another of his old clubs,whilst Birmingham looked more likely in the second half.Robert Huth was lucky to escape a ball to hand penalty as Brum exerted some pressure.

The game itself was heading for a stalemate conclusion,and a deserved point,when,with 30 seconds to go,the home side grabbed a winner.Asmir Begovic has been in fine form in goal for us since he took over in goal from Sorensen.At the death he spilled the ball down by his right post.Birmingham were quick to stand the ball up to Zigic,who, with his height advantage  had no problem heading into the net  from point blank range.

Sunday, February 06, 2011

“PROPER GOALS”

STOKE CITY FC 3 SUNDERLAND 2


I certainly warmed to Gary Lineker  on Match of the Day last night having watched the game at the Britannia Stadium earlier. Stoke produced a scintillating lateshow Houdini act to take all three points from a more than useful Sunderland outfit.


“Proper goals” (all three Stoke scores)netted from “a combined yardage of six yards”, he said! Appreciation from one who knows just a little bit about scoring goals, scruffy or otherwise, but a comment sure to cause a grinding of teeth in soccer purist Baggie fan Adrian Chiles.Welcome appreciation from Shearer and Lawrenson too.


The game was a cracker, Stoke twice giving the visitors a helping hand. Given the awful weather conditions, heavy rain and swirling wind, they played some excellent football going forward, crisp passing, keeping the ball on the ground and to feet. Richardson put them a goal up on 2 minutes, with Gyan restoring their lead only 3 minutes into the second half.


You had the feeling though that their weakness lay in defence. Having fallen behind so early in the first half Stoke steadily built up pressure, and deservedly equalised in the 32nd minute. Delap threw long into the heart of the Sunderland penalty area.From the ensuing melee the ball rose into the air, and as it fell Huth challenged. With the ball heading goalwards Carew managed a balletic toe poke to secure the equaliser.


It looked as though he had bagged our second equaliser heading in a Pennant freekick on 82 minutes. The goal was eventually credited to Huth. Stoke pressed hard for a winner.Two minutes into added on time Whitehead was fouled out on the left. Jermaine Pennant’s superb free kick cleared the cluster of players in the Sunderland box ,dropping invitingly to Huth running in behind them from the right. The German found the net with aplomb.Cue serious celebration amongst the players and the home faithful.


With other teams below us winning games recently this win was vital to us. Three  points lifts us into 9th spot in the table.


A splendid never say die team effort. Carew looks as though he could be very good for us. Etherington twinkled occasionally, but yesterday it was Jermaine Pennant who caught the eye. His corners and freekicks were a constant threat,  he seemed to pop up everywhere on the pitch, and was involved in much intelligent link play.


Thursday, February 03, 2011

AMBITION? NOT A LOT....

LIVERPOOL 2 STOKE CITY FC 0

Stoke were set up for this match to keep the point they started with.Liverpool have been improving of late,but you have to wonder what Stoke might have achieved if they had shown more ambition.John Carew on his own up front,five in midfield,protecting the back four.Pennant and Diao were given a start against their former club.

From a Stoke viewpoint the highlight of the first half was defensive,Begovic making a brilliant relex save to keep out Johnson's header. Liverpool broke the stalemate just after halftime.Diao upended Agger centrally just outside the 18 yard box.Gerrard's freekick deflected to Kyrgiakos, and off him to Meireles ten yards out from goal.He drove the ball home giving Begovic no chance..The second goal saw sub, recent signing multi-million pound Uruguayan striker Suarez open his account on 79 minutes.He was set free to run on goal by Kuyt's pass.Rounding the advancing Stoke keeper,his shot was almost cleared by Wilkinson,who,after racing back had the misfortune to see his last ditch clearance effort go in off the post.

Stoke had earlier brought on Fuller as a second striker (at 67 minutes) in attempt to turn things around.The Jamaican looked lively,but the change was probably to little and too late.

Stoke Team : Begovic;
                     Wilkinson,Huth,Faye,Higginbotham;
                     Pennant,Wilson,Whitehead,Diao,Walters: 
                    Carew