Vital Football

Latest Stoke City News

Stoke Reserves 2 Cardiff 0

Cardiff City
0 - 2
Stoke City

Cardiff City Stadium

Tuesday 18th January

Attendance: 13,671


We were promised team changes before last night's FA Cup replay at Cardiff but Tony Pulis maintained that it would still be a strong enough side to see off the threat from South Wales. So I have to admit that I was a tad concerned when I heard the team-sheet before kick-off as Stoke put out what was, give or take a couple of regular first-teamers, our entire reserve line-up.

As expected, Sorensen was in goal with Higginbotham (as skipper) along with Faye, Shotton and Collins in defence. Whelan, Pennant, Pugh and Diao were in the middle with Walters and Fuller in attack.

Tone left the remainder of the normal starting eleven at home and relied upon just five substitutes: Nash, Wilson, Soares, Tonge and a return for Mamady Sidibe - fresh off the physio's table.

Thankfully, Cardiff were also forced into fielding a weakened side, but did start with former Potter, Jon Parkin whilst having to do without the likes of Bothroyd and Bellamy but did have room for Chopra on the bench.

So the next hurdle to overcome was how to watch the match? Unable to make the trek to to South Wales and suffering from a lack of Welsh, I turned to a combination of S4C for vision and the blessed Nige on Radio Stoke for sound. The fact that the radio commentary was ten seconds ahead of the picture only added to what was a surreal experience where you wondered if any home fans had actually turned up and that the vocal Stokies were the only ones there. Contemplating that lack of cup atmosphere did at least made the first half go quicker. The Stoke reservists' collective lack of match fitness was all too evident as we found it difficult to push forward with any conviction. The only saving grace was that the Bluebirds were finding it worse - resulting in hardly any attempts on goal in the first 45 minutes. So the most notable event was the enforced departure through injury of Danny Higginbotham after only ten minutes - to be replaced by Michael Tonge.

Both sides seemed to find some energy for the start of the second half and it was Ryan Shotton who had a couple of good chances with Jon Walters also getting more into the action. Marc Wilson came on for a tiring Diao and Jermaine Pennant was withdrawn to be replaced by Tom Soares, who has been notable by his almost total absence from any Stoke team since being signed from Crystal Palace more than two years ago. As it was, Soares played his part well and could have had a goal except for a chance deflection by a Cardiff player.

The minutes ticked down to extra time and we were nearly undone at the death when Chopra tried to earn himself a penalty at the expense of Danny Collins but thankfully the referee, Peter Walton, was having none of that and the only surprise was that he didn't see fit to book Chopra for diving.

But with extra time now on, it only took 90 seconds for the Potters to finally clamber into the lead. Tonge's corner kick was met by Walters at the near post who headed the ball through a gaggle of Cardiff players and into the net. After that, there was no way that we were going to lose as Cardiff seemed to lose what little fight they had in them and with under ten minutes remaining Walters earned his second goal of the night with a neat shot from an almost impossible angle on the goal line.

So Tone's gamble eventually paid off - did I really doubt it would? A successful, competitive run-out for virtually all the fringe players, the first team untouched ahead of an important Premier League tie against Fulham at the weekend and we get to play Wolves at Molineux in the fourth round. A good night's work I think...

Star Player

No doubt that Jon Walters earned the MotM award for two well taken goals on a night that someone had to eventually step up to the plate if we weren't going to suffer the horrors of a penalty shoot-out

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

Writer:Chris Baldwin
Date:Wednesday January 19 2011
Time: 9:31PM

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