It hasn't been pretty but what football that has been played, has been played by ourselves. In the battle of the long ball merchants, Pulis has so far stayed true to type, whilst we have tried to play it through midfield much more.
First off, the goal, which was superb. Vav Te ran at defenders, pushing them back on the heels, and then slipped in a brilliant reverse pass to Collison, who did what he does best, finding space in the box Lampard style. His positioning was superb and his finishing even better, keeping his head as he controlled it and buried it in the far corner.
Of course, it was superb irony that saw Vaz Te and Collison combine for the goal as both were only on the pitch because of injuries to Allardyce's first choices. If anybody can explain why Taylor starts ahead of Collison, I would love to hear the explanation. Apart from the fact that Taylor is an ex Bolton man of course!
Defensively we have been very impressive so far, helped hugely by the absence of Matty Etherington. It's dangerous to suggest that his replacement has been pretty hopeless so far, so I'm not going to. He is just waiting for Demel to tire and for Pogatetz to come on no doubt!
Jarvis has been equally quiet as Kightly, Carroll missed a sitter from a delicious cross from Demel and Collins very nearly netted with a superb headed that narrowly went over the bar.
IF we can hold on it will be three huge points. But it is a big if as Stoke must improve second half.