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Marc Grocott - Stoke City

Couldn't Get the Result

01/12/07 |

Match: Stoke City Vs Manchester City

Today I felt weirdly optimistic about the game, although having a few regular more experienced players out of the team and with us being rock bottom and Man City being perched on the top of the table I still felt that we could come away from the game with a result.

We started off very well and probably put in our best first half performance of the season so far. We come close twice when a couple very good chances fell to two of the youthful players in our team only to be wasted and fired over the bar. Then an attack down the left hand side resulted in a cross into the box where one of our forwards skilfully turned to half-volley the ball goal-bound only to be denied by the cross bar. All the play came from us and we continued to play good football and close down every ball desperately eager not to allow their players any time or space. They say bad things come in three’s but in our case that turned into fours, when for the fourth game in a row the same defender had given away another penalty … and this time it was blatant!

After some good work on the right the Man City winger cut inside only to meet a big swiping kick which took him and not the ball and gifted them a penalty. And just as the previous 3 spot kicks, the outcome was the same. Although this did not dampen spirits to much when directly from the attack off the centre kick we thought that we should have had a penalty when the Man City right back kicked the heels of Jimmy Phillips who had cleverly got in around the back and was through on goal. The referee thought otherwise and as much as we contested the decision he was having none of it.

Second half came and with it came two more appeals for penalties and more chances for us to level the game. But same as other games the problem of converting these chances cursed us and for the life of us we could not find the equaliser. The final whistle came and disappointment came too, after a very good start and dominating periods of the game we couldn’t get the result we were looking for.