The first of a new feature looking back at memorable past-meetings with our next opposition. This week, Stoke City
This season sees the first visit of the Tigers in the league to Stoke since the 1992/3 season in the old Division 2 (previously known as Division 3 and now called League 1). That season saw Stoke City, then playing at the Victoria Ground, finish as Champions with 93 points with City finishing just clear of relegation in 20th place with 50 points. Stoke had been the visitors to Boothferry on the opening day of the season, the Tigers running out 1-0 winners with a goal from Paul Hunter. Our return visit to Stoke on the 9th February saw us well beaten by 3 goals to Nil.
The previous season, 1991/2, the away game at Stoke had seen a very different result as a rampant City team stunned Stoke with a 3-2 victory. In front of 13,563 spectators, two goals from Leigh Jenkinson and one from Graeme Atkinson saw the Tigers claim all three points.
Jenkinson? s first goal came after only 4 minutes as he slid the ball home after a shot from Atkinson was parried by Ronnie Sinclair, the Stoke keeper.
The score remained this way until Half Time, with City on the defensive for long periods.
The second half started at a furious pace but it was the Tigers who drew first blood as they extended their lead, when after good work in midfield by Dean Windass and a fierce shot by John Pearson, Neil Atkinson followed up and rammed the loose ball into the roof of the net.
Stoke were next to score when Alan Fettis failed to hold onto a deep corner and Paul Barnes was on hand to prod home from short range.
The Tigers roared back two minutes later with a spectacular goal from Jenkinson, his second of the match. He ran with the ball for over half the length of the pitch before performing his famous shuffle and crashing the ball into the top left hand corner of the net.
It was almost 4-1 on 65 minutes when a Windass free kick went inches wide of the post, but the final goal of the game fell to Stoke in the 74th minute as a cross shot from Mark Stein beat Alan Fettis and went in at the far post.
The Tigers weathered a Stoke storm for the last 15 minutes but emerged from it with 3 deserved points.
Let?s hope Saturday?s game is equally exciting and a similar result would be most welcome!