Writer: Chris Baldwin
Date:Monday January 23 2006
A Stoke team bereft of any capability to create a decent scoring chance, relied on referee Andy d'Urso for the best two shots on goal. The two penalties could have changed the game and you would have been given very good odds before 3pm on both Paul Gallagher and Luke Chadwick missing their chances to score from the spot.
Stoke didn’t deserve the final scoreline, but this was a day that was destined never to go Stoke’s way. Just six minutes in, a goalmouth scramble ended with the ball flying off Darel Russell into the net to put the visitors in front.
The second half was just six minutes old when Gallagher seemed clear on goal, but was pulled back by former Vale player Sam Collins in the penalty area. The referee seemed to be prepared to let it go, but the linesman waved wildly and he finally pointed to the spot. Up stepped Gallagher and you would normally expect the cool Scottish International to knock the ball past Boaz Myhill for the equaliser. Unfortunately he was too calm and Myhill, diving to his left had no problem saving the ball.
Just a few minutes later, Jon Parkin put Hull 2-0 up. Then followed more farce. Sweeney was pulled down in the area and Gallagher again picked up the ball, only for Chadwick to grab it off him and take the shot himself. It was struck no harder than the local school kids had been doing against the Stoke mascot during the half-time interval and Myhill never even had to move as the ball went straight into his hands.
Suddenly, there was some action, but it came from the Boothen End, where some ‘fans’ had taken exception to a steward. Whilst the police ran around the pitch perimeter diverting everyone’s attention, Duffy nipped in and scored a third for Hull with all the space in the world.
It was a shame to see Kevin Harper leave the field with a dislocated shoulder just a few minutes after replacing Chadwick. He was beginning to put pressure on their defence with some darting runs down the right wing.
A slight ray of sunshine was the debut performance in the last 10 minutes of Adam Rooney. Lets hope he is one for the future.
If ever there was a game to forget at the Brit this season, it was this one.
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Date:Monday January 23 2006
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