Date: 28th October 2009 at 11:16pm
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The Potters second string came a cropper at Pompey last night as they crashed out 4-0 in the Carling Cup.

As promised, Tony Pulis rang the changes with Steve Simonsen the only player who started the game against Spurs making the starting eleven at Fratton Park. But they still had £10m worth of strikers lined at kick-off with Tuncay making his second start alongside Dave Kitson. Glenn Whelan, who scored the winner against Spurs, also started so fans would have expected a far better performance than was offered.

The one bit of good news was the reappearance of Mamady Sidibe, whose 30 minutes on the field were his first for seven months. Whilst not yet ready to challenge for a first team position, this was a crucial part of his road back to full fitness.

You’ll notice that we’re not bothering to tell you about the game – the full, dire story will be found elsewhere if you’re really interested. But we will report that Tuncay did at least get the ball in the net on 70 minutes after a cross from Arismendi but was clearly well offside.

But the real drama was after the game. Whilst the 500 die-hard Stokies were making their way back up the A34 and M40 to Stoke, the team had arranged to travel back on a chartered jet from Southampton to East Midlands Airport, intending to be tucked up in their beds well before any disgruntled fans even reached Staffordshire. But even these plans were doomed to failure with the plane having to make an emergency landing at Gatwick after the players complained of a burning smell in the cabin just after take-off.

Fortunately, it seems to have turned out to be a false alarm but the team were then forced to travel back from Sussex by road and didn’t arrive back at the Brit until 6am this morning.

21 Ashdown
03 Kaboul
18 Vanden Borre
39 Belhadj
06 Mullins
11 Brown
32 Yebda (Mokoena 63)
35 Wilson
09 Piquionne
19 Webber (Kanu 68)
24 Dindane (Hughes 77)
15 Niemi, 26 Ben-Haim, 04 Mokoena, 22 Hughes, 33 Basinas, 27 Kanu, 37 Nlundulu

Stoke City
01 Simonsen
02 Griffin
03 Higginbotham
05 Cort
06 Whelan
07 Lawrence (Soares 75)
14 Pugh
23 Tonge
32 Arismendi
12 Kitson (Sidibe 55)
20 Sanli (Moult 82)
43 Parton, 08 Soares, 36 Lund, 37 Wedderburn, 44 Connor, 11 Sidibe, 42 Moult


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