A Stoke Stalemate in Hughes’ First Home Game

Stoke City ended their pre-season with a 0-0 draw with Italian side Genoa. It was the first time Mark Hughes was on show at the Britannia Stadium and the Potters showed signs of changing their philosophy with a newly adopted passing style.

The Potters kept possession for the majority of the first half with the Stoke faithful cheering every time a pass was made. The first big chance of the game fell to Peter Crouch when he headed wide from John Walters’ clipped cross. The build up play was slow and patient with Stoke creating four or five good chances.

The best chance of the game came on twenty four minutes when Cameron’s cross was headed down by Crouch and Walters from six yards out hit straight at the keeper. The Potters supporters also got a glimpse of the samba style football when Crouch’s superb flick found Steven N’zonzi who rifled the ball into the side netting. Just before half time Etherington’s free kick was headed by Walters and plucked out of the top corner by Genoa keeper Perin.

In the second half Genoa came into the game more making it harder for Stoke to play their football. But the clear message on the fans lips at the end of the game was “who’s going to put the ball in the back of the net.”

Stoke: Begovic Cameron (Shotton) Huth (Wilkinson) Shawcross Pieters (Muniesa) Walters (Kightly) Palacios (Wilson) Nzonzi (Jones) Adam (Whelan) Etherington (Pennant) Crouch (Jerome)

By Robin Grey

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