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Stoke City vs Ipswich Town
 0 - 0 
Tue Jan 30 19:45:00 GMT 2007
Britannia Stadium
C Webster

Jon Walters twice went close for Town on his debut as Blues, with four full-backs in defence, picked up well-earned point at the Britannia Stadium.

The signing from Chester was twice denied by Steve Simonsen in the Stoke goal, first with a close range shot, then a powerful header midway through the second-half.

Stoke, who have lost only one home game in 12, were denied at every turn by Town's resilient defence who have now kept five clean sheets in seven matches.

Richard Naylor didn't make the trip to the Potteries, with a badly bruised toe ruling him out of the game. Alan Lee was also forced out with a hamstring injury with Walters occupying a lone striker's role.


Owen Garvan came into a five man midfield with Billy Clarke starting on the bench, David Wright partnering skipper Fabian Wilnis in the heart of the defence.

Walters took only two minutes to make his mark in the game, his shot from eight yards cleared off the line by 'keeper Steve Simonsen.

Jaime Peters fired over the bar soon after while at the other end former Crewe defender Wright did superbly on his return to the Potteries to deny Ricardo Fuller.

Former Town loanee Fuller carried the main threat for Stoke in the first-half, showing a deft touch to beat Wilnis but failing to trouble Lewis Price.

Darel Russell shot wide after a promising run but Town's makeshift defence continued to thwart Tony Pulis' side, Fuller blocked on the edge of the box by the impressive Wright.

Dan Harding appeared to be pulled back by Michael Duberry, possibly inside the box, just before the break, while Fuller should have done better from a corner as a first-half of few openings came to an end.

Sito did well to deny the much taller Mamady Sidibe a free header at the far post from a Lee Martin cross as Stoke enjoyed a flurry of corners in the opening stages of the second-half.

Sidibe then should have put the home side ahead when he beat Price in the air but sent his header wide.

Gary Roberts picked up the first booking of the night and his fifth of the season, earning him a one match suspension, after kicking out at Russell following a foul by the Stoke player.

Garvan was denied by Danny Higginbotham on the edge of the box before Simonsen did well just past the hour mark to keep out a goalbound header from the hard-working Walters.

Gavin Williams lost possession in midfield allowing Stoke to break and Garvan was forced into a foul 25 yards from goal, the midfielder picking up a yellow card. Liam Lawrence's free-kick deflecting away from danger.

Williams limped off on 67 minutes to be replaced by George O'Callaghan, Roberts then sending a volley goalwards and straight at Duberry.

Sidibe again should have put Stoke ahead 15 minutes from time when he slid in at the far post but couldn't convert Lawrence's cross under pressure from Wilnis.

Another Lawrence cross, this time from a corner, saw Sito clear the ball off the line from Fuller as Stoke looked to capitalise on their height advantage at set-pieces. Price then doing well to hold the ball under pressure.

Pulis made his first change with five minutes left on the clock, Adam Rooney coming on for Manchester United loanee Martin.

O'Callaghan became the third Town player to be booked, Price doing well to come off his line and take the ball at full stretch from the resultant free-kick.

Roberts and Peters were both denied shots on the edge of the box as the game entered the three minutes of added on time, Andy Griffin doing the job on both occasions as the game ended goalless with Blues taking all the plaudits.

Town: Price, Sito, Wright, Wilnis, Harding, Peters (Haynes 90), Williams (O'Callaghan 67), Garvan, Legwinski, Roberts, Walters. Subs not used: Supple, Clarke, Casement. Booked: Roberts, Garvan, O'Callaghan.


 Match Information
  Stoke Ipswich
Goals : 0 0
Possession : 47% 53%
Shots On Target : 0 2
Shots Off Target : 4 1
Corners : 9 5
Fouls : 4 7
Most Fouls : Diao (1) Walters (2)
Yellow Cards : 0 2
Red Cards : 0 0
Full Match Stats
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