STOKE CITY'S Under-21s will be hoping to round off their productive week-long stay at Moulton College with a good performance against Northampton Town on Saturday.
Both the Under-21 squad and the Under-18s have spent the week in Northampton as part of their pre-season preparations.
And whilst they slipped to a 3-2 defeat against a strong Watford side at the Hornets' London Colney training ground yesterday, they have continued to improve their fitness levels and gain vital match minutes under their belts.
Derice Richards and Adam Thomas were on the scoresheet for the Potters whilst winger Jermaine Pennant played the first 45 minutes of the encounter.
"We faced a stronger than anticipated level of opposition but it was a useful exercise," Academy Director Dave Wright told stokecityfc.com.
"A few members of Watford's first team took part in it for Gianfranco Zola so it was a good test for our boys.
"Now they'll go up a level again against Northampton Town on Saturday and it'll be fantastic for the boys to see what level they're at ability wise.
"It also gives us an idea as to who is performing well and an opportunity to get our heads around what the teams could be for the start of the season."
Glyn Hodges' side face the Cobblers' first team at the Sixfields Stadium (kick off 3.00pm) with matchday entry priced at £10 for adults, £8 for senior citizens, £4 for under-18s and free admission for under 7s.
* John Perkins' Under-18s side drew 1-1 with their Watford counterparts, Yusuf Coban getting Stoke's goal. They play Tamworth at the Lamb Ground, also on Saturday at 3.00pm.