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Stoke miss their chances

Cardiff City
1 - 1
Stoke City

Ninian Park

14th April 2007
3pm

Attendance: 11,664

Referee:

Again the Potters failed at the final hurdle to take all three points in a result reminiscent of Stoke's trip to Sunderland as they allowed Cardiff a share of the points with a late goal for the home side.

Carl Dickenson kept his place in defence with Andy Griffin having to settle for a place on the bench. Dominic Matteo returned to midfield as Lee Hendrie is still struggling to return to full fitness. Vincent Pericard got a start with Sidibe still injured and Parkin's early return to Hull.

Carl Hoekfens opened the scoring for the visitors in the 30th minute after the Bluebirds had dominated the opening half of the game. Ricardo Fuller and Vincent Pericard neatly combined before Pericard pushed it out to Hoefkens who drove the ball home from 18 yards.

Before the first half could end both Liam Lawrence and Fuller saw good chances go begging.

The second half saw Cardiff return to the attack as they attempted to ensure that they did not succumb to their fifth consecutive defeat. The best chance of the half came to the Potters. Martin Paterson, brought on for Pericard in the 76th minute missed a golden opportunity from 8 yards after Liam Lawrence had drawn the keeper out before passing square to Paterson. Pato, with an empty net in front of him, managed to shoot wide of the goal.

That miss was to prove the Potters' undoing. With only seconds to the final whistle, Stoke failed to clear the ball and a headed cross from Thompson was pounced on by Chopra and fired home.

This is not the time to dwell on if's and maybe's. With Wolves only getting a point at Palace and West Brom losing at home to Sheffield Wednesday, there is still much to play for and Stoke lie just two points away from both those clubs in 7th position.

Cardiff City: Forde, McNaughton, Purse (Gilbert 79), Johnson, Gunter, Whittingham, McPhail, Parry (Flood 60), Ledley, Chopra, Thompson.
Subs not used: Alexander, Feeney, Blake.
Goals: Chopra 90

Stoke City: Simonsen, Fortune (Griffin 72), Higginbotham, Zakuani, Dickinson, Hoefkens, Eustace, Matteo (Russell 86), Lawrence, Fuller, Pericard (Paterson 76)
Subs not used: Hoult, Martin
Booked: Hoefkens, Fortune
Goals: Hoefkens 30

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Star Player

Danny Higginbotham gave another classic captain's performance with another consistent game. He has really come into his own since being given the armband after Michael Duberry departed at the end of January.


Writer:Chris Baldwin
Date:Sunday April 15 2007
Time: 7:41PM

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