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'If It's Football, It's Vital'

Stoke City 1 - Ipswich Town 0

Britannia Stadium

14th February 2008
3pm

Attendance: 23,563

Liam keeps Stoke on top

Liam Lawrence rocketed the Potters to a justified 1-0 win over fellow promotion hopefuls, Ipswich Town at the Brit and consolidated their position at the top of the Championship.

Liam's 25 yard shot and contender for 'goal of the season' just before the interval was enough to see off the Tractor Boys who'd come to the Brit on the back of two away wins after a topsy-turvy season for the East Anglian club, which had seen them unbeatable at home and unable to win away.

Stoke City fielded new keeper, Marton Fulop on the bench with Steve Simonsen remaining in the starting eleven for now. But it's widely predicted that Simo will have to fight for his place starting with next week's visit to Preston as Fulop is likely to be given the opportunity to start.

Pulis made two changes to the starting line-up, bringing in Carl Dickinson for the suspended Danny Pugh and dropping Salif Diao to the bench in preference to Richard Cresswell.

Ipswich arrived at the Brit well prepared for Stoke's set pieces and the Delap long throws. They certainly looked useful in midfield and on the break, but except for a great shot from Sumulikoski which provoked a great save from Simo with twenty minutes remaining, the visitors hardly troubled the Stoke keeper.

Stoke had good chances to go further ahead. Before Lawrence's wonder goal, Ryan Shawcross had bundled the ball into the back of the net, before seeing the linesman flag for off-side. Ric Fuller had also seen a shot go narrowly wide of the post. In the second half, Mamady Sidibe was also very unfortunate to see his overhead kick squeeze just wide of the post.

Ipswich boss, Jim Magilton found himself on the bad side of the ref and was sent to the stands after complaining a little too much about the speed in which the ball boys returned the ball.

This was a good solid performance from the Potters who managed to play good football for the entire 90 minutes, unlike last week when they managed 45 minutes a match during the wins against the Saints and Scunny. Another vital win (aren't they all now?), consolidates their position in top spot and allows them the luxury of pulling away at the top - if only by one point from Bristol City.

Stoke City: Simonsen, Griffin, Shawcross, Cort, Dickinson, Lawrence, Delap, Whelan, Cresswell, Sidibe (Diao 81), Fuller
Subs not used: Fulop, Parkin, Gallagher, Wilkinson

Ipswich Town: Bywater, Bruce, Naylor, De Vos, Harding, Norris (Garvan 76), Sumulikoski, Miller, Quinn (Haynes 46), Walters, Lee (Counago 72)
Subs not used: Colgan, Wright

Star Player

No doubt this week. Although Liam Lawrence has been in the media spotlight with appearances on Sky's Soccer AM and ITV's The Championship, he put in another accomplished performance with his thirteenth goal of the season, which should also be enough for him to hold on the Football League Actim Index's top spot as well.




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The Journalist

Writer: Chris Baldwin Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Sunday February 24 2008

Time: 1:05PM

Your Comments

After the comparative goal glut (at both ends of the pitch) of the previous 4 games, it was strange to get back to a bog standard 1-0 game. Good to see that we do still have the ability to keep a clean sheet though as our defence has worried me more recently than our ability to score goals. The next 12 games are going to be exciting - I wonder if there is a chance that we could clinch promotion by mid April - don't know if my heart will take a nail biter in the last game!
fornside
Keep it going fellas you are looking down on them all.. another game and another three points tonight.. Do you think ?
Chix
 

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