Stoke City Under-21s 2 (Shea 26, Thomas, 44, Shea sent off 90)
Reading Under-21s 0
STOKE CITY'S Under-21 side recorded a comfortable 2-0 victory over Reading at the Weaver Stadium on Friday night.
First half goals from Brek Shea and Adam Thomas were enough to seal victory for the Potters who were the dominate team throughout.
The game was to end on a sour note for Stoke however as Brek Shea was dismissed for an off the ball incident in the final minute of additional time.
It was the visitors who started the brighter and almost took the lead after nine minutes. Stoke allowed the Reading attacker to cut inside from a short throw and he curled an effort towards the top corner which Daniel Bachmann managed to tip over the bar.
The Potters had a chance of their own down the other end when Maurice Edu linked up well with Kevin Gomez down the left but after the former’s cross was parried by the ‘keeper, no City player was able to pounce on the opening.
It wasn’t long before Stoke took the lead though after a fine passage of play. The ball was worked down the right before being played into the feet of James Alabi and the striker laid it into the path of Shea who curled his effort into the top left-hand corner.
Reading replied almost immediately when the Potters could only clear their lines from a corner to the edge-of-the-area and Aaron Kuhl unleashed a ferocious shot that Bachmann did well to push away to safety.
Stoke were becoming the dominate side as the half wore on and went close through Karim Rossi when the winger was played in down the left by Maurice Edu but he fired wide at Jonathan Henley’s near post.
Elliot Wheeler was next to try his luck for the hosts but his long-range effort went just over, before Edu fired over when the midfielder had time and space inside the box.
It wasn’t long though before the Potters scored a deserved second a minute before the break. The lively Rossi drove the ball low and hard into the box and Adam Thomas clinically finished from close range.
Glyn Hodges’ side started the second half brightly and nearly grabbed a third but Alabi’s effort was turned round the post by the Reading keeper.
Stoke almost let the visitors back into it moments later when a heavy back-pass could only be half cleared by Bachmann before Lawson D’Ath latched onto the ball and played in Gozie Ugwu who fired just over.
James Alabi was a constant threat for Stoke and the striker was unfortunate not to get his name on the scoresheet when he raced down the left and unleashed a low drive which the keeper turned away for a corner.
The Potters maintained their dominance throughout the second period and had chances to make it three before the end. Mason Watkins narrowly headed over from a deep free-kick, before Elliot Wheeler saw his low shot from the edge-of-the-box well saved by Henly.
Stoke City: Bachmann, Wheeler, Gomez, Edu, O’Reilly, Watkins, Thomas, Ness, Alabi, Shea, Rossi. Subs (Not Used): Eve, Grant, Keane, Ward, Richards.
Reading: Henly, Long (Kelly, 73), Griffin, Tshibola, Keown, Cooper, Stacey, Kuhl, Ugwu (Cardwell, 64), D’Ath (Murombedzi, 77), Fosu-Henry. Subs (Not Used): Sweeney, Moore.