Vital Football

Latest Stoke City News

Nervy Potters win at last!

Stoke City
2 - 1

Britannia Stadium

25 February 2006

Attendance: 11,340


Stoke at last managed to bury two hoodoos today at the Britannia. First they managed to win and secondly managed to score their first penalty in the last four attempts.

It was Stoke's first win since December 17th, having only managed three draws in the Championship since and not scored in 7.5 hours of football, it was essential that we managed to slay the Lions in what started off as a nervy encounter on a bitterly cold day in the Potteries.

Top striker, Sam Bangoura, was missing (officially this time) as he recovers from an operation on his broken hand, but Darel Russell and Paul Gallagher both returned from suspension and injury respectively to start from the subs' bench. Josip Skoko, returning from international duty, was preferred to Junior, who had played well in the FA Cup tie last Sunday and many fans thought should have been allowed to start.

As is now usual, Stoke started nervously and Millwall, determined to put their poor form behind them and move out of the relegation zone, attacked the City defence. It only took 9 minutes for Stoke to fall behind from a corner that was headed in by an unmarked Ben May. One wonders if this team ever learns from past defeats as it was a similar defensive error from a set piece that sent them out of the FA Cup only 6 days earlier.

There was a deathly silence around the Britannia as the fans marvelled at yet another example of the Potters' mastery of the set piece defensive error. But less than 10 minutes later, salvation was at hand in the shape of Millwall defender, Matt Lawrence who fouled Carl Hoefkens just inside the penalty area. The Referee didn't spot the offence but the Linesman, to his credit, waved wildly until the Referee stopped the game and pointed to the spot.

After his previous failed penalty attempt, Luke Chadwick sensibly decided to run over to the bench to ask for advice and Carl Hoefkens stepped up to put the ball into the bottom right hand corner of the net to equal the score.

After that the Potters started to gain confidence and Sidibe, Chadwick and Sweeney all narrowly missed putting the Potters into the lead. Shortly before half time, Peter Sweeney pulled up with a back injury and was substituted for Paul Gallagher, himself returning after a knee injury.

In the second half, the Potters continued to pile on the pressure with Steve Simonsen hardly troubled. Carl Asaba, making his first return to the Potteries since moving at the start of the season, made no impact on the Stoke penalty area, although Marlon Broomes had a shaky game in defence and gifted several chances to the Millwall attack.

Mamade Sibide and Hannes Sigurdsson lead the Stoke attack with Gallagher having replaced Sweeney on the left wing. Sidibe in particular, never stopped the whole game and with some better finishing should have added to his own goal tally. Clint Hill nearly managed a goal from a corner, but headed just over the bar.

In the 58th minute, Paul Gallagher, coming down the left wing, hit a beautiful ball from over 20 yards which shot past the Millwall keeper and into the net to finally put Stoke in front.

After this, Stoke seems to take their foot off the pedal slightly and allowed Millwall more control in the midfield. As a result of this, Boskamp decided to bring on fresh legs and with fifteen minutes left Darel Russell replaced Skoko.

With the fans pushing the players on for a third goal to clinch the game, it was nervous last ten minutes (with four minutes of added on time) for the Stoke faithful before they could celebrate a long awaited and creditable victory.

Star Player

Goes to big Mamady Sidibe playing with a broken nose as well. He never stopped running and set up several good chances with Gallagher and Sigurdsson. If he plays like that when Bangoura is back to full fitness things could get more interesting. Only drawback was that his finishing could have been better.

Win FREE pizza with Vital Football!
Select your team and get 50% off if they score twice.

Writer:Chris Baldwin
Date:Saturday February 25 2006
Time: 10:26PM

Best of Vital Network


No fighting?
28/02/2006 18:08:00
According to the local paper, Stoke hooligans were demanding their money back as Millwall only bought 250 "fans"
28/02/2006 21:53:00
Page 1/1
  1. 1

Login to post a comment

Site Journalists

Lloyd Reddin
Editor email
Tom Barker
no email
Matthew Forrester
no email
Phil Williams
no email

Current Poll (see more polls)

MOTM v West Ham
Suggested By:
ScoopDragon Premier League Network Sites

League Table

# Team P W D L Pts. GD
C Leicester City 38 23 12 3 81 32
2 Arsenal 38 20 11 7 71 29
3 Spurs 38 19 13 6 70 34
4 Man City 38 19 9 10 66 30
5 Man Utd 38 19 9 10 66 14
6 Southampton 38 18 9 11 63 18
7 West Ham 38 16 14 8 62 14
8 Liverpool 38 16 12 10 60 13
9 Stoke 38 14 9 15 51 -14
10 Chelsea 38 12 14 12 50 6
11 Everton 38 11 14 13 47 4
12 Swansea 38 12 11 15 47 -10
13 Watford 38 12 9 17 45 -10
14 WBA 38 10 13 15 43 -14
15 Crystal Palace 38 11 9 18 42 -12
16 AFC Bournemouth 38 11 9 18 42 -22
17 Sunderland 38 9 12 17 39 -14
R Newcastle 38 9 10 19 37 -21
R Norwich 38 9 7 22 34 -28
R Aston Villa 38 3 8 27 17 -49
Latest F1 News
Latest Vital Boxing News

Recent Stoke City Results (view all)

Stoke City Fixtures (view all)

Vital Members League Table

1.John Paterson1