A terrifyingly difficult Stoke City quiz to make you appreciate a football-free Saturday


It was a day for Stoke City that we would all rather forget.

So apologies… but this is why it is particularly testing. That and it was in the middle of a short period when there seemed to be so many different names appearing on the teamsheet from week to week.

There was one game at Bury when some fans genuinely didn’t know who a player was who was named up front.

And there was this one at Oxford United – on this day in 1998 – that only lives on in our nightmares.

It finished 5-1 to the hosts at the old Manor Ground, with two goals apiece for Matt Murphy and Stockport cult hero Kevin France and another for Joey Beauchamp.

So, you see, some Saturdays are better without football.

See how many of the team from that day you can recall. We have given you a clue with their initials. And there will still, we are sure, be some players who have been consigned far away from your memory.

Ian Bayley wrote in The Sentinel: “Once again Stoke had reason to curse the very existence of the dreaded number seven.

“It was seven goals against Birmingham in January, and seven dreadful minutes to get seven bells knocked out of them at the Manor Ground on Saturday.

“Naturally, it was a player wearing the number seven shirt – Oxford’s two-goal Matt Murphy – who set them on the road to further misery.

“And seven might yet have another significant part to play before the season is over. It could be the number of matches City play before impending relegation is confirmed.

“The way they are going the eighth and final remaining fixture at home to fellow strugglers Manchester City on May 3, pencilled in by many increasingly despairing fans as a last-gasp escape route, may be nothing more than an opportune chance to throw a farewell party for Division One.

“Stoke are in desperate straights and Chris Kamara is running short on time.

“The manager was forced to endure his worst defeat yet as Oxford continued their improvement under new boss Malcolm Shotton, and if there was any comfort to be taken from a summary thrashing Kamara found it close at hand.”

The faces on the Stoke City bench said it all as the club spiralled closer to relegation.

Kamara said: “Oxford have worked up a head of steam recently and we have got to try and do the same. There are still 24 points to play for and we have got to believe we are still capable of getting out of this even though we are down at the moment in our current position.

“I am an enthusiast for the game and if I can stand on the touchline and watch my players battle and scrap I am right behind them.

“But when they perform like this I just sit down and my stomach turns over. It is not nice to see.”

Oxford United: Whitehead, Gilchrist, Robinson, Davis, Marsh, Beauchamp, Cook (Powell, 71), Gray, Smith, Murphy (Banger, 71), Francis. Not used: Wilsterman.

Attendance: 7,300





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