Stoke let top spot slip
29th March 2008
Stoke let two vital points slip from their grasp at Hillsborough after they let the Owls share the points with a late equaliser after Richard Cresswell had given the Potters a first half lead.
The draw leaves the Potters back in second place and in the middle of the five way battle for the Championship as Hull have come from nowhere to now sit in third position after their 3-0 demolition of Watford.
Tony Pulis was forced to ring the changes in attack with both Ricardo Fuller and Mamady Sidibe absent through suspension and injury respectively and brought new signing, Ameobi and Cresswell in to replace them. The other new signing, Stephen Pearson slipped on to the left wing. With Stoke playing to the League limit of five loan players, Paul Gallagher and Gabby Zakuani had to be left out with Jay Bothroyd on the bench along with Danny Pugh allowing a deserved start for Carl Dickinson.
The Potters' 21st minute goal came courtesy of a good ball from Pearson allowing Cresswell to just direct the ball into the back of the Owls' net, but not before Ameobi had a cast-iron penalty claim turned down after he had bee upended in the home side's penalty area.
Stoke had several chances to double the lead with Ameobi and Cresswell both having gilt-edged shots saved. Pulis attempted to shore up the defence with just over 10 minutes remaining and brought off Ameobi, who is lacking match fitness, to replace him with Pugh. This tactic clearly didn't work as Wednesday's own loan striker, Songo'o pile-drived the equaliser past Carlo Nash with just 8 minutes remaining on the clock.
Not an inspiring result with the games remaining diminishing rapidly. Stoke desperately need to regain some winning form quickly and have yet to face some tough opponents in Crystal Palace and Bristol City in the next 3 weeks.
Apologies for the shortened match report this week..... back to normal with the Palace match next Monday (7th April)