STOKE CITY'S Under-21s were given a rude awakening in their opening game of the new season against FA Youth Cup holders Norwich City yesterday.
Glyn Hodges' side went down 4-1 to the Canaries at their Colney training ground, who included captain Sebastien Bassong, Luciano Becchio and former Potter Carlo Nash in their team.
Scores had remained level at the break with both George Waring and James Alabi testing Nash early on before the home side responded in emphatic fashion.
A goal from Jamar Loza was sandwiched by efforts from twins Josh and Jacob Murphy, whilst Alex Grant also inadvertently put the ball past Dale Eve in the City goal.
Alabi netted a late consolation for Stoke, who welcome Arsenal next for the opening home fixture of the 2013/14 calendar.
Next Monday evening's game takes place at Nantwich Town's Weaver Stadium, with a kick off time of 7.00pm.
NORWICH CITY: Nash; McNeil, Gafaiti, Bassong (Barker 64), Toffolo; McGeehan, Butterfield; Jacob Murphy, Loza (Hall-Johnson 90), Josh Murphy; Becchio (Morris 70). Subs (Not Used): Matthews, Hodd.
STOKE CITY: Eve; Glasgow, Keane, Grant, Campbell (Watkins 59); Thomas, Wheeler, Ward, Alabi; Rossi (Richards 88), Waring. Subs (Not Used): Kurasik, Heneghan, Lecygne.
* The Under-18s, meanwhile, begin their campaign with an away game at Fulham this Saturday following a 2-1 win over Millwall in their final warm-up match.