Stoke City - Nearly Stoke's perfect day
UK time is: 16:39:39
Vital Login
Social Login

Choose your club

Other Sites

Network Navigation

Vital Partners

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

Stoke City 1 - Sheffield U 1

Britannia Stadium

1st April 2006 3pm

Attendance: 17,544

Nearly Stoke's perfect day

Stoke City allegedly played their best game of the season on Saturday and oh, so nearly came away with all 3 points. It could have been 3-0 to the Potters if all the cards had fallen the right way.

Stoke fielded five changes to the starting line-up at QPR in midweek. Carl Dickinson made his full team debut as part of Johan Boskamp’s ongoing strategy of blooding the youngsters in the final run-in and replaced Michael Duberry who had picked up an injury at QPR. Josip Skoko, Junior, Paul Gallagher and Mamady Sidibe all returned with the latter replacing Sam Bangoura.

In contrast to many home games this season, Stoke started the brightest and dominated the opening quarter of the match. The visitors were obviously feeling the pressure in front of over 4,000 travelling fans and had far more to lose as only a win would stop Reading from claiming the Championship title and defeat would leave them looking nervously over their shoulders at the chasing pack after the coveted second automatic promotion spot.

It was therefore no surprise when Josip Skoko headed Stoke into a deserved lead after 15 minutes. Paddy Kenny, the Blades’ keeper failed to clear the ball and Skoko just had to head it over the stranded keeper.

Stoke’s defence held their line with Carl Dickinson and Clint Hill in particular having excellent games, leaving Steve Simonsen with little to do and the Potters went in at half-time 1-0 to the good.

At the start of the second half, Stoke continued to push forward and should have had a penalty when Sidibe was clearly fouled by Morgan in the penalty area, but, to his moral credit, stayed on his feet and gained nothing from the referee. How are we going to kick out cheating and diving in the game, if referees will not give a clear penalty because the fouled player did not dive head first into the mud?

Blades’ manager, Neil Warnock decided to throw Akinbiyi and Kabba into the fray in the 60th minute. Ade received an excellent reception from the Stoke supporters (but with most fans praying that he would not score) on his first appearance at the Brit since leaving for Burnley last year.

Skoko, playing arguably his best game for Stoke, should have had his second with fifteen minutes remaining. His shot from nine yards was deflected by Kenny’s outstretched foot and the ball rebounded off the post.

This proved a turning point and Sheffield appeared revitalised with the presence of two new strikers on their side. Boskamp countered by taking off Hill for Buxton, Junior for Brammer and replacing Gallagher with Sigurdsson.

But it was a mistake by Hannes Sigurdsson that was to prove Stoke’s only fault of the day. He hung on to the ball for too long in midfield only to lose it. Stoke were caught out and a good run from Webber resulted in him putting the ball into the net under a diving Simonsen.

It was a cruel blow for Stoke and the relief going around the South Stand was palpable. Sheffield United had managed to gain a point when they obviously realised they should have come away with none.

Stoke: Simonsen, Hoefkens, Broomes, Hill (Buxton 70), Dickinson, Junior (Brammer 70), Skoko, Russell, Chadwick, Sidibe, Gallagher (Sigurdsson 77).
Subs Not Used: de Goey, Kopteff.

Sheff Utd: Kenny, Kozluk, Morgan, Short, Unsworth, Jagielka, Ifill (Kabba 59), Tonge, Armstrong, Shipperley (Akinbiyi 59), Webber.
Subs Not Used: Montgomery, Gillespie, Lucketti.

Star Player

Carl Dickinson fully deserved all the plaudits for his first full start for the Potters

Use your social login to comment on front page articles. Login using you Facebook, Twitter, Google or LinkedIn accounts and have your say!

The Journalist

Writer: Chris Baldwin Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Monday April 3 2006

Time: 10:14PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
put Taggs in charge. he's the man Gerry! Gerry!
Report Abuse
06/04/2006 20:09:00


Have Your Say

Log in...
with your social network     OR     with your Vital account
Have your say
Click here to suggest an article
Click here to suggest a poll

League Results (view all)

Latest Results
Aston Villa 0 - 1 Stoke
Stoke 2 - 1 AFC Bournemouth
Stoke 2 - 2 Leicester City
Arsenal 2 - 0 Stoke
Stoke 0 - 1 WBA
Norwich 1 - 1 Stoke

League Table (view table)

Team P W D L GD Pts
11. Swansea 8 2 4 2 0 10
12. Watford 8 2 4 2 -1 10
13. Norwich 8 2 3 3 -2 9
14. Stoke 8 2 3 3 -2 9
15. AFC Bournemouth 8 2 2 4 -2 8
16. Chelsea 8 2 2 4 -5 8
17. WBA 8 2 2 4 -5 8

Stoke City Fixtures (view all)

Breaking League News

Arsenal Sign Striker On Long Term Deal
» Arsenal : 07/10/2015 16:28:01
The team José should play v Villa, and the team he
» Chelsea : 07/10/2015 16:00:00
Liverpool: Rodgers - Failure Or Fall Guy?
» Liverpool : 07/10/2015 15:32:00
Rojo Pulls Out of Argentina Squad
» Man Utd : 07/10/2015 12:57:00
Ancelotti Not Joining Liverpool
» Chelsea : 07/10/2015 12:53:00

Current Site Poll (view all polls)

MOTM vs Aston Villa
Suggested By:  
Butland 1%
Johnson 25%
Cameron 0%
Wollscheid 12%
Pieters 0%
Whelan 0%
Adam 0%
Arnautovic 50%
Bojan 0%
Walters 12%
Diouf 0%
Afellay 0%
van Ginkel 0%
Joselu 0%