Wednesday, January 6, 2010

5 goals between snow

Stoke City (3)
-Tuncay Sanli (12).
-Abdoulaye Faye (34)
-Mamady Sidibe (37)

Fulham (2)
-Damien Duff (61)
-Clint Dempsey (85)

Some dire defending allowed Stoke to go into the break three goals up, Tuncay kick-starting it with a neat header.

Abdoulaye Faye then slid in from close range and Mamady Sidibe half-volleyed the third with the Potters comfortable.

Damien Duff's deflected shot and Clint Dempsey's dipping long-ranger led to a nervy finale, but Stoke just held on.

It was a tense finish to an entertaining match, but home manager Tony Pulis might wonder how his side were forced to hang on in the closing stages having dominated for so long against a lacklustre Fulham outfit.

Stoke were forced to hold off a late Fulham rally to secure a first league win in six games in a topsy-turvy match in snowy conditions at the Britannia.

And had Dempsey himself finished more accurately having collected Murphy's pass over the top minutes later, Stoke's resolve might have been tested a lot sooner as Fulham finally displayed some measure of fight.

As it was, the Potters regained their composure in the final quarter, and Fulham keeper Mark Schwarzer was fortunate to beat away a Ricardo Fuller shot at his near post after it had taken a deflection.

Still, when Dempsey fired Fulham's second from nothing - a dipping volley from 25 yards that gave home keeper Steve Simonsen little chance - all of a sudden the Potters were forced to dig in for the first time in the match.

It was all too little, too late from Fulham, though, and City deservedly held on for the victory that moves them to within three points and a place off the Londoners in the Premier League table

Lineup :

Stoke City:
Simonsen, Huth, Abdoulaye Faye, Shawcross, Higginbotham, Lawrence ( 'Diao 90), Delap (Whelan '66), Whitehead, Etherington, Sanli (Fuller '42), Sidibe

Schwarzer, Kelly, Hughes, Hangeland (Smalling '45), Konchesky, Gera, Murphy, Baird, Duff, Johnson (Nevland '83), Zamora (Dempsey '54)


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