STOKE CITY 1 (Richards 19)
ASTON VILLA 3 (Robinson 5, 12, Burke 90)
STOKE CITY’S Under-21s suffered a 3-1 defeat to Aston Villa at the Weaver Stadium this afternoon.
A brace from Calum Robinson in the opening twelve minutes saw the visitors surge into a comfortable lead but Derice Richards pulled one back to give the Potters a hope of an equaliser.
They did find the back of the net when Kevin Gomez lobbed an intended back-pass to the Villa keeper over him and into the net but the referee ruled out the freak goal in the interests of fair play.
Robinson could notched a hat-trick for the visitors but Graham Burke did go on to find a third in the final moments.
It was a disastrous start for the Potters who went behind in the fifth minute following a mistake by Daniel Bachmann.
He received a back pass from the right and miskicked two attempted clearances to gift Robinson the chance to prod in for two yards out.
He then made it two when he pounced on a ball played into the box to fire low and hard pass Bachmann from twelve yards out.
City responded and Richards smashed the ball home from close range shortly after when Villa failed to deal with a cross into the box from the left wing.
Moli, on at the break for Jake Cook, then latched onto a ball from the right flank to hit a first time volley at goal with keeper Bradley Watkins saving well.
Robinson could have earned his hat-trick in the 57th minute, but having been put through on goal he could only race on and poke the ball the wrong side of the post.
That prompted another response from Stoke and the hosts went straight up the other end with Moli vollying at Watkins at the far post following a spill from the keeper, albeit with the flag up for offside.
Bachmann then had to be alert to pat down a speculative long range attempt from Burke as play began to stretch at the hour mark.
Laughter emanated from the main stand on 63 as Kevin Gomez put the referee in a predicament when his ball back to the Villa keeper following an injury looped over him and into the back of the net via the post.
Whilst the goal would have stood under many circumstances, the referee smiled, called the play back and ordered him to return it back again to maintain fair play.
Robinson fired wide of the post again as he continued his search of his third of the game on 78, before Moli diverted a dangerous Gomez cross over the bar from 15 yards at the other end.
Ryan O’Reilly then had to clear an effort off the line from Burke before Daniel Johnson blazed wide shortly after.
Burke did get on the scoresheet at the death though when he drilled past Bachmann from ten yards out after good work from Robinson.
Stoke City: Bachmann, Wheeler, Gomez, Ward, Heneghan (O’Reilly 72), Watkins-Clark, Cook (Moli 46), Lecygne, Skapetis, Richards, Taylor (Monlouis 63). Subs: Eve, Sanders, O’Reilly.
Aston Villa: Watkins, Webb, Wildin, Stieber, Donacien, Lewis, R Strain (Sellars 46), Burke, Robinson, Johnson, Graham Subs: O’Brien, Hill, T Strain, McKirdy.