Wolverhampton Wanderers Under-18s 1 (Smith, 44)
Stoke City Under-18s 1 (Coban, 13)
STOKE CITY'S Under-18s battled to a hard earned point against Wolverhampton Wanderers at the Sir Jack Hayward training ground on Saturday morning.
Yusuf Coban grabbed his third goal in as many games for Stoke when he opened the scoring before his effort was cancelled out in the final minute of the first half by PJ Smith.
Neither side could fashion a real opening in the second period and had to settle for a 1-1 draw.
Wolves made a positive start to proceedings and almost grabbed the lead in the first minute but Ibrahim Kuta fired just wide of Dominic Kursaik’s post.
The Potters soon got into their stride and Eddy Lecygne fired over from a free-kick before the visitors went ahead after 13 minutes.
The ball broke for Yusuf Coban midway inside the opposition half and the striker drove forward down the right before cutting inside and firing into the bottom right-hand corner to leave the ‘keeper with no chance.
Lecygne was next to try his luck for City when Joel Taylor laid the ball off to the midfielder and he fired just over from 30 yards.
Wolves came into the game as the half wore on and almost levelled through Kuta. First the striker was expertly denied by Kursaik before he headed over from Cieron Keane’s cross.
The hosts didn’t have to wait much longer to equalise. Smith turned his marker just outside the box before seeing his effort hit the post and cross the line in the 44th minute.
Wanderers started the second period brightly and were denied from taking the lead by Kursaik who pushed Tom Hill’s 20-yard shot away to safety.
Minutes later Ashley Carter fired a 25-yard free-kick well before he went close with a header which was comfortably dealt with by Kursaik as the hosts gained the upper hand in a scrappy half.
City’s keeper was once more tested on 69 minutes when he got down well to push Dylam Stringer- Moth’s shot round his near post for a corner.
The Potters could have snatched all three points in the final few minutes when substitute Charles Weston-Hayles seemed to have been clipped inside box by the retreating defender but their appeals were turned down by the referee.
Stoke City: Kursaik, Cook, Pickerill, Monlouis, Sanders, Edwards, Shields (Weston-Hayles, 77’), Lecygne, Coban, Shenton (Pringle, 67’), Taylor.
Wolverhampton Wanderers: Dutton, Rainey, O’Hanlon, Weeks, Wagner, Carter, Smith, Hill, Kuta, Stringer-Moth, Keane.