2003–04 Stoke City F.C. season

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Stoke City
2003–04 season
Chairman Gunnar Gíslason
Manager Tony Pulis
Stadium Britannia Stadium
Football League First Division 11th (66 Points)
FA Cup Third Round
League Cup Second Round
Top goalscorer League: Ade Akinbiyi
& Gifton Noel-Williams (10)

All: Ade Akinbiyi
& Gifton Noel-Williams (10)
Highest home attendance 20,126 vs Preston North End (26 December 2003)
Lowest home attendance 10,277 vs Crystal Palace (25 November 2003)
Average home league attendance 14,424
Home colours

The 2003–04 season was Stoke City's 97th season in the Football League and the 37th in the second tier.

With Stoke being successful in avoiding relegation manager Tony Pulis could begin making alterations to his squad for the 2003–04 season. A number of ins and outs followed but after a good start Stoke won just five of their first 21 matches and it seemed that another fight against relegation would be required, but after a win against West Ham United in December Stoke went nine matches unbeaten and pulled themselves away from relegation trouble. Their good form continued until the end of the season with Stoke ending a promising season of consolidation in 11th position with 66 points.[1]

Season review[edit]

League[edit]

Manager Tony Pulis made a number of alterations to his squad in the summer of 2003 as a number of players which helped Stoke gain promotion and subsequent survival left the club and in came several new players, these included experienced goalkeeper Ed de Goey, defenders Clint Hill and John Halls, midfielders John Eustace and Darel Russell and forwards Carl Asaba and Gifton Noel-Williams whilst the most notable departures was that of James O'Connor and fan favourite Sergei Shtanuk.[1]

Stoke began the 2003–04 season well beating Derby County 3–0 on the opening match and then Wimbledon to see Stoke sitting top of the table after two matches,[1] but Stoke's form soon fell away and despite the return of Ade Akinbiyi Stoke won just 5 of their first 21 fixtures which ended with a 3–2 defeat at home to Cardiff City with former fan favorite Peter Thorne scoring a hat trick but such as his popularity with the club he refused to celebrate and earned a standing ovation from the Stoke supporters.[1] With Stoke looking likely to be involved in another scrap against relegation Pulis brought in experienced no nonsense defender Gerry Taggart and in his first match he helped Stoke claim an unlikely three points away at high-flying West Ham United.[1] This prompted Stoke's revival and in the next match Stoke beat Reading 3–0 with a hat trick from Dutch winger Peter Hoekstra.[2]

Stoke remained unbeaten for six more matches until their run was halted by a heavy 6–3 defeat at Crystal Palace.[1] Whilst there was some hope from the fans that Stoke could mount a late push for a play-off spot they failed to keep a consistent run of form going and ended the season in a mid-table position of 11th,[1] it was a promising end to the season with Stoke beating all-ready promoted West Bromwich Albion 4–1 and the feeling around the club was that they could now begin to look for a promotion to the Premier League rather that worry about being relegated to the third tier.[1]

FA Cup[edit]

Stoke drew Wimbledon in the third round who had now moved to Milton Keynes and after a bad tempered 1–1 draw at the National Hockey Stadium a free kick from Adam Nowland settled the replay.[1]

League Cup[edit]

Stoke had a poor League Cup campaign as they narrowly beat Rochdale and were then knocked out 2–0 by Gillingham.[1]

Final league table[edit]

Pos Club P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Norwich City 46 28 10 8 79 39 +40 94
2 West Bromwich Albion 46 25 11 10 64 42 +22 86
3 Sunderland 46 22 13 11 62 45 +17 79
4 West Ham United 46 19 17 10 67 45 +22 74
5 Ipswich Town 46 21 10 15 84 72 +12 73
6 Crystal Palace 46 21 10 15 72 61 +11 73
7 Wigan Athletic 46 18 17 11 60 45 +15 71
8 Sheffield United 46 20 11 15 65 56 +9 71
9 Reading 46 20 10 16 55 57 –2 70
10 Millwall 46 18 15 13 55 48 +7 69
11 Stoke City 46 18 12 16 58 55 +3 66
12 Coventry City 46 17 14 15 67 54 +13 65
13 Cardiff City 46 17 14 15 68 58 +10 65
14 Nottingham Forest 46 15 15 16 61 51 +3 60
15 Preston North End 46 15 14 17 69 71 –2 59
16 Watford 46 15 12 19 54 68 –14 57
17 Rotherham United 46 13 15 18 53 61 –8 54
18 Crewe Alexandra 46 14 11 21 57 66 –9 53
19 Burnley 46 13 14 19 60 77 –17 53
20 Derby County 46 13 13 20 53 67 –14 52
21 Gillingham 46 14 9 23 48 67 –19 51
22 Walsall 46 13 12 21 45 65 –20 51
23 Bradford City 46 10 6 30 38 69 –31 36
24 Wimbledon 46 8 5 33 41 89 –48 29

Key: P = Matches played; W = Matches won; D = Matches drawn; L = Matches lost; F = Goals for; A = Goals against; GD = Goal difference; Pts = Points

Results[edit]

Stoke's score comes first

Legend[edit]

Win Draw Loss

Pre-Season Friendlies[edit]

Match Date Opponent Venue Result Attendance Scorers
1 13 July 2003 Newcastle Town A 4–1 Noel-Williams, Goodfellow, Commons, Greenacre
2 15 July 2003 Stafford Rangers A 0–0
3 23 July 2003 Germinal Beerschot A 0–2
4 26 July 2003 Westerlo A 2–3 Noel-Williams, Iwelumo
5 29 July 2003 Notts County A 1–1 Iwelumo
6 1 August 2003 Macclesfield Town A 0–1
7 4 August 2003 Rhyl A 2–4 Iwelumo, Commons
8 13 August 2003 Manchester United H 3–1 21,000 Iwelumo, Goodfellow (2)

Football League First Division[edit]

Match Date Opponent Venue Result Attendance Scorers Report
1 9 August 2003 Derby County A 3–0 21,517 Noel-Williams 15', Greenacre 20', Neal 90' Report
2 16 August 2003 Wimbledon H 2–1 12,550 Asaba 26' (pen), Thomas 90+3' Report
3 23 August 2003 Walsall A 1–1 9,033 Asaba 33' Report
4 26 August 2003 Millwall H 0–0 13,087 Report
5 30 August 2003 Preston North End A 0–1 12,965 Report
6 6 September 2003 Burnley H 1–2 14,867 Asaba 53' Report
7 13 September 2003 Coventry City A 2–4 13,982 Asaba 45', Thomas 78' Report
8 16 September 2003 Sunderland H 3–1 15,005 Noel-Williams 24', Russell (2) 37', 39' Report
9 20 September 2003 Norwich City H 1–1 10,672 Noel-Williams 36' Report
10 27 September 2003 West Bromwich Albion A 0–1 24,297 Report
11 30 September 2003 Rotherham United A 0–3 5,450 Report
12 4 October 2003 Nottingham Forest H 2–1 13,755 Thomas 6', Asaba 31' Report
13 14 October 2003 Wigan Athletic A 1–2 7,678 Noel-Williams 40' Report
14 18 October 2003 Ipswich Town A 0–1 22,122 Report
15 25 October 2003 Crewe Alexandra H 1–1 17,569 Greenacre 90+1' Report
16 1 November 2003 Sheffield United H 2–2 14,217 Noel-Williams 4', Akinbiyi 18' Report
17 8 November 2003 Cardiff City A 1–3 15,227 Commons 59'
18 22 November 2003 Bradford City H 1–0 11,661 Eustace 11' Report
19 25 November 2003 Crystal Palace H 0–1 10,277 Report
20 29 November 2003 Gillingham A 1–3 7,888 Eustace 77' Report
21 6 December 2003 Cardiff City H 2–3 12,208 Eustace 38', Akinbiyi 74' Report
22 9 December 2003 West Ham United A 1–0 24,365 Richardson 33' Report
23 13 December 2003 Reading H 3–0 11,212 Hoekstra (3) 18', 29', 87' (1 pen) Report
24 20 December 2003 Watford A 3–1 13,732 Taggart 15', Akinbiyi (2) 55', 72' Report
25 26 December 2003 Preston North End H 1–1 20,126 Eustace 90+2' (pen) Report
26 28 December 2003 Burnley A 1–0 12,812 Akinbiyi 52' Report
27 10 January 2004 Derby County H 2–1 16,402 Akinbiyi 29', Taggart 53' Report
28 17 January 2004 Wimbledon A 1–0 3,623 Noel-Williams 54' Report
29 31 January 2004 Walsall H 3–2 18,035 Russell 8', Asaba (2) 37', 56' Report
30 7 February 2004 Millwall A 1–1 9,034 Clarke 4' Report
31 14 February 2004 Crystal Palace A 3–6 16,715 Eustace 6', Clarke 45', Asaba 83' (pen) Report
32 21 February 2004 Wigan Athletic H 1–1 14,927 Akinbiyi 45' Report
33 2 March 2004 Ipswich Town H 2–0 11,435 Hoekstra 37' (pen), Akinbiyi 68' Report
34 6 March 2004 Watford H 3–1 13,108 Akinbiyi (2) 18', 43', Noel-Williams 20' Report
35 13 March 2004 Reading A 0–0 14,132 Report
36 16 March 2004 Sunderland A 1–1 24,510 Svärd 13' Report
37 23 March 2004 Crewe Alexandra A 0–2 10,014 Report
38 27 March 2004 Norwich City A 0–1 23,565 Report
39 3 April 2004 Coventry City H 1–0 12,855 Commons 41' Report
40 10 April 2004 Nottingham Forest A 0–0 28,758 Report
41 12 April 2004 Rotherham United H 0–2 11,978 Report
42 17 April 2004 Sheffield United A 1–0 19,372 Clarke 45' Report
43 24 April 2004 West Ham United H 0–2 18,227 Report
44 1 May 2004 Bradford City A 2–0 10,147 Noel-Williams (2) 2', 46' Report
45 4 May 2004 West Bromwich Albion H 4–1 18,352 Russell 45', Commons (2) 62', 73', Noel-Williams 86' Report
46 9 May 2004 Gillingham H 0–0 19,240 Report

FA Cup[edit]

Round Date Opponent Venue Result Attendance Scorers Report
R3 4 January 2004 Wimbledon A 1–1 3,609 Eustace 13' Report
R3 Replay 25 January 2004 Wimbledon H 0–1 6,463 Report

League Cup[edit]

Round Date Opponent Venue Result Attendance Scorers Report
R1 19 August 2003 Rochdale H 2–1 4,687 Iwelumo 13', Goodfellow 90' Report
R2 23 September 2003 Gillingham H 0–2 4,607 Report

Squad statistics[edit]

No. Pos. Name League FA Cup League Cup Total
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
1 GK Netherlands Ed de Goey 37 0 0 0 1 0 38 0
2 DF England Wayne Thomas 39 3 2 0 1 0 42 3
3 DF Republic of Ireland Clive Clarke 41(1) 3 2 0 2 0 45(1) 3
4 MF England John Eustace 26 5 2 1 2 0 30 6
6 DF England Clint Hill 9(3) 0 0 0 0 0 9(3) 0
7 FW England Carl Asaba 26(11) 8 2 0 1 0 29(11) 8
8 FW England Chris Greenacre 8(5) 2 1(1) 0 1 0 10(6) 2
9 FW England Gifton Noel-Williams 40(2) 10 1 0 1 0 42(2) 10
10 FW Nigeria Ade Akinbiyi 23(7) 10 1 0 0(1) 0 24(8) 10
11 MF Netherlands Peter Hoekstra 20(4) 4 1(1) 0 1 0 22(5) 4
12 GK England Neil Cutler 9(4) 0 2 0 1 0 12(4) 0
14 GK England Ben Foster 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
15 FW Scotland Chris Iwelumo 3(6) 0 0(1) 0 1(1) 1 4(8) 1
15 MF Iceland Brynjar Gunnarsson 1(2) 0 0 0 0 0 1(2) 0
16 DF England Marcus Hall 34(1) 0 1 0 2 0 37(1) 0
17 MF England Darel Russell 46 4 2 0 2 0 50 4
18 MF England Lewis Neal 6(13) 1 1 0 1(1) 0 8(14) 1
19 FW England Marc Goodfellow 0(4) 0 0 0 2 1 2(4) 1
20 MF Republic of Ireland Keith Andrews 16 0 0 0 0 0 16 0
21 MF Iceland Pétur Marteinsson 3 0 0 0 0 0 3 0
21 MF England John Halls 34 0 2 0 0 0 36 0
22 MF England Brian Wilson 0(2) 0 0 0 0(1) 0 0(3) 0
23 MF England Karl Henry 14(6) 0 0 0 1 0 15(6) 0
24 MF Scotland Kris Commons 14(19) 4 0(1) 0 0(2) 0 14(22) 4
25 DF Wales Gareth Owen 1(2) 0 0 0 0 0 1(2) 0
26 DF England Ryan Hutchinson 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
27 FW England Laurence Hall 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
28 DF England Andy Wilkinson 1(2) 0 0 0 1 0 2(2) 0
29 MF England Paul Williams 16(3) 0 0 0 1 0 17(3) 0
30 FW England Jermaine Palmer 0(3) 0 0 0 0 0 3 0
31 DF England Frazer Richardson 6 1 0 0 0 0 6 1
32 DF Northern Ireland Gerry Taggart 21 2 0 0 0 0 21 2
33 DF Denmark Sebastian Svärd 9(4) 1 1 0 0 0 10(4) 1
35 DF Australia Richard Johnson 3(4) 0 1(1) 0 0 0 4(5) 0

Reserves[edit]

Stoke's Reserves won the 2003–04 Pontins Holidays Reserve League.

Match Date Opponent Venue Result
1 20 August 2003 Bradford City A 2–1
2 27 August 2003 Sheffield United H 2–1
3 10 September 2003 Huddersfield Town H 2–2
4 22 September 2003 Walsall A 2–4
5 8 October 2003 Rotherham United A 2–3
6 22 October 2003 Hull City H 2–2
7 29 October 2003 Preston North End H 1–4
8 19 November 2003 Barnsley H 5–0
9 26 November 2003 Sheffield Wednesday A 4–1
10 10 December 2003 Burnley H 2–0
11 7 January 2004 Tranmere Rovers A 2–1
12 14 January 2004 Sheffield United A 1–0
13 11 February 2004 Hull City A 1–2
14 16 February 2004 Preston North End A 1–1
15 10 March 2004 Bradford City H 2–0
16 17 March 2004 Walsall H 1–1
17 24 March 2004 Huddersfield Town A 3–2
18 29 March 2004 Tranmere Rovers H 2–3
19 7 April 2004 Barnsley A 2–1
20 14 April 2004 Sheffield Wednesday H 1–0
21 28 April 2004 Burnley A 2–1
22 5 May 2004 Rotherham United H 2–0

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Stoke City season review 2003-04 Stoke recover well to enjoy season of consolidation". The Sentinel. 19 May 2004. 
  2. ^ "Stoke 3-0 Reading". BBC Sport. Retrieved 2 September 2012.