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Stoke City 2014

The 2014 Football Aid fixture at The Britannia was an even game for 45 mins before the Away team showed their class in the 2nd half. The first 45 saw some quality play all over the pitch and the Away team only led by a single goal heading into the break. However, as the 2nd half of the match progressed the Away team's overall squad strength and more clinical edge up front helped them to a convincing win. It was a solid performance at the back from both teams, and the Home team out in a great performance as well but some quality finishing up front from the team in Black saw them run away 2-7 victors, with the watching Potters fans treated to four 2nd half goals of sublime quality.

Date: Wednesday 7th of May 2014
Venue: The Britannia Stadium
Stoke City (Home) vs Stoke City (Away)
Kick off: 18:30 pm
Legends: Denis Smith, Wayne Thomas, Carl Beeston and Andy Griffin
Match Officials: Phil Taylor, Vic Kelly, Gary Taylor and Phil Dawes

It was the Home team who got the game underway wearing the famous Red and White striped shirts and kicking from right to left. The game started rather slowly, with Legends Wayne Thomas and Andy Griffin coaching their teams from the back expertly during the early stages, however when the 1st chance came it produced a goal, but not for the team who created it! A long ball forward saw the Home No 11 Lee Waterfall break into the box only to have his shot well saved at the near post by Away goalie Daniel Street. Unfortunately the Home team found themselves immediately caught out at the back and the Away forward Michael Georgiou-Holden found himself one-on-one with the keeper. He masterfully took it round Redden with a step-over before his near post effort was deflected off the bar and in by retreating defender and legend Wayne Thomas with 15mins on the clock (0-1).

Mins later the Home team was almost gifted a goal when the Away defence had a mix-up over who would clear a long ball forward to Home Captain Nathan Moore. It was played into the ever impressive central midfielder down the left wing and it appeared Away No 5 Kevin Banks had it covered only for the ball to be pinched off him by the Home No 10 Moore. As Moore turned towards goal he saw the opposition goalie was stranded at the edge of his box as he had come to clear the ball. The midfielder attempted a curling effort around the keeper but it went just wide of the far post.

But with maintained pressure, the Home team found an equaliser through centre forward Lee Waterfall after 15mins. Waterfall started the move in the centre of the Away team’s half with a short pass to his captain Nathan Moore. Moore then played it forward to No 9 Ross Irving who flicked the ball back to Waterfall and the forward dealt with the rest, his powerful, rising effort almost lifting the roof of the net off (1-1)!

Waterfall was through again just moments later in the exact same position but his shot this time didn’t find the back of the net as he had previously with ease. It was produced by a cracking turn and pass down the left channel by midfielder Baljinder Singh that put Waterfall in on goal. The attacker approached the box from the left side but his left footed shot went wide of the far post.

The game was turning out to be an end-to-end affair with the Away team having their turn at testing Home goalie Peter Redden. They won a free-kick on the edge of the box and as everyone was milling around the ball no one but No 10 David Traynor saw the run down the left of legend Andy Griffin whose curling effort crashed against the woodwork much to the delight of the on-looking Home defenders.

However, it was the Away team who restored their goal lead with a stunning strike from centre forward Steven Roberts after 22 mins of play. The No 11 chipped a ball into the back post but his selfless effort was played back to him via a clearance. Roberts then decided to take a touch before firing a left-footed wonder strike that goalie Peter Redden could only get a palm to and the ball found the top corner of the goal (1-2).

The game slowed a bit after a frantic 20 mins of play but it was the Away team who created another dangerous chance. The Away No 8 Jake Benn broke into the box and sidestepped his opponent, centre half, Neil Johnson. Benn took a shot which was well blocked by Johnson, however the ball looped high into the air and would have flown over goalie Peter Redden’s head only for the No 1 to tip the ball over athletically.

However, Reddens efforts were to be in vain as, from the resulting corner, the Away team extended their lead courtesy of No 10 David Traynor. A short corner was taken which was retuned to legend Andy Griffin on the touchline, the full back then laid it back for the on-rushing Traynor and his side foot effort flew past the packed box and into the back of the net with 32 mins gone (1-3). 

After falling behind by more, it was the Home team’s legend Wayne Thomas’ turn to spur on his side. The full back made a mazy run down the left wing before exchanging a one-two with Baljinder Singh. The Stoke legend then received the ball back again before curling a 25 yard effort that smashed against the woodwork much to the Away team’s delight.

The Home No 6 Baljinder Singh was involved with his team’s attack yet again winning what was a stone-wall penalty on 40mins. The winger escaped his marker charging into the box, but was brought down in a sandwich between two Away defenders. Taking the responsibility on his shoulders, ever present Home Captain Nathan Moore stepped up to take the penalty and his right-footed effort was expertly powered high into the top right corner of the goal (2-3).

After an exhausting 45mins of play the referee brought the 1st half to a close. Only the single goal separated the two sides and it was certainly a very close and entertaining half of football. Some quality finishing from Steven Roberts and Lee Waterfall were the highlights of the half, but the game was fast-flowing and provided end-to-end entertainment. Both keepers, Peter Redden and Daniel Street had enjoyed blinders as well, keeping the score down in what could have been a high-scoring half.

Half time: Stoke City (Home) 2 - 3 Stoke City (Away)

After rousing team talks by Managers Denis Smith and Carl Beeston the game re-started with both teams raring to go and despite the best efforts of the Home side to get back into the game it was the Away side who extended their lead after 55 mins of play. Gareth Jones did well down the right side before putting it through legend Wayne Thomas’ legs before the ball was pounced on by team-mate Steven Roberts who rifled home another excellent curling effort into the far corner (2-4).

Two minutes later, an hour into the game, and the Away side were beginning to pick up the pace on their goal-scoring with what was a cheap goal for the Home team to concede. A long ball in from a free-kick 40 yards out found the run of No 17 Danny Emmerson at the back post. His header, which seemed to take it out of goalie Peter Redden’s hands, fell kindly to No 10 David Traynor who couldn’t and didn’t miss from 3 yards out (2-5).

The Away side were all over their opponents now and the goals would’ve been flying in if not for Home goalie Peter Redden. The Away No 11 Steven Roberts knocked it beyond his opposite number and broke into the box but his high effort was clawed away by the approaching Redden. The ball fell back to Roberts but he was unable to convert the 2nd opportunity either.

As the Home team began to tire, their opponents were piling on the pressure and raining shots on goal, however they were unable to extend their lead because of Home goalie Peter Redden's prowess between the sticks and also some unfortunate misses. Despite their attacking abilities, the Away team's defence could easily have been overlooked but centre half pairing Chris Lazenby and Kevin Banks held their own well alongside legend Andy Griffin whose marauding runs had always been a danger in the 1st half.

Less than 10 mins remained when the Away side’s sustained pressure paid off though. A chipped through ball into centre forward No 11 Steven Roberts saw him square it across to partner Michael Georgiou-Holden. The Away No 9 slid in well at the back post to finish it off giving his side a 4 goal lead as the game neared its end (2-6).

The Away team weren’t done there though, squeezing in time for another before the game ended. Again, the No 9 Michael Georgiou-Holden was through on goal but his chance was saved to the right by goalie Redden. No 15 Louis Codd kept the ball in play and instead of crossing the ball he managed to trick the Home team with an effort that fitted in between keeper Redden and the post to find the net (2-7).

The referee brought to an end what ended up being a one-sided half of football, which was a shame considering the Home side’s excellent performance in the first half. Unfortunately for the team in Red and White, the pace of the game forced them to tire and they couldn’t maintain the end-to-end play that occurred in the 1st half. However, that should take nothing away from an outstanding performance from the Away team, whose class told in the end. It would be difficult to pick out one player from the Away team, as the game was decided by an impressive team performance from the back to the front, but MOTM winning centre half Chris Lazenby and Moment of the Match winning striker Steven Roberts were certainly key players in helping the Away team to their win.

Full time: Stoke City (Home) 2 - 7 Stoke City (Away)

Man of the Match Home: Peter Redden
Man of the Match Away: Chris Lazenby
Moment of the Match: Steven Roberts

Home Team: Peter Redden, Adam Canning, Wayne Thomas, Neil Johnson, Paul Reeves, David Johnson, Spencer Smith, Baljinder Singh, Ross Irving, Nathan Moore (C), Lee Waterfall, Nathan McLean, Nathan Rogers
Home Manager: Denis Smith
Home Mascot: Alicia Johnson

Away Team: Daniel Street, Tim Summerfield, Andy Griffin, Chris Lazenby, Kevin Banks, Brad Pinder, Gareth Jones (C), Jake Benn, M.Georgiou-holden, David Traynor, Steven Roberts, Harrison Armitage, Louis Codd, Joe Hunter, Danny Emmerson
Away Manager: Carl Beeston
Away Mascot: Jaiden Hallam