HomeFeaturedLocal SportStoke’s first league win is blow for Preston

Stoke’s first league win is blow for Preston

Preston 0 Stoke (1) 1 – 26/9/20 3pm Chsp

Stoke cruised to a 1-0 win after Preston controversially went down to 10 men on 22 minutes. City had chances to make it 2 in the 2nd half, but Clucas took too long, Tymon blasted over, & Fletcher tried to be too clever with his chance that hit the bar. Here’s how the game unfolded in real time:
Tough game at Deepdale, so MON makes FIVE changes from the lacklustre Bristol City game: Strike-force completely changed with Gregory & Fletcher (debut) for Jacob Brown (drops to bench) & Vokes (dropped finally); midfield is half changed with Tash O-B & McClean (from the Carabao Cup side) in for battered Powell & squeezed-out Martins Indi: and Harry Souttar debuting for Danny Batth. It’s a switch to 4-4-2, instead of 5-3-2. I know, away from home! Gregory and McClean really need to produce the goods today, or they could go the same way as Vokes…
2.18 Stoke pounding Preston like Bristol did at Stoke last Sunday. Crosses & corners raining in, with a particularly good one from near-Celtic man James McClean.
7.50 As Stockley hits a volley just wide – he lost marker James Chester – it’s good to see Michael O‘Neill in his long coat again rather than in the fireman’s outfit of the new training kit.
21.24 Red card as Morgan Fox is poleaxed by Tom Barkhuizen, diving in to a 50-50 ball!!! Unnecessary. Seen worse challenges, but Tom did show off his studs. They weren’t much to see, and Fox gingerly gets to his feet.
31.05 Harry Souttar struggling a bit, conceding a free kick when a player runs straight into the 6ft 6in defender. Davies gathers the subsequent free kick expertly. Some people are saying that Stoke are still playing 3 at the back! Where?? McClean is definitely a winger ahead of defender Fox, and Mikel is definitely a midfielder. So, who of the back-4 is a mole?? Maybe Smith is seen as midfield-winger, leaving Fox-Chester-Souttar as a back-3…?
38.22 1-0 !! Lee Gregory produces the goods, tapping home at the far post. Fletcher setting up Mikel to cross low for Gregory to finish. Mikel could have taken the shot, but his pass was inch-perfect. Stoke lead against 10 men.
45+2 Gregory breaks…but not fast enough as he had no one to beat. Defender out paced him.
HT 10-men 0 11-men 1
49.01 Mikel gets round the back so well you’d expect him to return to the pitch with a cappuccino from the concourse. His best game for Stoke so far.
49.55 Smith slips a ball through for Gregory, who again is half-a-yard short to connect and score. Stoke pushing for a 2nd goal, and they need to kill this game off.
62.34 Clucas is put through with a Fletcher back-heel, but takes an extra touch & goes too far with keeper Rudd saving easily. Sam will relive that miss constantly as he tries to get off to sleep later.
64.00 Tymon on for McClean, as MON tries to freshen up the left hand side and scare Preston a bit.
70.32 Souttar twists & turns to lose his man. He gets away with it, but when you’re the last man back, that’s not something MON will want to see.
72.10 Gregory tries a flying header, but a half-yard short again.
74.24 Fletcher hits the bar after Smith robs Preston on the edge of the box. But Fletch’s little flick was so casual that you’d think the whistle had gone! Should have been 2-0.
76.20 Jacob Brown on for Fletcher. Suspect Brown was chosen over Tyrese as Brown plays a little deeper and can cause Preston more trouble & keep them busy.
81.44 Keeper Davies comes flying out and makes a brave save at the feet of Potts. One of the best saves he’s made for Stoke.
88.55 Another good save from Davies, possibly headed by Chester!
90+4 Tymon breaks like Geoff Hurst, but unlike Hurst blasts the ball over the bar.
90+5 Stoke hang on comfortably to win 1-0. it’s becoming binary, but a win is a win! The red-card helped, that’s for sure. Stoke (& Gregory) are up and running.

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