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Stoke City 2015

There were broad smiles on the faces of the Stoke City fans as they took to the pitch for our 2015 match at the Britannia and the good natured atmosphere continued throughout the game. The Away team ran out 4-11 winners in the end, however the Home team played their part in a hugely entertaining encounter and both sets of players went home knowing they’d been part of another great occasion.   


Date: Monday 26th May 2015
Venue: The Britannia
Stoke City (Home) vs Stoke City (Away)
Kick Off: 10:30 am
Legends/Managers: Terry Conroy, Andy Griffin & John Ruggiero
Match Officials: Phil Taylor, Vic Kelly, Gary Taylor & Phil Dawes


The conditions were dry and breezy at the Britannia when the Away team wearing Light Blue shirts kicked off our 2015 game, shooting from right to left. Both teams started the game positively, passing the ball about briskly and keeping their opponents on their toes and it was no surprise when the game saw an early goal. After an initial chance was saved by Home keeper Allan Todd the resulting corner was swung in from the right and big centre half Craig Webb was on hand to power a header home from close range to put the Away team ahead after just 5mins (0-1).

A corner at the other end was played into the danger area and when it fell to Francisco Centeno it looked like the striker would level things up, however Away keeper Richard Marsh was perfectly positioned to beat his close range effort away to safety. Clever play from Mattia Bertoldi straight from the restart allowed full-back Leigh Passmore to play a great long ball for the lively No 9 Liam Armstrong to run onto and he outpaced his defender before expertly sliding the ball into the far corner to double his side’s lead after just 8mins (0-2).

The Home team responded well though and their midfielders Nathan Moore and Gonzalo Rioja started to gain a foothold in the centre of the pitch, however the Away team were a still a danger on the break and another great cross from Passmore found Captain Darren Winnard in the area, however he couldn’t get enough on his diving header and the ball narrowly missed the far post.

Back came the Home side and when Potters Legend Andy Griffin freed the flying winger Gonzalo Rioja on the right side of the area the No 7 squared the ball perfectly for Russell Ellis to score from close range (1-2). With 17mins on the clock the Home side were right back in the game!
 
The team in Red and White stripes nearly got themselves level soon after when Nathan Moore fed Dave Taylor on the right side of the area, however his low shot was well held by Away keeper Richard Marsh. However the Away team hit back and after Captain Darren Winnard played a quick one two with Liam Armstrong he released striker Josh Hawkes with a clever through ball and the No 11 stroked the ball home past the diving Todd (1-3). 

Dave Taylor came close immediately afterwards when he intercepted a pass from the back and tried to chip Richard Marsh, however the keeper was alert to the danger and got back in time to save his effort. The Away time responded straight away and when Sean-Paul Beech collected the ball wide on the left on 29mins there didn’t look to be much danger, however he cut inside and fired an unstoppable looping effort from 25 yards into the roof of the net (1-4)!


The Home team came roaring right back and when Francisco Centeno found Andy Griffin the Potters Legend bombed up the left wing before cutting the ball back for Dave Taylor inside the area, the striker collected the ball, then jinked to his right and calmly hooked a right foot shot back across goal and into the net past the diving Marsh’s right hand (2-4).
 
The Home side had their tails up now and after a period of sustained pressure they forced a corner on the right. Captain Nathan Moore swung the ball towards the far post and Francisco Centeno met it perfectly and powered a header high into the net (3-4). With 37mins on the clock the Home team were right back in the game.


The Home team continued to press for an equaliser, and when Francisco Centeno pounced on a loose ball in the area and fed Gonzalo Rioja the No 7 looked like he was odds on to level the scores, however his well struck effort was cleared off the line brilliantly by Leigh Passmore! There was just time for Nathan Moore to try his luck with a free-kick from outside the area, however Richard Marsh held onto it well and the Away team went into the break with a narrow one goal lead.

Half Time: Stoke City (Home) 3 - 4 Stoke City (Away)

The Home team began the 2nd half full of purpose and the pacy substitute Greg Whitehouse almost snatched an early equaliser when he raced clear soon after the break, however his well struck shot was well saved by Richard Marsh.

Despite their confident start to the half it was the Away team who made the early breakthrough thanks to a great piece of attacking play by their newly installed Legend Andy Griffin. The defender picked up the ball 30 yards out and sprinted past the Home defence before cutting the ball back for his Captain Darren Winnard to side-foot the ball home from 6 yards (3-5).

The Home side responded well though and when Moore won the ball in midfield he instigated a great passing move that involved Rioja and Centeno. The No 11 then found Adam Melbourne inside the area and the No 14 looked odds on to score, however he was denied by a fantastic point blank save from Richard Marsh.

But it was the Away side who struck next with 65mins on the clock, Griffin won the ball in midfield and fed Armstrong who spun away from his defender and played a great cross to Josh Hawkes who was free inside the area, the striker met the ball perfectly 1st time and it flew past the keeper and into the net (3-6).

The Away team were back in the groove and when Griffin found Liam Armstrong with a perfectly weighted pass over the defence the striker expertly flicked the ball over the advancing Todd’s head and nodded the ball into the empty net (3-7).

The situation only got worse for the Home team on 70mins, Spencer Smith intercepted a clearance from the Home keeper and fed Liam Armstrong on the left, the striker looked up and played an inch perfect ball to the back post for Mattia Bertoldi, the elegant midfielder took a touch then lifted the ball over Todd and into the back of the net (3-8).

The Home side then had a great chance to get a goal back when Greg Whitehouse won a penalty after being taken down on the left side of the area, however Away keeper Richard Marsh did brilliantly to dive to his right and push the ball away to safety! Marsh was called into action again soon afterwards when Adam Melbourne was set free and raced into the box, and the fearless stopper again did brilliantly, denying the big midfielder with another brave point blank save!

Back came the Away team and when Darren Winnard did well to find Liam Armstrong with a defence splitting pass on 76mins the striker did the rest, beating Todd with a fantastic chip from outside the area for his hat-trick (3-9).

With just 10mins to go both teams were feeling the pace of the game, and with defences tiring the game was wide open. Nathan Moore was unlucky when his well struck effort went just over the bar and then when Gonzalo Rioja’s brilliant curling effort came back off the post to Adam Melbourne the midfielder looked all set to burst the net, however he couldn’t get over the shot and the ball somehow spun up and over the crossbar…

The Home side pressed again and Nathan Moore’s clever chip found Dave Taylor in space on the right side of the box, however his low effort came back off the far post and bounced away to safety. At the other end Allan Todd was being kept busy and he made a fantastic one handed save to deny Josh Hawkes, however he could do nothing about Darren Winnard’s perfectly placed glancing header from the resulting corner on 86mins, and the ball ended up nestling into the far corner of the net (3-10).

The Home team weren’t giving up though and when the ball was partially cleared to Nathan Moore on the edge of the box, the alll action midfielder smashed a fantastic right foot shot past the diving Marsh (3-11).


However the Away team were to have the last laugh with 89mins on the clock. Legend Andy Griffin twisted and turned his defender inside out and chipped a great ball into the box and defender Craig Webb was there to smash a 1st time volley past Todd and into the net (4-11).

The referee’s whistle blew soon afterwards with the impressive Away side running out convincing winners by 4-11. However the gutsy Home side had played their part in a fantastic end to end game and both teams received a rousing reception when they left the pitch from their loyal fans!

Full Time: Stoke City (Home) 4 - 11 Stoke City (Away)

Man of the Match (Home): Francisco Centeno
Man of the Match (Away): Richard Marsh
Moment of the Match: Liam Armstrong


Home Team: Allan Todd, Liam McKinney, Andy Griffin (1st half), Ben Leeson, Jon Dixon, Paul Reeves, Gonzalo Rioja, Russell Ellis, Dave Taylor, Nathan Moore (C), Francisco Centeno, Adam Melbourne, Victor Dimakopoulos, Greg Whitehouse
Home Manager: Terry Conroy
Home Mascot: Logan David Paul Downes

Away Team: Richard Marsh, Leigh Passmore, Andy Griffin (2nd half), Craig Webb, Riccardo Ruffo, Russell Armstrong, Mattia Bertoldi, Sean-Paul Beech, Liam Armstrong, Darren Winnard (C), Josh Hawkes, Alex Walmsley, Riccardo Ruffo, Spencer Smith
Away Manager: John Ruggiero
Away Mascot: Rory Stoke Donkin-Beech