BREK SHEA marked his first appearance in Stoke City colours with a goal in the behind-closed-doors encounter with Burnley at the Britannia Stadium.
The United States international, who completed a deadline day move from MLS side FC Dallas, netted a second half header as the Potters hit back after falling two goals behind in the first period to The Clarets in the reserve match on Tuesday afternoon.
Shea was one of a number of key figures who featured in a strong City side alongside the likes of Michael Owen, Charlie Adam and Wilson Palacios, while Marc Wilson took another step along the comeback trail by completing the entire 90 minutes.
Both Shea and Wilson operated down the left hand side of the City line-up as they aimed to prove their fitness ahead of next week’s trip to Fulham.
The fact that both players came through the match unscathed and turned in strong displays is a boost to manager Tony Pulis ahed of that next outing.
Burnley also fielded a strong side with former Potter Martin Paterson and Wales international Sam Vokes leading the line for the Championship club, while first-teamers Brian Stock, Marvin Bartley and January signing Dane Richards also started.
After a slow start to the match, Burnley took the lead after a wayward Owen back-pass went straight to Paterson who dribbled the ball into the box and forced Sorensen out of his goal. He then set-up strike partner Vokes, who had the simple task of sidefooting the ball into an empty net from twelve yards to give the visitors an 18th minute lead.
Vokes got his and Burnley’s second just five minutes later with a powerful header from a corner as he outjumped the Stoke defence. Sorensen managed to get a hand to the ball, but could only push it against the crossbar as the ball crossed the line.
Under-21s defender Ben Heneghan came close to getting a goal back for City, but Clarets ‘keeper Brian Jensen did well to stop his goalbound header and the veteran ‘keeper kept out Adam’s driven free-kick just before the break.
City were much improved in the second-half and managed to get on the score-sheet through debutant Shea. The tall left winger, who looked lively throughout the match, met Adam’s corner and placed his header into the bottom corner of the net.
Adam and Shea then fired wide as Stoke searched for an equaliser, but couldn’t break down a Burnley side which held on to claim a 2-1 victory.
But the impressive display of Shea on his return from a long injury lay-off will excite Potters fans with the winger making lots of neat touches and powerful runs, so supporters will be hoping to see the new signing in first team action in the coming weeks.
City: Sorensen, Lund, Palacios, Heneghan, Wilson, Pennant, Adam, Whitehead, Shea, Owen, Sidibe
Burnley XI: Jensen, O’Neill, Coleman, Long, Mills, Bartley, Stock, Richards, Vokes, Paterson, Howieson