Blackburn Rovers Under-18s 1 (Callaway 33)
Stoke City Under-18s 1 (Adeloye 40)
STOKE CITY’S Under-18s earned a hard-fought point from their visit to the Blackburn Rovers Academy on Tuesday morning.
Stuart Callaway had given the hosts a fortuitous lead just past the half hour mark but Tomi Adeloye’s fifth goal in four games just before the break claimed a share of the spoils for the Potters.
City, however, will be disappointed not to have taken all three points from the encounter in sun drenched Lancashire after wasting a number of glorious chances throughout the game.
John Perkins’ side almost made the perfect start inside the opening 30 seconds of the contest when Derice Richards collected the ball from a quick throw-in and dragged his shot wide of the upright.
Stoke then had strong appeals for a penalty turned down in a frantic opening few minutes before Blackburn had a great opportunity to take the lead when Callaway was put through on goal but Dale Eve comfortably saved the striker’s close-range effort.
The Potters went right back down the other end and would have taken the lead in the 9th minute had it not been for a fantastic save from Andrew Fisher who tipped Adeloye’s goalbound effort onto his crossbar and away to safety.
The powerful forward could and really should have broken the deadlock midway through the first half when Joel Taylor pulled the ball back to the trialist but he was unable to fire past the Rovers ‘keeper despite having three bites of the cherry.
Eddy Lecygne then saw his 20-yard free kick sail over the bar for the visitors, before Jack Doyle fired a tame effort into the gloves of Eve from distance.
With their next attack though, the home side took the lead against the run of play when Callaway’s shot from the edge-of-the-are took a wicked deflection off defender Sam Coulson and wrong footed Eve to roll over his goalline.
City responded well however and after Lecygne had directed an effort off target, the Potters were back on level terms in the 40th minute.
After the ball was switched to Curtis Strong on the left, the Wales Under-19 international raced to the byline and pulled the ball back to the onrushing Adeloye who coolly slotted the ball home from two yards.
It proved to be the last meaningful action of the half and Stoke continued where they left off in the second period when Kieran Monlouis went narrowly close to bagging a rare goal on his 18th birthday after seeing a header cleared off the line, before the midfielder’s shot from just outside the box went narrowly wide.
Rovers improved as the half wore on and Eve had to be at his best to thwart Callaway from point-blank range with a superb one-handed save.
The Lancashire side then went close to retaking the lead through Remy Howarth but his shot from the right flashed across the face of goal, before City had opportunities at the opposite end to win the match in the dying moments.
Adeloye saw his appeals for a penalty waved away by the referee when he seemed to have been brought down inside the area, before he shot just wide from 25 yards in the final minute.
Blackburn Rovers: Fisher, Cameron, Edgar, Wharton, Nyambe, Hardcastle, Howarth, Doyle, Wall, Torres, Callaway.
Stoke City: Eve, Cook, Sanders(c), Coulson, Strong, Coban, Monlouis, Lecygne, Taylor, Richards, Adeloye.