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OFFICIAL club website of stoke city

Boenisch Shines In Draw At Yeovil


SEBASTIAN BOENISCH did his chances of earning an extended stay with Stoke City no harm whatsoever by featuring prominently in the pre-season draw with League One outfit Yeovil Town at Huish Park on Tuesday evening.

The Polish international defender, who joined the Potters on trial this week, set up the second half equaliser for Kenwyne Jones to cap an impressive performance after he had made his debut in the game at Torquay 24 hours earlier.

Boenisch ventured forward on the overlap to deliver an excellent far post cross that was met by a trademark header from Jones to cancel out the goal which Yeovil had scored from the penalty spot three minutes after the break.

The former Werder Bremen player had also made his mark going forward in the first half by forcing an outstanding save out of Marek Stech with a 25-yard drive, one of a number of chances created by City in the opening period.

They did, however, fall behind early in the second half when captain Ryan Shawcross was adjudged to have impeded Byron Webster as they challenged for a corner, giving Reuben Reid the opportunity to score from the spot.

Having played just 24 hours earlier, it was hardly surprising that Pulis made one or two changes to his starting line-up, although it still bore a strong resemblance to the side that had begun the game at Plainmoor on Monday evening.

Begovic, who had a spell at Yeovil on loan earlier in his career, was preferred in goal to Sorensen, while Whitehead and Jones were brought into the side, the latter in place of the injured Crouch who was nursing a hip problem.

As they had done at Torquay, City carved out the better openings in the early stages of the game with Etherington featuring prominently.

It was the winger's low cross from the left which caused the first problem for the home defence, but although Jones opted to step over the ball, Hinds was alert to the danger and managed to clear to safety with Shotton hovering at the far post.

Etherington then threaded a pass through to the advancing Walters who tried to pick out the incoming Shotton but once again Yeovil managed to prevent him from taking advantage of the opportunity on the edge of the six yard box.

City then put the home side under intense pressure with a succession of corners whipped into the box by Etherington from the right, but they weathered that storm thanks to the commanding presence of Stech and Webster.

There was little respite for Yeovil, however, as Walters burst down the left again and sent over a cross which was headed wide by Shotton.

With Huth in hospital and Crouch sidelined, there was another concern on the half hour when Etherington was replaced by Ness, especially as the winger had made such a promising start to the game and had been involved in so many good moves.

Little had been seen of Yeovil as an attacking force up to this point, but they were awarded a free kick for a foul by Shawcross on the nimble-footed Ugwu. The resulting free kick was fiercely struck by Reid, but it flew well wide of the target.

Boenisch then almost made his mark on the second game of his trial period in stunning fashion as he unleashed a 25-yard thunderbolt with his right foot that appeared to be heading for the top corner until Stech got across to palm it over the bar.

The home supporters came to life when Ugwu got the better of Upson on a swift counter attack but his attempted pass to Reid went astray.

At the other end, a neat link-up between Whitehead and Ness allowed the former Rangers midfielder to send over a cross from the left and once again Shotton popped up on the edge of the six yard box, but his header was blocked.

The half finished with City going close again when Shotton found the time and space to unleash a low shot which caused Stech some anxious moments as he dived low to his right, but the effort which skidded off a greasy surface flew wide.

Pulis made his second change of the night during the half-time break with Jerome coming on for Wilson, all of which meant that Shotton reverted to right back while Walters and Ness occupied the positions on either flank.

Within three minutes of the restart, Yeovil were handed the chance to go in front from the penalty spot when Shawcross was adjudged to have impeded Webster as he rose to head a right winger corner over the bar.

Reid took the spot kick and although Begovic went the right way in diving low to his left, he was unable to keep it out.

City had two opportunities to produce a swift response, firstly when Walters saw his near post header from a Whelan corner deflected wide of the upright and then when a speculative cross from Shotton hit the bar.

The equaliser came twelve minutes after the break when some fine work from Boenisch on the overlap teed up an inviting chance for Jones who did not disappoint as he rose to plant a trademark header past Stech.

Pulis then injected more fresh legs into the action with a like-for-like double substitution as Whelan and Whitehead made way for Palacios and Arismendi, but it was Yeovil who threatened to go back in front on the counter attack.

Hayter caused the concern for City as he stormed forward, but after cutting inside the chasing defenders, his low shot was rather tamely struck, although it required Begovic to get down smartly to his left to save.

Delap, Tonge and Higginbotham were all sent on as Pulis continued to ring the changes and give his squad players a taste of the action in the closing stages and it was while they were adjusting to those changes that McAllister seized the chance to venture forward and try an ambitious long range drive which failed to trouble Begovic.

It was a rare chance for either side in the closing stages as the game ended one apiece. 

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