Stoke won for the first time since early April, and it could have been by 3 or 4. Here’s how it unfolded in real time:
Without a win since a surprise 1-0 win at Blackburn 4 months ago, Stoke City arrive at Wigan in the cup with EIGHT changes, hoping that Wigan’s 10 changes are more shambolic than Brother Nathan’s. In comes untried Cameron Carter-Vickers (altho’ 30 odd games whilst on-loan to Swansea last season) plus 18 & a bit year old Nathan Collins as captain! Stoke’s youngest ever 1st team captain? Peter Etebo is back, albeit hiding on the bench. If Stoke don’t impress, it won’t just be Captain Nathan who’ll be hiding under the bench…
7.10 Stoke starting to find their stride after ropey start, outrun & outplayed all over the park, but now looking more muscley. I would argue that 7 of Stoke’s players are first-teamers in disguise (false moustache’s etc).
9.53 1-0 ! Capt Nathan nods in! Stoke score from a corner! Yes, hard to believe. Duffy from the right to the far post, headed back by Liam Lindsay, and bundled in at the near post by Capt Collins. Textbook scrambled goal. But Stoke lead…somehow… Stoke fans reckon Wigan must be “awful” as City are winning away. Yes, they must be VERY “awful”.
14.29 Vokes & Duffy somehow fail to score, and Vokes blasts the corner over. Not sure Sam knows where the goal is.
23.45 Vokes goes down a bit too flamboyantly, but the “last” defender should have walked? Yellow only.
26.30 Brother Nathan fumes as Stoke dither getting the ball forward. Keeping the ball, and passing smoothly just not good enough. Hell, it’s a start.
43.31 Sam Vokes’ first-time half-volley just over the bar. If only he knew where it was. It’s behind you! (No, not your career, the goal!).
HT 1-0 unbelievable.
48.25 McClean claims he was impeded in the box (no surprise here). But as it’s so quiet here that you can hear every word of the exchange between him and the ref! Stoke fans start a rant about bread.
51.46 Ryan Woods almost gets into trouble facing up to Joe Williams who thought Stoke should have stopped as a player was on the deck. Woods then goes on a mazy run till scythed, as if to prove a point.
59.40 Stoke score, the ball squeezed into the 6 yard box backhealed by Vokes & in by Clucas, but obviously offside. Shame.
66.22 Federici makes first (gentle) save, shock.
69.30 As Wigan wake up, and Stoke get a bit ragged, yellowed Clucas is replaced by Etebo from under the bench. Etebo is either tired or super-fit. We will see.
78.01 Vokes definitely improving as he knows he’s going to be replaced by Tyrese, and Duffy by Scott Hogan. Ryan Woods is NOT going off (like he did on Saturday, to Stoke’s detriment).
87.45 Campbell turns and his shot is saved well by Jones (Jamie). Etebo adds skill & muscle, but Campbell is just an agent provocateur.
90+1 Campbell gathers, and brings out a finger tip save. Best move of the game.
90+2 Hogan hits post, and Cousins scythes wide!! Blimey, Stoke still attacking!
Full time, Wigan 0 Stoke 1. A rare victory indeed.