HomeFeaturedLocal Sport2-0! Has the tide turned for Stoke City?

2-0! Has the tide turned for Stoke City?

Stoke are off the bottom and have 2 wins in a row since 1947…or something like that. Lee Gregory is the architect, setting up both Tyrese’s goal & setting up Hogan to get the penalty. Amazingly Lee then SCORED a penalty. How does that work? But not good enough to win man-of-the-match, which went to a player people had forgotten was playing. Barmy. Here’s how this barminess unfolded in real time:
If it’s working, don’t fix it. That’s the plan. So, still playing 2 upfront (Tyrese & Lee Gregory) at my suggestion (really?!) with Hogan & Vokes in the wings as required, they hope that being unchanged from the Swansea 2-1 win will do the trick. If it fails then Brother Nathan will blame those accusing of him of tinkering. Blimey, this is worse politics than the House of Commons where Brexit is being debated today. Butland, Lindsay, McClean & Ince are benched. That’s an expensive bench. Here goes:
5.41 Ndiaye has his legs whipped from under him, but the ref hasn’t heard any abuse from the crowd, so fails to stop the game. 2 minutes later, Etebo has to be severely molested to get a free kick.
15.20 1-0 !!! Tyrese robs his defender Tim Ream and bursts forward to beat stumbling keeper Bettinelli. What Betti thinks he’s doing is beyond me. But against the run of play, all the same. Lee Gregory claiming a headed “assist”. Not sure how that works.
17.59 Mitrovic goes down on edge of area after minimal contact, but the camera captures him giving a mischievous thumbs up just as he lands. History will judge him harshly.

25.02 After being gifted the ball, Tyrese sets up Gregory who selflessly sets up Allen in space whose shot is saved just a bit too easily. Should be 2-0, says Nathan before we even ask him.
25.55 Mitrovic finally gets his comeuppance with a yellow card for blundering over Etebo. He had it coming.
30.33 Tyrese breaks through AGAIN, but Betti saves one and a defender saves the rebound. Could be Ty’s day…? Or not?
32.25 Steward has to retrieve ball from huge empty area where Fulham fans should be. This tells us that Stoke are so poor they can only afford one ball, and that Fulham fans have just given up.
37.45 Ref stops game inexplicably and restarts with a drop ball, “given” to Fulham. It gives Fulham their best chance, which thankfully spins wide. “You don’t know what you’re doing” chant the crowd merrily. It’s more “We don’t know what’s going on”!
45+1 HT 1-0. Stoke learn how to dominate. It can’t last.
45.15 Allen thwarted in front of goal, then denied a penalty. Yes, Stoke have come out fighting! Uh?? What’s happening?!
Attendance is given as 23,189. Not convinced…
50.14 Great save from Federici as a rocket is hit at him. Scrambled away like a boiled egg. Stoke under unnecessary pressure. Fulham contingent high up in the OBi stand wake up briefly.
59.40 Ndiaye caught from behind whilst clearing, but ref misses it and Fulham shoot wide. Replay shows ref to be an ass. Ooops.
61.55 Ndiaye fouls Harry Arter in the centre circle. Ref yellow cards him. Arter can’t make up his mind if he’s injured or not. Ref is trying to give Badou a warning, but Stoke captain Joe Allen is foolishly not getting involved. Allen is even turning his back. Has Joe forgotten that he’s captain??? Batth is then booked for having a player run into him! Crazy stuff.
66.49 Bobby Decordova-Reid (what a dreadful hyphenation) has a clear header on goal but heads it straight at Federici. Cairney then tries a failed back-heal in the box. Are these really promotion challengers??
72.45 Tyrese down and looking to be subbed. Walks off to applause, with Hogan ready to come on, but Nath wants Ty back on, but ref doesn’t let him, thinking he’s going off…it’s a farce.
75.15 Finally Hogan on for Tyrese.
77.15 After a few scares, “When the reds go marching in” deafens us, but why is Lee Gregory again playing without a number on his back??
78.07 Penalty!! Gregory breaks free for Hogan who is tripped by Betti!
79.07 2-0!!!! Gregory sinks a PENALTY FOR STOKE!!!! Sends Betti the wrong way. What are we seeing???? A bloody penalty!!!
86.45 Mitrovic finishes off his miserable day by heading a weak header at Federici’s feet.
89.01 Joe Allen acting like the world owes him a living… Lindsay on for Clucas.
90+1 Gregory replaced by Vokes. Lee should have been man of the match, but this has been given inexplicably to Carter-Vickers. Didn’t know he was playing…
Final score Stoke 2 Fulham 0. Two wins in a row. It’s all Greek to me…

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