HomeFeaturedLocal SportStoke win battle of the Cities in Bristol by 2-0

Stoke win battle of the Cities in Bristol by 2-0

Bristol City 0 Stoke (1) 2 – 2/4/21 3pm

Stoke saw off directionless mid-table Bristol in a routine if slightly lacklustre Spring game in the sun. Fletcher’s free-kick goal was certainly a surprise, but Powell was probably man of the match, and not just for prodding in the first goal or falling over a lot. Stoke seem to have halted the slide down the league. Here’s how the game unfolded in real time:

It’s blue sky and sunny at Ashton Gate, not a cloud in the sky. But to listen to Michael O’Neill at the press conference, you’d think it was raining cats and dogs. An injury list so long he has to read it from a typed list! And a load of grumbles about the International break, namely Joe Allen’s injury for Wales (Fletcher returns from concussion as a dazed replacement), players returning back late (Joe Bursik, we later find), and James McClean playing for Ireland whilst officially injured (returning to the bench, along with Blondy for ill keeper Gunn). A performance today is necessary to prove that dark clouds are not hanging around over The Potters (yes, that’s enough weather analogies…).

3.30 As Danny Batth is tricked into conceding a corner, it becomes apparent that we’re going to have to tolerate the most appalling fake crowd noises ever. Having the home crowd insistently wail “Neil Pearson’s red and white army” would be more preferable.
13.02 Nick Powell is chopped down and curls up into a ball of pain. This action seems to have persuaded ref Mike Salisbury to yellow card Henri Lansbury when he wasn’t planning on doing so. Hm. Stoke (namely Fletcher) almost fumble the ball in from the subsequent free kick.
17.23 Powell and Lansbury clash again, with the free kick going the other way. But Henri is not pleased.
24.08 1-0 !! Nick Powell has two bites of the cherry after Jacob Brown crosses from the right. Pure determination hitting in the rebound past keeper Bentley, particularly as Nick carelessly lost the ball a minute earlier! Great set up pass by Souttar, Stoke’s best passer today.
33.52 Davies makes a great save from Semenyo in a one-on-one. Good choice of keeper. Talking of which, where is Joe Bursik….??? He’s just back off the boat from playing with England’s U21s, whilst Gunn has a bug. Hence, Blondy on bench.
HT City 0 City 1
54.19 Jacob Brown yellowed for unnecessary challenge on touchline. He could have made it look more innocent than it was…
61.50 2-0 !!! Fletcher floats a free kick into the top right hand corner! Rory Delap can’t believe it! Nor can anyone! When did Stoke last score from a free kick?!
68.10 As Mikel is stuck on the ground with the ball stuck under him, the ref awards him a drop kick. Bristol players aren’t the only ones who are confused.
73.20 Powell has his afternoon rest, Fletch gets a drink, MON stares into space… (Nick will probably be subbed soon.)
76.15 Vokes on for…no real reason. Fletcher off (more drink).
80.20 Powell off for Tymon.
89.55 Christian Norton on for Brown.
FT City 0 City 2

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