Fuller on target for Stoke
15th Dec 2007
Ricardo Fuller broke his recent goal drought with two goals either side of yet another for Leon Cort at the seaside to maintain the Potters' unbeaten record, which now stretches to six games and pushes them up another place to fourth in the Championship.
Andy Wilkinson was deemed fit enough to face the club where he and Carl Dickinson spent some of last season on loan, but Dicko was forced to sit out the game on the bench and the Potters were boosted by the return of Ryan Shawcross and John Eustace from suspension.
Even though the Potters enjoyed most of the early possession and Fuller constantly managed to sidestep a static Blackpool back four, it was the Seasiders who enjoyed the first goal well against the run of play. In the 13th minute. Flynn's shot from the edge of the penalty area somehow went through the crowded area and past an unsighted Steve Simonsen.
It took Stoke until ten minutes before half-time to climb back into the game, a free kick from Liam Lawrence left the keeper with no option but to parry the ball, where it fell to Ricardo Fuller on the left hand side of the six yard box. Fuller, with typical calmness, drove the ball into the right corner of the goal for the Potters' justifyied equaliser. With Blackpool on the ropes it only took four minutes for Stoke to take the lead. A corner from Liam Lawrence found Leon Cort flying into the six yard box and he rose high to head the ball home. 2-1 up to the Potters within five minutes, Blackpool hardly knew what had hit them as they headed to the dressing room for half time.
Stoke started the second in the same frame of mind as they had ended the first and on 61 minutes they extended their lead further. A through ball from Lawrence allowed Fuller open space and as he headed for the penalty area, the defenders backed off and he had no trouble side footing it past the outstretched keeper to make the score 3-1. The hosts made a gallant, ineffective attempt at a fightback until the 89th minute when Barker headed the ball in, but by then it was all over
Blackpool: Rachubka, Barker, Gorkss, Evatt, Crainey, Taylor-Fletcher (Welsh 87), Jorgensen (Fox 67), Flynn, Hoolahan, Burgess, Slusarski (Morrell 67)
Subs not used: Jackson, Vernon
Stoke City: Simonsen, Wilkinson, Shawcross, Cort, Pugh, Lawrence, Delap, Eustace, Cresswell, Fuller (Dickinson 90), Sidibe (Parkin 77)
Subs not used: Hoult, Zakuani, Pulis.