West Ham United Under-18s 1 (Martins 61)
Stoke City Under-18s 4 (Adeloye 26, 74, Sanders 70, Richards 90)
STOKE CITY'S Under-18s came away with an emphatic and thoroughly deserved 4-1 victory from their visit to the West Ham United Academy on Saturday afternoon.
In glorious sunshine in East London, John Perkins’ side shone from start to finish and rightfully took all three points back home to the Potteries courtesy of a superb brace by Tomi Adeloye and efforts from captain Ed Sanders and forward Derice Richards.
The result followed a creditable draw against high-flyers Everton last time out and the squad will be hoping to continue their recent upturn in fortunes when they welcome Leicester City to Clayton Wood next weekend.
Despite City going onto win the game quite comfortably in the end, it was the Hammers who started the brighter as Djair Parfitt-Williams forced Dale Eve into a great one-handed save from 18-yards, before Kieran Bywater was denied from opening the scoring by a fantastic clearance off the line from Wales Under-19 international Curtis Strong.
However, as soon as the Potters asserted a sustained period of pressure on the opposition goal they took the lead just past the midway point of the first half as Yusuf Coban headed a United clearance into the path of Adeloye and the powerful striker raced towards goal before coolly chipping the ball over the advancing ‘keeper.
From that moment onwards City were very much in control of the contest and Johnville Renee-Pringle went close to extending their advantage moments later but after weaving his way into the box from the right-flank, the midfielder screwed an effort just wide of the near post.
The home side did create a couple of opportunities either side of the interval to try and pull themselves level but Eve was more than a match for them in the City goal, however they were to find a route back into the game on the hour mark through fortunate circumstances.
Peter Makrillos was very harshly adjudged to have brought down a West Ham attacker on the corner of the 18-yard box and after Bywater whipped an inswinging cross into the area, Marcio Martins delicately flicked the ball into the far corner of the net.
It didn’t seem to affect the Potters too much though and they retook the lead minutes later when Sanders was on hand to head home from close range after Sam Coulson had seen his powerful header crash back off the crossbar.
City went from strength to strength thereafter and went further ahead on 74 minutes when the influential Adeloye grabbed his third goal in two games by skillfully sliding through the Hammers midfield and defence before smashing the ball into the goal from just inside the penalty area.
Eve was on hand to thwart Bywater seconds later as West Ham looked to pull a goal back before City went close to adding a fourth as Coban clipped the far post with a rasping drive from the corner of the box.
It was left to Richards to complete the rout for the Potters in the final minute when Coban crossed the ball to the 18-year-old, who opened up his body to clinically place the ball past the United keeper.
West Ham United: Howes, Pike (Diangana 75), Mavila, Nasha, Akinola, Onariase, Amoo, Makasi, Martins, Bywater, Parfitt-Williams (Hector-Ingrim 75). Unused: Parsons, Bailey, Borg.
Stoke City: Eve, Cook, Strong, Coulson, Sanders, Edwards, Coban, Makrillos, Adeloye, Richards, Renee-Pringle. Unused: Kurasik, Banks, Pickerill, Vassell, Roberts.