DERICE RICHARDS his delight after getting his name on the scoresheet as the development squad recorded an emphatic 4-2 win over Newcastle United on Monday.
The Nantwich-born forward grabbed City's fourth goal of the afternoon at the Magpies' training centre when he clinically finished off Joel Taylor's left-wing cross.
The 18-year-old told stokecityfc.com that he was pleased to continue his goalscoring form for the Under-21s after netting in his previous game against Aston Villa.
"It's been good for me to get back to some sort of form in front over goal over the last couple of games against Newcastle and Aston Villa," Richards said.
"I just need to continue to get into the right positions so I can return to how I was performing earlier in the season by scoring goals for my team."
Richards has been one of a number of players who have played regularly for Glyn Hodges' squad over the last few months and although the attacker admits it been tough for him at times, he's enjoyed the step up as well as being joined by some of his fellow Under-18s team-mates.
"Fortunately I've had a lot of game time with the Under-21s this season which has been really good," he said.
"It's been tough on occasions but at the same time it has been a great challenge and I've loved every second of it.
"I'd like to think that I've coped well with it and hopefully there is more to come in the future."
He added: "It's brilliant to see the other lads coming up too and they have more than dealt with the step up which has been reflected in our last few performances against some very good sides.
"There have been three or four Under-18s players who have been starting games for the development squad over the last few weeks and held their own.
"In some cases like the game against Newcastle we have really shone and took control of the match which is a real positive sign for the future."
The Under-21s wrap up their league campaign on Friday evening when they welcome Chelsea to the Britannia Stadium (kick-off 7.00pm) and Richards says the squad will be gunning for all three points to finish the season on a high.
"The two games are pretty close together so we'll be looking to refresh our legs as quickly as possible to try and end the season on a positive note," said Richards.
"Chelsea will provide a great challenge and will no doubt put out a strong team but it's an opportunity for us to play at the Britannia Stadium so we'll be very much looking forward to the game."
Tickets for the match are priced at £3 for Adults and £1 for Children, whilst season ticket holders can gain free entry on production of their season card.
Please note that admission on the night will be through Gate B of the Q-Railing Stand.