STOKE CITY FC 1 EVERTON 1
This was a fair result.Neither side really looked likely to score,despite much hustle and bustle,until Crouch ,as the announcer put it,'unfortunately 'headed the ball into his own net just on the stroke of halftime..Everton nullified Etherington,often with three men marking when he had the ball.
Crouch teamed up with Kenwyne Jones and Walters.The latter made little impression to begin with,but once head-bandaged after a collision, even less seemed to go for him.Everton's strong central pairing got a grip on Crouch,but less so on Jones.Our only real and consistent threat came from Delap long throws.
Stoke did not look like retrieving the situation,until Tony Pulis subbed three players on 67 minutes,with Fuller,Jerome,and Whelan replacing Walters,Crouch,and Delap.The effect was more or less immediate.Jerome received a ball from Upson over the top.He hustled through the attentions of two defenders,driving powerfully down the centre of the field,before shooting over keeper Howard into the net for the equaliser.
Stoke looked a much livelier outfit over the last 20 minutes,with Fuller,Jerome,and Jones in harness.Right at the death a Huth freekick from outside the box could well have brought us the additional two points.Unfortunately from our point of view his goal bound shot was deflected into the grateful arms of keeper Howard.
This point takes up one place to 13th in the table....hopefully it will be lucky for some,as we go into our final two games.