STOKE CITY’S participation in this season’s Checkatrade Trophy came to an end at the bet365 on Tuesday evening despite chalking up their first points of their group stage in a 1-1 draw with Bury.
The Potters needed to overcome their League One opposition by three clear goals to keep alive their hopes of qualifying through to the knockout stages.
However, despite the inclusion of five first-team players, the hosts were unable to do that - ultimately requiring penalties to see off the stubborn Shakers.
As has been the case in the two previous fixtures in the competition, Glyn Hodges’ side were left to rue several missed opportunities both prior to and following the break as they looked to gain the upperhand in the encounter.
Academy starlets Julien Ngoy and Premier League 2 Player of the Month contender Thibaud Verlinden spurned clear cut chances to break the deadlock, whilst Giannelli Imbula fizzed an effort wide.
The opening stages passed by without many chances created, with good interplay between Bojan and Julien Ngoy creating the only real opening, but the Belgian couldn’t get his shot away on goal.
19 minutes in, Stoke lost possession in the back-four area and James Vaughn sent a curling effort towards the right-hand corner, only to see it tipped round the post by Jakob Haugaard.
Moments later Julien Ngoy beat his full-back and drove into the box but could only fire his effort over Ben Williams’ right-hand post.
On the 25 minute mark Gianelli Imbula had his first opportunity to drive forward and did so, and after beating his man he played in Bojan but Williams was out quickly to save his effort.
Just before half-time the visitors nearly took the lead, Danny Mayor’s corner was diverted towards goal but crept just wide.
That was the last action of the half with both sides struggling to stamp any real authority on the tie.
The first chance of the second half went to the Potters as Edwards whipped a cross towards the back post but Thibaud Verlinden could only head over from six yards.
It was the visitors who took the lead in the 69th minute after good build up play allowed George Miller to hit a shot across goal which trickled past Haugaard and into the right-hand corner of the net.
The Potters levelled with five minutes to go when Crouch headed down a cross from the right which Bojan converted from a tight angle.
That brought the 90 minutes to an end but penalties was required to see who claimed the bonus point for victory.
Haugaard, who was impressive on the night, saved Bury’s first two penalties from Tutte and Danns in spectacular fashion whilst Tom Edwards netted for the Potters to put them 1-0 up after four spot-kicks.
The next five penalties were scored by Tyrese Campbell and Julien Ngoy for the hosts whilst Dudley, Key and Tom Soares netted for the visitors leaving Joel Taylor with an opportunity to win it which he did, sending Williams the wrong way.
STOKE CITY: Haugaard; Edwards, Banks, Muniesa, Taylor, Lecygne, Imbula, Verlinden (Campbell, 80), Bojan, Ngoy, Crouch.Subs Not Used: Isted, Shenton, Jarvis, Sweeney, Molina, McJannet.
BURY: Williams; Danns, Kay, Maher, Leigh, Mayor, Tutte, Melli (Soares, 80), Walker, Hope (Dudley, 85), Vaughan.Subs Not Used: Rachubka,Burgees, Miller, Bedeau.