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Stoke City 2 Fulham 2

Posted on: Tue 07 Oct 2008

STOKE CITY RESERVES 2 (Pericard 24, Whelan pen 40)
FULHAM RESERVES 2 (Milsom 18, Brown 82)

A superb injury time save by Fulham goalkeeper David Stockdale denied the Potters all three points in tonight's Barclays Premier Reserve League South clash against the Cottagers.

An entertaining game saw Robert Milsom open the scoring for the visitors after eighteen minutes before Vincent Pericard equalised six minutes later with a well taken half volley following a Tom Soares knock down.

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Republic of Ireland international Glenn Whelan put City into the lead from the penalty spot with five minutes of the first half remaining before Wayne Brown scored the rebound from another penalty this time awarded to the away side.

Stockdale would then keep out a Whelan free kick destined for the top corner deep into stoppage time as both teams picked up their first point of the season.

Assistant Manager Dave Kemp named a super strong line-up for the game with Soares and Michael Tonge making their first starts for the club.

Andrew Davies, who has been sidelined through injury since signing for the Club, was named on the bench.

Ibrahima Sonko made his first start since picking up an ankle injury at Anfield two weeks ago, while Whelan partnered Amdy Faye in central midfield.

The visitors included Erik Nevland, Andranik and Julian Gray in their side as they looked to gain their first points after losing their opening two matches.

The Potters passed it around well in the opening stages and had their first chance on goal after nine minutes.

Soares and Pericard combined well down the right hand side before Andy Wilkinson crossed to the front post.

Tonge arrived on the scene but could only outstretch his leg enough to fire straight at Stockdale.

The former Sheffield United midfielder then drove another attempt just over the bar as City looked to break the deadlock early on.

It was the visitors who would eventually do so though on 18 minutes.

Milsom won possession in the middle of the park before striding forward and striking a left footed shot at goal from 25-yards.

Danzelle St. Louis-Hamilton got down low to get a hand to it but couldn't stop the ball from going into the back of the net to put the visitors ahead.

Kemp's side immediately pushed for an equaliser and got their reward on 24 minutes

Carl Dickinson's deep cross field ball was headed back across the goal at the far post by Soares and Pericard buried a sweetly struck half volley that gave Stockdale no chance at all.

Pericard would continue to be in the thick of the action and with five minutes of the first half remaining he won a penalty when Adrian Leijer was forced to bring him down in the box after the powerful striker had turned him well.

Leijer was booked for the foul before Whelan proceeded to blast the penalty straight down the middle and put the home side into the lead.

There was still time for Wilkinson to unleash a piledriver at goal after a chest down by Pericard and Sonko to lash over from a free-kick but the score would remain 2-1 to the Potters as the half-time whistle blew.

The re-start saw Davies make his first appearance in a City shirt with the former Southampton man replacing Sonko at centre-half.

He would go on to make a crucial last-ditch tackle to stop Nevland racing clear on goal after the Norwergian striker had won possession from Whelan.

On the hour, Dickinson whipped in a dangerous cross from the left flank that forced the Fulham backline to knock out for a corner.

City failed to put an attempt on goal from the flag-kick as did the Cottagers minutes later from a Julian Gray inswinger.

Chances were proving to be few and far between for both teams in the second half with the home side failing to threaten Stockdale after Pericard had won a corner.

Nevland later tested St. Louis-Hamilton from close range after a cross from the left before Phillips hit a scorcher just inches over the bar from just inside the box.

Referee Madley later endeared himself to the watching crowd in the West Stand by first awarding Fulham a free kick on the left hand side and then a penalty.

Leijer, who had earlier gave away a spot kick himself, won one for his own side when Ryan Shawcross was adjudged to have fouled him after he put a shot wide of goal.

Brown saw his spot kick saved well by St. Louis-Hamilton but put in the rebound to draw the scores level with eight minutes remaining.

Shawcross tried to make amends from a corner later on but could only skew a shot from the edge of the area into the back of the Boothen End.

City continued to look for a winner and created one last chance when Pericard won a free kick 25-yards out from goal.

Whelan struck a beautiful shot towards the top right hand corner but Stockdale dived full length to tip around the post and deny the Potters a late victory.

Andy Wilkinson in action against Fulham Reserves. ACTION IMAGES

CITY: St. Louis-Hamilton; Wilkinson, Sonko (Davies 46), Shawcross (c), Dickinson; Soares (De Laet 63), Amdy Faye, Whelan, Pugh; Tonge (D. Phillips 63); Pericard. Subs: T. Harrison (gk), Wedderburn.

FULHAM: Stockdale, Stoor, Anderson (Briggs 83), Leijer, Smalling, Milsom, Brown (Saunders 90), Andranik, Smith (Hoesen 70), Nevland, Gray. Subs: Foderingham, Brown (gk).

Attendance: 546

Glenn Whelan puts City's reserves into the lead from the penalty spot against Fulham. ACTION IMAGES
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