2016 - 2017

2016 - 2017

Sunday, September 25, 2011

PLAYING MANCHESTER UNITED......NO LONGER POINTLESS FOR THE POTTERS



STOKE CITY FC  1  MANCHESTER UNITED   1



After four years of trying we finally managed a point. United started off in a fashion that suggested  that we might have had plenty to fear. Early doors Woodgate, from behind, leaned into and felled Hernandez, who was one on one with Begovic in the box, and odds on to score.Ref Walton saw nothing wrong and we breathed a huge sigh of relief. Short lived relief though, because Nani, coming in from the right, played a one two with Fletcher, shimmied past two flat footed Stoke defenders, before shooting firmly into the corner of the net to Begovic’s left.


From that point on Stoke rolled up their sleeves and got stuck in, playing some excellent football into the bargain. The second half was a revelation, with Stoke pressing toward the United goal. The spectacle of 4000 United fans stood in apprehensive silence for long periods was something we have not seen before at The Brit.


It would be fair to say that the visitors oft maligned goalie, De Gea, had more vital saves to make than Begovic. Apart from two high ball flaps, he looked a class shot stopping act, as he turned away Wilkinson’s piledriver shot  and  just managed to finger tip away Walters powerful cross shot  in the first half.  In the second half got himself in the way of a Crouch effort from point blank range, as he did ,too with Wilson’s thunderous freekick from the edge of the United penalty box.


The Stoke equaliser came from a corner won by the ever industrious Walters. Throughout the afternoon, as on Tuesday night against Tottenham, Pennant and Etherington were consistently under or over hitting their kicks from set pieces. On this occasion Ethers got one just right. Crouch stole a yard on Ferdinand rising to head the ball down to the keepers right into the net. Cue rapturous celebrations, not least by Crouch himself. His first goal for us, and apparently his first against United.


Of old we have seen the visitors sneak in for a winner. They had their chance in added on time, a ball in from the left finding Giggs coming in from the right unmarked and with the goal at his mercy. From four yards out he was hit by the Siddibe Stoke End curse, screwing his shot off to the left of goal and safety.


A proud day to be a Potter. A deserved result, from a game in which, crucially, we did not look overawed, in which we were prepared to take the game to our illustrious visitors, something we have not previously seen from a Tony Pulis side in this fixture.


Brilliant.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

NOT A LOT TO SEE HERE.

SUNDERLAND 4 STOKE CITY FC 0

A sluggish start by our heroes led to us falling behind on 5 minutes.Poor defending of a set play saw Bramble scuff the ball into the net underneath Begovic's body.Further poor defending of a home corner,leading to a Larsson cross,which resulted in Woodgate putting through his own goal on 11 minutes,as he attempted to  stop the ball reaching Bendtner..We went 3-0 down on 30 mins .Ryan Shawcross got a leg to a Gardner shot,but it ballooned up and over Begovic into the net.Two chances of note : Crouch should have done better with a header from six yards out,and Jerome, generally off the pace today,failed with a good chance,as a Sunderland defender got a block in on his goal bound snapshot.Our best moment?A fine Wilson freekick heading for the top corner of the net was pawed away by Mignolet at full stretch.

Stoke made a very positive start to the second half but were knocked back by a fine Larsson freekick,after Whitehead dithered on ball,and conceded on the edge of the box. The midfielder curved the ball around our wall,low into the net to Begovic's left.No chance of saving that one.4-0 down on 58 minutes.Jones came on for Jerome,who had been disappointing.

Huth blocked Bendtner and was lucky to remain on the pitch given he'd already been booked.Pennant came on for Etherington,and Palacios for Delap.Generally powderpuff shooting from the Stoke forwards.Crouch lacked the sharpness to convert the chances that came his way.....Late on Jones was in on goal, took on and failed to convert the chance himself, ignoring Walters who was better placed.

Quiet afternoon for the home keeper.Performance lacking spark throughout,as we limped to our first defeat of the season.On our undefeated 10 game run we have enjoyed generous slices of luck.....today it was Sunderland's turn!

Still 5th in the table,otherwise a day to forget.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

PINBALL AT THE BRITANNIA STADIUM

STOKE CITY FC 1 LIVERPOOL 0

Thrilled to bits with this result,although to secure it our fabled resilience,prodigious effort,and never say die/they shall not pass attitude,required the vital supplement of a generous helping of old fashioned good luck.

Liverpool were an entirely different propostion than when the came to The Brit last year.They were confident,spirited,pacey,and moved the ball around well at times.They had the chances to win this game many times over,but despite the evident class of many of their players they went away with nothing.

Suarez,Henderson and Adam were unable to take the chances that came their way,particularly in the second half. Pinball Time. In one 20 second burst the visitors could have scored five times.It seemed inevitable they would notch an equaliser.Henderson was played through one on one with Asmir Begovich.His first shot was saved point blank,his second effort from the rebound was pushed away by the keeper.His immediate third effort was blocked by Upson.From that Adam struck the ball goalward,Shawcross dumped on the floor by the force as he blocked the ball.Again the rebound saw Adam running in on goal,his second powerful effort being saved by our keeper this time with his feet.At the death,Suarez had a good chance but put his effort wide.

Stoke's winner came as early as the 25th minute.Jon Walters moved in on goal in the Liverpool penalty area.He was held back by Carragher,ref Clattenburg awarding the penalty immediately.As he had done at Norwich Walters grabbed the ball,unlike the Norwich penalty he made no mistake hammering the ball into the centre of the net,as Reina dived off to his right.

And the new boys?Crouch played the whole game,and made a tidy contribution to the proceedings.Matthew Upson looked assured throughout.Palacios added late reinforcement to the midfield,as we struggled against Liverpool's late effort to gain a point.

So we are still unbeaten so far this season,and find ourselves at the dizzying height of 4 th in the Premiership table.Thirty more points needed to stay up for a fifth season in the Prem!

PS1Were Liverpool unlucky with their penalty shouts? Late on Upson was involved in a close range ball to arm incident.Mr Clattenburg,notice the respect here,rightly called this one no penalty.I doubt that he even saw Rory Delap move the ball away with his hand earlier.Had he done so,there would have been no question..a certain penalty.I must remember that when what goes round comes around...to us!

PS2.The crowd chants just get better.....remember Capello advised Andy Carroll to cut down on the booze..."He's back from the pub,  He's back from the pub,......Andy Carroll, He's back from the pub !!!!" Pure magic.