Sport Mark Schwarzer

The Premier League have released an official list of those out of contract

Pulis loan stars can help Stoke reach the promised land

Potters manager shrugs off criticism to insist points make prizes

Colchester United 0 Stoke City 1: Cresswell puts Stoke within sight of top flight

There was nostalgia and sentiment aplenty at Layer Road for this, Colchester United's last game at the stadium ahead of their move to a new home in the summer. However, it all seemed a little much for one Stoke City player after the game. "It was more like a village fête out there when we were trying to warm up before the game," he remarked. "It was a little off-putting." He had a point.

Championship round-up: Bulls eye a higher level as Johnson stings the Bees

On a day that promised to see many promotion and relegation issues settled, only Hereford of League Two were left celebrating. Their 3-0 win at Brentford, Gary Hooper, Theo Robinson and Simon Johnson scoring, and Stockport County's 2-1 defeat at Barnet saw the Bulls join champions Milton Keynes Dons and Peterborough United in taking a step up. For the rest, it means a tense final weekend to come.

Stoke City 2 Bristol City 1: Pottermouth's clarion call heeded by Sidibe

It may have barely been audible over the Britannia Stadium PA system but "Pottermouth's battle cry" says it all about Stoke's push for the Premier League and can also serve as a useful guide to the feature writers who are likely to descend on the Potteries over the next couple of weeks.

Stoke City 1 Crystal Palace 2: Fonte spoils Stoke's shot at the top

Topsy-turvy as ever, the Championship promotion race took another unexpected turn last night to leave Crystal Palace, rather than Stoke City, celebrating a major breakthrough.

Norwich City 0 Stoke City 1: High-flying Sidibe helps stuttering Stoke mind the gap</B>

Last October, Mamady Sidibe was nearly killed on the football pitch. The 28-year-old suffered severed veins in his right arm after being attacked by an angry mob of Togo fans while playing for his native Mali in an African Nations Cup qualifier. Last night, the striker breathed new life into Stoke's promotion campaign by scoring the winner in a less than convincing performance at Carrow Road.

Queen's Park Rangers 3 Stoke City 0: Leigertwood sinks Stoke to give QPR hope of resurgence

Stoke City missed the chance to go back on top of the Championship when they suffered their worst defeat of the season, against a rampant Queen's Park Rangers. The Loftus Road team have now beaten all of the top three in the division since Christmas, yet remain eight points from both the play-off positions and the relegation zone. "We need to acquire the mentality to face the teams lower in the same way as we face the top teams," Luigi De Canio, the QPR manager, said.

Stoke City 1 Ipswich Town 0: Lawrence converts detractors to big idea

Having spent much of the campaign fending off criticism from opposition managers, who have a habit of staring down at the desk in the press room at the Britannia Stadium and shaking their heads after their teams have been asked to defend set pieces and long balls, the Stoke midfielder Liam Lawrence thinks that teams in the Championship have a new-found respect for the division's leaders.

Stoke City 3 Southampton 2: Stoke's charge unhindered by John double

Three goals from corners in 19 first-half minutes have lifted Stoke City another place towards regaining the top-flight status they last occupied in 1985. There wasn't much to spare at the end of an exhilarating contest, though, as Southampton compensated for their inadequate defending by producing a comeback of such intensity that it could have salvaged a point or even three.

Charlton Athletic 1 Stoke City 0: Sam's late flourish at Valley ends Stoke's 12-game streak

Andy Gray, given his full debut after arriving from Burnley for £1.5m, produced all the class up front for which Charlton's manager Alan Pardew had been hoping last night – but when it came to producing the cutting edge, Lloyd Sam was the man.

Stoke City 3, Preston North End 1: Shawcross and Cort duel gives Stoke unorthodox edge

Stoke's manager, Tony Pulis, has not yet found a striker to beef up the club's promotion challenge but may not have to if his defenders continue to plunder goals. After Leon Cort had headed his fifth and sixth of the season as Stoke moved to within a point of the top two, his fellow centre-back Ryan Shawcross revealed there was money riding on who would be first to double figures.

The fine art of croquet

The sight of John Prescott wielding his mallet at Dorneywood raised a few eyebrows. But behind the game's elitist image is one of the few sports Britain excels at, writes Matthew Beard

UK jobless rate hits highest level in four years

The number of people out of work in Britain has risen, pushing the unemployment rate to a four-year high. Measured by international standards, the number of unemployed rose to 1.59 million in the first three months of the year, up 44,000 over the quarter and 177,000 compared with a year ago.

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