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Stoke City 2013

The 2013 match at The Britannia was played on a bright, but blustery evening on the 22nd May and it proved to be a tense, exciting game, with defences mostly on top throughout. There were plenty of chances created by both teams, however the men at the back held firm for the most part, restricting the score to just 2-1, with the Home team narrowly coming out on top. However despite the relatively low score-line, our 3rd ever Stoke City game was still a match to remember for all those Potters fans involved.

Date: Wednesday 22nd May 2013
Venue: The Britannia Stadium
Stoke City Home vs Stoke Away
Kick off: 6:30pm
Managers: Carl Beeston & Denis Smith
Legends: Carl Dickinson & Andy Cooke
Match Officials: Phil Taylor, Gary Taylor, Phil Dawes & Vic Kelly

The teams walked out onto the pitch to bright sunshine, cheering fans and even one or two wolf whistles. This began the friendly and enjoyable atmosphere that heralded a great game of football. After the pre-match pleasantries were exchanged, the coin toss was performed and the Home side chose to start with the ball.

Both teams looked to have started well but the Home side seemed to have the upper hand in the early exchanges, passing the ball well and maintaining possession comfortably and they would go on to take the lead after a slight mishap in the Away defence. The Away No 1 Marcus Harland was forced into picking up a back-pass from one of his own players and the Referee blew for an indirect free kick inside the box. No 10 Nathan Moore, making his 3rd consecutive appearance for the Home team at The Britannia, sent an excellent cross in which was met by No 9 Mark Clyne, whose clever header gave Harland no chance in the Away goal. The Home side's lead coming with just 14 mins of the match gone (1-0).

Shortly after the Away side had a similar chance from a free-kick a little further out, however the kick wasn't as successful this time and the chance went over the bar. Both teams continued to show prowess but it wasn’t until a great one-two pass between Away Captain Rich Duffy and strike partner Andrew Harland that the Away side looked like scoring. The dangerous looking Duffy then created another chance when he held off two Defenders to get a great shot off at goal that looked like going straight into the top right corner of the net until Home Keeper Daniel Lloyd made a spectacular save and tipped the ball over the bar.

Both sides continued to create chances, but with the Defences being superbly marshalled from the Left Back position by Legends Carl Dickinson and Andy Cooke, any opportunities that did come about were snuffed out well before they posed a serious danger to the men between the sticks.

With the game so close things were getting tense on the pitch and frustration began to show as things got a little physical between two players for a moment before things cooled down again. It flared up again moments later between Home No 11 Dave Taylor and his opposing Centre Back Matt Wilcox and the ref was having none of it, ordering a free kick and yellow carding Taylor.

Luckily the tension boiled over quickly and the half ended with the Home side still holding a narrow lead over the Away side.

Half Time: Stoke City Home 1 - 0 Stoke City Away

After some much needed respite and a couple of rousing team talks from their hugely experienced Managers Carl Beeston and Denis Smith, the teams marched back onto the pitch, rejuvenated and ready to go. The excellent passing continued as both sides tried to manoeuvre their way in on goal, but both defences looked particularly strong, with neither team seeming able to break the dead lock. A number of strong, clean tackles were also made by both sides as they struggled for possession and territory. The Away side looked to be gaining the upper hand, getting very close to scoring on occasion; however each time the impressive Home Keeper Daniel Lloyd was there to stop the ball.

The question was which keeper would make a slip and which player would get their effort on target. The Away side got very close again, but each time they either missed the goal or Lloyd was there to thwart them. Finally the persistence of the Away side paid off. A probing ball was played into the box and a clever back heel through the legs of a Defender by Rich Duffy gave Andrew Harland the chance to open his Football Aid 2013 account, the No 11's initial effort was kept out the Keeper, however Lloyd wasn’t able to keep out his next effort, Harland showing great composure to fire the ball into the bottom left corner of the net and level the scores with 53 mins on the clock (1-1).

Play continued after this at an accelerated pace, with both sides looking for a goal to take the lead and on 66 mins the Home side produced an amazing goal to take the lead once again. No 7 Paul Taylor sent a high ball into the box which found No 30 Richard Willams, who pulled off a superb header, diverting it over the keeper and out of his reach to find the back of the net (2-1).

The Away side started to push back, clearly not wanting to lose this one, but despite going close a few times, with one shot even coming off the cross bar, they weren't able to breach the Home defence.

As the game continued the Home side seemed to back off a bit and looked like they were content to settle for a one goal win. Despite this the Away side continued to get close to goal and keeper Daniel Lloyd was one of the main reasons they didn’t equalise, with one incredible save low down to deny Harland late on, a particular highlight. In the opposite goal Marcus Harland did himself justice as well, with an impressive point blank save earning him the Moment of the Match trophy. There were one or two flashes at goal from the Home side but they weren’t particularly threatening as the game began to wind down.

Despite all the efforts from the Away side to push for an equaliser, the referee brought the match to an end with the Home side able to maintain their slight advantage, winning the match 2-1. It had been a tight and tense affair, with both sides proving solid and difficult to break down, but huge credit should go to both sets of players for providing the large number of Potters fans who braved the cold and windy conditions with such a high quality game from start to finish. 

Full Time: Stoke City Home 2 - 1 Stoke City Away

Man of the Match Home: Daniel Lloyd
Man of the Match Away: Sam Bramfitt
Moment of the Match: Marcus Harland (Away)

Home Team: Daniel Lloyd, Lee Chetwyn, Carl Dickinson, Neil Johnson, Robert Hope
David Johnson (C), Paul Taylor, Spencer Smith, Mark Clyne, Nathan Moore, Dave Taylor, Mark Feehan, Matthew Craig, Richard Williams
Manager: Carl Beeston
Home Mascot: Elliot Taylor

Away Team: Marcus Harland, Nick Poling, Andy Cooke, David Mollart, Matt Wilcox
Gavin Oliver, Luke Bielby, Trevor Oliver, Rich Duffy (C), Sam Bramfitt, Andrew Harland, Robert Latimer, Christopher Brophy, Jason Guy
Manager: Denis Smith 
Away Mascot: Josh Bramfitt