STOKE CITY'S Under-18s got back to winning ways at Clayton Wood on Saturday morning as they thrashed Newcastle United 4-1.
The Potters threw the form book out of the window after going into the game on the back of three straight defeats and without scoring a single goal, whilst the visitors had beaten league leaders Fulham last time out.
Stoke were the side who made the early running and were rewarded for their efforts on six minutes after a sublime passage of play.
Oliver Shenton found space midway inside the opposition half and picked out Joel Taylor with a delightful cross-field ball and the winger unleashed a powerful left-foot drive into the roof of the net from 15 yards.
Newcastle almost responded within three minutes but after Jordan Storrey was picked out with a fine pass, he was denied by the post from eight yards.
The home side almost extended their lead when Curtis Strong burst down the left before whipping a cross towards the six-yard box, but Eddy Lecygne couldn’t quite get enough on his effort to trouble Jonathan Mitchell in the Newcastle goal.
In a dominant half for the young Potters, Taylor was a constant threat and after cutting in from the left he laid the ball off to Shenton whose 25-yard shot was expertly tipped over by Mitchell.
From the resulting corner, Ed Sanders almost extended the lead. The ‘keeper misjudged the flight of the ball and the defender’s header looped towards goal before being cleared off the line.
John Perkins’ side didn’t have to wait much longer to make it two when good play down the left between Taylor and Strong released the latter, who whipped a cross into the near post and Newcastle captain Ryan McKinnon inadvertently poked into his own net.
Yusuf Coban made it three before the break and in the process extended his goalscoring form after notching in the Staffs Senior Cup game in midweek. The striker stole a yard on his marker to head home Lecygne’s deep free-kick.
Newcastle made a positive start to the second period as they looked for a way back into the game and McKinnon missed a great opportunity on 54 minutes when he evaded his marker from a corner but headed over from eight yards.
Stoke made it four on 60 minutes when Lecygne’s corner was headed into the ground at the far post by City captain Ed Sanders and over the line.
Ryan Shields was in the thick of the action moments later as he first forced Mitchell into a good save at his near post before narrowly heading off target when Strong’s cross slipped through the keeper’s gloves.
Newcastle’s Callum Roberts went close inside the final 10 minutes when he screwed an effort wide, before he grabbed a consolation for the away team after curling a 20-yard free-kick over the wall and past the outstretched arm of Dominic Kurasik.
Stoke City: Kurasik, Cook, Strong, Monlouis (O.Roberts, 77), Sanders (c), Hulme, Shields, Lecygne (Pringle, 61), Coban (Weston-Hayles, 74), Shenton, Taylor. Subs: Weston-Hayles, Pringle, Edwards, Douglas,O.Roberts.
Newcastle United: Mitchell, Morgan (Cobain, 69), Gibson (Hall, 45), Drennan, McKinnon (c), Cameron, Borlaser, Kemen (Laidler, 45),C.Roberts, Gilliead, Storrey. Subs: Cobain, Pearson, Hall, Laidler, Atkinson.