Date: 20th September 2009 at 6:02pm
Written by:

It was a case of deja-vu for the Potters as they dropped late points at the Reebok and were forced to share the spoils with the Trotters. After the gut-wrenching loss suffered in the final seconds at the Brit last week to Chelsea, Stoke were just minutes away from picking up their first away win of the season.

After that defeat last week and the additional disappointment of losing both Thomas Sorensen and James Beattie to first half injuries it was good to see the Danish keeper starting and Beatts fit enough to be sitting on the bench. Ricardo Fuller took over his starting position alongside the revitalised Dave Kitson. Andy Wilkinson was forced to withdraw with a stomach bug which allowed Robert Huth to slot into the right back slot.

Bolton versus Stoke was never written to be a classic and so the first half proved. The Potters should have had a penalty after Ricardo Fuller was brought down, but instead Fuller’s reputation turned the penalty appeal into a booking for the Jamaican international as Mark Clattenburg reckoned that he’d dived. TV replays were inconclusive, but there is no doubt Ric’s trailing leg was asking to be tripped.

But this was a game that Stoke should have won. We outplayed and controlled Bolton for the vast majority of the game. Confirmation of our superiority arrived with our ‘almost new’ signing, Dave Kitson. His 53rd minute strike was a clinical goal and the Potters fully deserved their lead.

So with just seconds remaining, it was incredible when Danny Collins decided to make a late tackle on Sam Ricketts on the edge of the penalty area when the situation was not that dangerous.

Tony Pulis was furious after the match that this was the third point we’d lost in the closing seconds in just the last seven days, but the measure of the upset in the Potteries at losing to Chelsea and drawing away to a team that’s been in the Premier League far longer than us shows how far we’ve come in just 12 months. This was not a game where Stoke sat back on a one goal lead. We battered them, but just didn’t have the final bit of luck to finish them off.

Next up: Man United at the Brit after the relatively minor matter of Blackpool in the Carling Cup on Tuesday…..

Bolton Wanderers
22 Jaaskelainen
03 Samuel
05 Cahill
12 Knight
15 Steinsson (Klasnic 46)
18 Ricketts
06 Muamba (Gardner 46)
07 Taylor
19 McCann
21 Cohen
14 Davies
Substitutes: 26 Al Habsi, 31 O’Brien, 11 Gardner, 23 Davis, 27 Lee, 09 Elmander, 17 Klasnic

Stoke City
29 Sorensen
04 Huth
17 Shawcross
22 Collins
25 Faye
06 Whelan
18 Whiteheadyellow card
24 Delap
26 Etherington (Lawrence 63)
10 Fulleryellow card (Beattie 90+1)
12 Kitson (Pugh 78)
Substitutes: 01 Simonsen, 03 Higginbotham, 05 Cort, 07 Lawrence, 14 Pugh, 20 Sanli, 09 Beattie