Britannia History Season 00/01

By Rob Stanway
Last updated : 02 February 2005
YEAR - 2000/01

As Stoke started their first full season under the Icelanders, the feel about the club was much better than for a long time. The promise of promotion and glory was in the air. Port Vale had been relegated and it was time to show them who was the best team in the potteries.

Nuneaton - Non League outfit, sneaked through in the FA cup after embarrassing performances left Stoke out of the FA Cup in the first round.

A tremendous cup run saw an eventual fifth round exit of the Worthington cup to Liverpool, losing 8-0, a stadium record, in front of a sell out crowd of 27,500 – Our biggest attendance for the Britannia Stadium at the time. Some Stoke fans left the stadium early in disgust but the real Stoke fans were having none, embarrassing the moaners with a "time to go" chant which echoed round the ground. We were staying whatever the outcome. At the end of the game the team, despite the potentially humiliating result, were applauded off as heroes and songs were sung around the Britannia Stadium as fans showed their support and appreciation of the fantastic cup run and the really good night everyone had. A Sky Sports presenter ‘Hells Bells’ was at the match and she then wrote a column for the Sunday People newspaper which really made you feel proud to be a Stoke fan.
Stoke were steady and put together some good runs, but lost to low-table opposition. We went into the playoffs 5th after sneaking above Wigan and faced Walsall (the promoted side) In the playoffs. For the second successive season Stoke went away disappointed. Fans watched the screen at the Britannia again and again, went home facing another season of Division Two football. Graham Kavanagh scored an amazing volley to silence the Walsall fans but it was too early in the match, and Walsall fought back into it. A one-off mistake by Gavin Ward saw Stoke decline until it was out of their reach.

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