Stoke City Under 21s 2015/16
Image by: Phil Greig
17:31 20th February 2016
U21s come from behind to bag a win against Albion...
STOKE CITY U21 - 2 (Waring, Telford)
WBA U21 - 1 (Nabi)
GEORGE WARING scored a goal and set up the winner as Stoke City Under-21s came from behind to beat West Brom 2-1 at Clayton Wood on Saturday.
His header just before the break cancelled out Samir Nabi’s early opener for the Baggies, and he played in Dom Telford to complete the turnaround in the second half to seal a second straight league success.
Both teams are looking to finish in the play-off positions in the league, and three points over their rivals has sent the Potters above West Brom in the table.
Glyn Hodges named an unchanged team from that victory at Newcastle last time out, with Waring leading the line and Eddy Lecygne starting in midfield after his loan spell at Doncaster Rovers.
City started brightly and Waring was instrumental in the game's opening chance, nodding down Mark Waddington’s cross for Ollie Shenton to head goalwards, but Jack Rose in the West Brom goal pushed it behind for a corner. Telford shot wide from the corner with less than five minutes on the clock.
Albion came back with a chance of their own, but Dan Gyollai was relatively untroubled by Nabi’s low effort.
Nabi did, however, open the scoring for West Brom on eight minutes as he capitalised on a slip in the wet conditions to get in on goal and fire past Gyollai to edge the Baggies in front.
City continued to have chances despite the early setback, with Telford putting a free-kick over before Waddington’s half-volley went just wide.
Gyollai was mostly a spectator as City went about getting an equaliser, but he had to be alert to deny Brad Sweeney from close range before punching the resulting corner clear.
He comfortably saved Robbie McCourt’s free-kick in a dangerous area a minute later as Mason Watkins-Clark was booked for a foul.
City were back on level terms seven minutes before the break, and the equaliser came from a flowing move that saw Waddington find Lewis Banks in space, and his first time cross was nodded in by Waring via the crossbar to draw the young Potters level.
Liam Edwards was also booked for a foul as the visitors broke, whilst Waddington had a shot saved just before the break as the sides went in level.
The Potters made a double change at the break, with the booked Watkins-Clark replaced by Johnville Pringle and Choulay came on for Sergio Molina.
Waring headed wide from 12 yards following Lecygne’s whipped cross from the right as both teams struggled to create chances.
Choulay used his skill to get past an Albion defender on the byline but he couldn't find Waring in the middle, whilst Telford had a shot blocked and Shenton fired wide just after the hour as City found some attacking rhythm.
And City bagged the goal that they had been pressing for on 65 minutes. Waring was instrumental as he turned his marker inside out, and although the crowd called for him to shoot, he squared to Telford who stroked home to give the Potters the crucial advantage.
Telford turned provider a minute later as he played Waddington in on goal behind the defence, but Rose saved well to deny Stoke a third.
West Brom were seeing more of the ball in dangerous areas as the 80 minute mark approached, but they were unable to create anything clear-cut as they went for an equaliser.
City found respite and Joel Taylor forced a save from Rose after bursting through midfield and shooting from distance.
It was the last save either keeper had to make as City restricted the visitors and held on for a win that consolidates their position in the play-off places in the Barclays Under-21 Premier League.
Stoke City Under-21: Gyollai, Banks (c), Taylor, Lecygne, Edwards, Watkins-Clark (sub Pringle 46), Molina (sub Choulay 46), Waddington, Waring, Shenton, Telford. Subs Not Used: Isted, Abdallah, Moseley