WOLVERHAMPTON WANDERERS U23s 1 - Armstrong 21
JULIEN N'GOY'S fourth consecutive Premier League 2 goal secured Stoke City U23s a share of the spoils against Wolverhampton Wanderers on Friday afternoon.
Dan Armstrong's opener for Wolves at the Potters' Clayton Wood training ground was quickly cancelled out by Belgian forward N'Goy's well-worked goal midway through the first period.
Both sides had opportunities to net a winner either side of the interval, but neither side could find one, meaning City extended their unbeaten run in the league to six games.
Despite City making the brighter start, it was the visitors who had the first shot of note when Christian Herc's 18-yard effort was comfortably saved by Harry Isted in the home goal.
The Potters soon started to create chances and it took a Harry Burgoyne stop to keep out Tyrese Campbell's attempted lob inside the area, before Lewis Banks' daisy cutter from distance flew narrowly wide.
Hodges' side were dealt a sucker punch on 21 minutes as the visitors took an undeserved lead. Connor Levingston was allowed time and space to unleash a shot from 20 yards which Isted did well to push away, only to see Armstrong fire in the rebound despite the best efforts of the City's keeper and Harry Souttar.
The hosts responded superbly to the setback, just as they had done in recent PL2 matches, and three minutes later draw level when Ryan Hill's throughball was superbly controlled by N'Goy who proceeded to fire into the back of the net from close range.
The Potters were the team in the ascendancy following their equaliser, however the Wolves backline remained resolute for the remainder of the half, which included 'keeper Burgoyne who got down well at his near post to deny N'Goy who had raced down the left before cutting inside and letting fly.
The second half began at a much slower pace than the first and it wasn't until the 55th minute before a real chance was fashioned when Donovan Wilson almost capitalised on an error in the City defence but the forward poked his 16-yard effort just wide of the upright with only Isted to beat.
The City shot-stopper was called into more telling action minutes later when Herc was freed down the middle following a defence splitting ball and Isted stood strong when one-on-one to keep out the midfielder's low drive.
As the second period continued, the visitors slowly started to create the better opportunities with Nicu Carnat keeping Isted busy with a shot from distance, before substitute Aaron Collins picked up the ball midway inside the City half, charged forward and drilled narrowly off target from 25 yards.
With the game edging towards its conclusion the Potters had a glorious chance to grab all three points. A Cameron McJannet cross from the left was flicked into the path of substitute Jack Devlin who lashed over from close range.
Stoke City U23s: Isted, Banks (c), McJannet, Lecygne, Souttar, Barbir, Edwards, Hill (Dunwoody 83), Campbell, Jarvis, N'Goy (Devlin 66). Unused subs: Mate, da Silva, Cherdieu