A Worthwhile Exercise
A CLUTCH of Stoke City's first-team stars were given another valuable run-out today as they were part of a team that ran out comfortable 3-1 winners over Scunthorpe United in a behind-closed-doors friendly.
With no competitive fixture taking place over the weekend, manager Tony Pulis utilised the game at the Britannia Stadium for getting minutes under the belts of several players in and around the starting eleven ahead of Saturday's Barclays Premier League game at Fulham.
It was a chance of further run outs for Marc Wilson and Brek Shea following their respective injuries whilst the likes of Michael Owen, Charlie Adam and Dean Whitehead also had chance to sharpen up their match fitness.
And it was aforementioned midfielders who linked up for the Potters' first goal of the afternoon on 42 minutes. Adam's searching pass allowed Whitehead to run on and loop a header over the goalkeeper to open the scoring.
It was just reward for a positive opening half with Shea and Adam also going close to getting their names on the score-sheet.
Scunthorpe equalised just after the break, and whilst Cameron Jerome was pulled off on 27 minutes as a precaution following a knock to the knee, the rest of the outfield players lasted until the hour mark when they were withdrawn for players from the Under-21s.
Stoke added two further goals against the tiring legs of Scunthorpe to take the three points, with Adam Thomas heading home George Rigg's right wing cross at the back post to make it two, before Ed Sanders nodded in Jordan Richardson's 87th minute free kick to complete the scoring.
Stoke City XI (4-4-2): Nash; Palacios (Rigg 60), Jones (Heneghan 60), Sidibe (Sanders 60), Wilson (Westley 60); Pennant (Hall 60), Adam (Scott 60), Whitehead (Richardson 60), Shea (Thomas 60); Jerome (Alabi 27 (Musungu 81)), Owen (Rossi 60).