Stoke City 1 Villa 1 – Can’t buy a win. The Alternative Report

More disappointment for Stoke, who again couldn’t hold on to a 1-0 lead, as they faded in the 2nd half. It could be argued that Villa will be more disappointed with the single point.
Here’s the final whistle report:
Here’s how it unfolded in real time:
After such a really moving tribute to Gordon Banks, Stoke (one win in 12) have to carve something out against Villa (one win in 10). Charlie replaces Woods, which is bad news as Whelan is also playing, and many people can’t tell them apart…
1.25 Edwards is shoved off the ball by the Villa corner flag with the violence usually resulting in a a court appearance! Tom rushes back with a court-appearance idea of his own, which thankfully doesn’t come to fruition…
4.20 1-0!!!!!!!!!!! Sam Vokes with his back to goal, flicks in after a SUPERB long pass by Charlie!!! (& a cross from Clucas). Stunning start, although the ball took forever to cross the line. What a start!!! Crowd going bananas.
16.14 Vokes goes off injured to be replaced by….Mame Diouf…you know, as a striker. He hasn’t featured in a league game (bench or otherwise) since Dec 8th.
18.40 Whelan gets applauded by Stoke fans as he comes over to take a corner. It’s not a great corner, but a 100x better than any City corners this season…
23.16 Somehow Diouf also wins a corner (he claimed it, but 99/100 you don’t get it)….which Charlie over hits, & it goes for a goalkick. We SO miss Glenn Whelan.
25.35 Stunning cross from Charlie from the right takes crowd’s breath away, but Diouf can’t convert.
38.20 El Ghazi misses a sitter, looking miles offside as he receives the ball on the edge of the box, & he blasts over. Jack can’t believe his luck.
42.22 Ince receives the ball on the right, but looks too knackered to run. He could just be waiting for support…no, I think he’s just knackered. Not been out with Saido, has he?
45+2 Charlie puts a wonder-ball through to Diouf…who eventually blasts over. Typical.
Half time: Stoke Banks 1 Aston The Villa 0
45.00 Decent crowd: 27,975, 3rd highest of the season after Leeds & Birmingham games.
51.45 Charlie almost concedes a penalty, but instead concedes a free kick seconds later just outside the box. Then Indi gets booked. Tense stuff.
54.12 Charlie given the most outrageous shove, turns it into a dive and a handball as he goes down just to make his point. Hilarious.
57.05 Etebo is yellowed rather unfairly. Just to put this into some perspective: 3 yellow cards in the first hour, none of them Charlie. How does that work?
61.45 1-1, as Tom Edwards is out-run on the right, sub Adomah sinks the cross into the corner. Tom should have stuck with him, instead of giving up.
63.10 Charlie Adam tries to lob the keeper, and isn’t too far off as the keeper scrambles back.
63.46 Jack makes a decent albeit routine save, keeping Stoke in the game.
64.27 Charlie Adam gets a standing ovation as he is subbed…slight booing as he’s replaced by Ashley Williams.
73.40 Ince is replaced by Benik Afobe. Good grief, two strikers.
86.25 it’s sad that with 2 teams with only 2 wins in 22 games between them, that this had a draw written all over it. And it’s Stoke who looks like they’re hanging on for the point more than Villa.
It finishes Stoke 1 Villa 1, with City chasing their own tales. They could’ve chased all day and never caught them…