Writer: Chris Baldwin
Date:Sunday January 28 2007
Stoke crumbled in the face of Premiership opposition in the FA Cup against Fulham in uncharacteristic fashion. With two goals the result of poor defending, this display did not do the Potters justice and certainly did not epitomise the season so far.
The 2,000 travelling fans, however, should be proud of themselves, never once in the ninety minutes where they not giving their all for their team (give or take a minute after each goal), even if the home fans were distinctly quiet throughout. One Fulham fan even fell asleep until woken by a concerned steward - one, I think, for the 'third eye' slot on Soccer AM.
Stoke started the match fielding their latest signing, Lee Martin on the left wing. Salif Diao was consigned to the bench with Dominic Matteo in midfield. Martin, starting his first match in senior English football looked very useful throughout with some great tussles from Wayne Routledge leaving the on-loan Spurs midfielder struggling at times.
The first two goals were the result of defensive mistakes and in particular Vincenzo Mortella was more than a thorn in the Stoke defence, scoring the first after 10 minutes and having a hand in both others, before being substituted just after the third.
Fuller and Sidibe spearheaded the attack, but neither really managed to create many chances, it was not until Fuller was brought off with 25 minutes remaining in preference to Adam Rooney that Stoke really mounted any threat on the Fulham goal, led by a very active Rooney. But by then Fulham had changed down a gear and the game was all over bar the chance of a consolation goal for the Potters.
Whilst not many would have given Stoke a chance of victory before the game, most would have expected them to give Fulham a good run for their money, so the manner of the defeat is disappointing. But that does not take anything away from the 2,000 who gave their all in the Putney End.
Fulham: Lastuvka, Rosenior (Davies 65), Christanval, Bocanegra, Queudrue, Routledge, Brown, Volz, Radzinski, McBride (Jensen 77), Montella (Dempsey 61).
Subs not used: Niemi, Knight.
Booked: Rosenior, Volz.
Goals: Montella 11, McBride 39, Radzinski 54.
Stoke City: Simonsen, Hoefkens, Duberry, Higginbotham, Griffin (Wilkinson 47), Lawrence, Russell, Matteo (Diao 53), Martin, Fuller (Rooney 65), Sidibe.
Subs not used: Eustace, Pericard.
Date:Sunday January 28 2007
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