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OFFICIAL club website of stoke city

A Fantastic Double

STOKE CITY'S Under-18 side hit four goals against Liverpool for the second time this season as they ran out emphatic winners at the Britannia Stadium on Wednesday evening.

The Potters thoroughly deserved the three points, and their Merseyside opponents will be sick of the sight of Stoke, who also won the away fixture 4-1 only four weeks ago.

John Perkins' side stepped up to the occasion of playing at the Britannia Stadium and took an early lead through George Waring before Jake Cook doubled their advantage.

Waring scored his second after half-time before his strike partner, Marcel Barrington, made it 4-0 to complete the rout and delight the crowd which had turned up to see the youngsters.

The Potters started brightly and had the first shot of the game through Peter Makrillos, but his attempted lob went just over the bar. However, they did open the scoring inside just two minutes through Waring.

The tall striker lost his man in the box to meet Makrillos' halfway line free-kick, and fire past the Liverpool goalkeeper with a well-taken, first-time finish.

The goal seemed to spark the visitors to life and they started to come into the game, with Alex O'Hanlon only denied by a great save from Stoke 'keeper Dale Eve.

Cook and Ollie Shenton both saw goalbound shots blocked before the former doubled the home sides advantage 26 minutes in. Reds 'keeper Ryan Fulton failed to deal with a cross when challenged by Waring and the ball fell to Cook, who showed great composure in the box to take a touch and fire his shot into the net.

Centre-back Ed Sanders made a great block to deny Cameron Brannagan's shot, and Mason Watkins-Clarke put in a crunching tackle to stop a dangerous Liverpool breakaway.

Jerome Sinclair then fired a powerful drive at Eve, which the Potters captain kept out well, and he was alert again soon after to stop an attempted lob and ensure his side went into the break 2-0 up.

Liverpool started the second half brighter and Watkins-Clarke blocked a shot before Eve was called into action to deny Sinclair. Charlie Ward fired just wide for Stoke and the Potters had further shots on goal through Kris Scott and Joe Hulme.

But they did eventually manage to extend their lead on the hour mark when Waring ran onto a ball over the top from Cook. The striker took the ball into the box and fired a powerful shot underneath the Liverpool 'keeper, for his third goal in two Stoke appearances.

Reds right-back Yalany Baio came close to scoring what would have been the goal of the game, but his 30-yard volley cannoned off the crossbar, and Stoke went down the other end and scored just a minute later.

Barrington was played through one-on-one and he rounded the keeper before firing in from the edge of the penalty to claim his second goal in as many matches.

Eve pulled off a brilliant save in stoppage-time with a strong right hand to prevent the visitors from scoring a consolation goal and, more importantly, keep his side's deserved clean sheet.

Two successive victories for John Perkins' side mean that they have leapfrogged Liverpool and now occupy third place in the Barclays Under-18 Premier League Group One table.

Stoke City: Eve; Watkins-Clarke, Sanders, Hulme; Cook (Westley, 75), Makrillos, Ward, Shenton; Scott (Lecygne, 80); Barrington, Waring (Ricketts-Hopkinson, 78)

Liverpool: Fulton; Baio, Whelan, Cleary, Maguire; Brannagan, Rossiter; Kent (Robles, 80), Smith, O'Hanlon; Sinclair

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