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Stoke City falter in front of biggest crowd of the season as Blackpool pounce

Stoke 0 Blackpool 1 – 5/3/22 3pm

Stoke’s season is now officially crumbling away to dust with a dreadful performance and result in front of a huge but subsidised crowd. Could this be a telling nail in MON’s coffin or can he still turn things around? In the meantime here’s how the game unfolded in real time:
Capt Joe Allen is replaced by Capt Lewis Baker in what could be the Changing of the Guard. Joe finds himself on the bench! I wonder what he makes of that. Meanwhile, the team that have only won ONCE in 8 league games and lying in 15th spot (!) have to turn this nonsense around after the unlucky Cup defeat at Premier’s Palace midweek. Yes, I’m talking about Stoke – afterall Blackpool have 3 wins in 8 and lost in the cup to Hartlepool! Ha!
6.01 Moore and Jagielka have the stupidest of misunderstandings, allowing Lavery to skip past them. Senior moment! Thankfully it’s cleared, only for Hamilton to beat them again, but despite being clear, Lavery can’t convert the cross. Should be 0-1.
18.57 Bonham spares the blushes of the Stoke defence (namely Jagielka & Moore…again!) by making a great save. Should be 0-2!!! [Although Powell missed a sitter two minutes earlier, so maybe 1-2!!]
29.38 Bonham again comes to his defenders’ rescue, saving from Bowler who has jiggled through the defence like a hot potato through a wet paper bag. Figuratively. Somehow Jack gets a goal kick out of all that. He is man of the match so far.
36.05 Ben Wilmot on for injured Liam Moore, but Stoke look equally jittery at the back. Meanwhile James gets yellowed for tugging Powell’s shirt. Vrancic is on his final warning too! Namecheck for Kenny Dougall, who’s arm-stretch protests every few minutes are equally as funny as his name, but I don’t know why.
41.43 Maja hits the post with the gentlest shot you’re likely to see. Tymon did all the work though. Keeper Grimshaw hasn’t had that much to deal with apart from that.
45+2 1-win-in-8 team 0 3-wins-in-8 team 0. (0-0 in other words)
51.01 Harewood-Bellis has to plead innocence in a tackle, meaning Baker gets the blame…and a sudden yellow card! Bellis dropped Lewis in it there.
55.30 As Powell lies in a heap, Vrancic hits a rasper, and Bowler goes charging up the other end, beating half the Stoke side as he goes.
Attendance is a whopping great 26,384, due to family tickets etc, but they won’t be coming back unless Stoke put up a fight!
64.55 Vrancic doesn’t get the message about a “man-on” and is dispossessed like a five year old. Meanwhile, Powell is down again, Tyrese replaces him (about time!)
69.05 Bellis is yellowed for supposedly blocking, but the replay is not too supportive for the ref.
75.55 Jaden Philogene-Bidace replaces hapless Vrancic. Thorniley has a neck injury from walking backwards into Maja. He shouldn’t continue, and could do with an x-ray as he does NOT look right. He’s replaced by Casey.
79.35 The linesman doesn’t give Stoke a throw, despite MON having kittens…and then he’s overruled by his colleagues and gives it! Whatever next?!
81.20 A bizarre substitution as Fletch replaces Cracker Tom Smith. Cracker has to walk round from the far side, and cuts off the corners of the pitch. Cheeky. Stoke go 4-4-2, with Wilmot as right back and Tyrese in front of him.
83.39 0-1 Bowler and Yates combine to allow Bowler to blast home. Less than 26,000 saw that as many were already on their way home. MON is in real trouble.
90+7 Fletcher has a 1 on 1 with Grimshaw but fails to make it count.
90+8 FT STOKE 0 Blackpool 1. Stoke now 15th=!!

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