STOKE CITY U18 - 3 (Verlinden, Abdallah, Brierley)
STOKE CITY'S Under-18s returned to winning ways with a fine victory away at Blackburn Rovers on Tuesday afternoon.
Goals from Thibaud Verlinden and Hakim Abdallah either side of the first half handed the Potters a healthy half-time lead before Theo Brierley secured the win just before the hour-mark.
Verlinden handed Kevin Russell's side a fifth minute lead at a chilly Brockhall, finishing off a slick passing move.
Rovers rarely threatened a way back into the game, as City commanded much of the encounter in the hosts' half, seeing opportunities cleared off the line and hitting the woodwork.
City doubled their lead just before the break, as Abdallah out-muscled his marker to fire home and round off an impressive opening 45 minutes.
HT: BLACKBURN ROVER U18 0-2 STOKE CITY U18
Mitch Allen had very little to do in the Stoke goal in the first half but had to be alert to deny Blackburn a way back into the tie moments into the restart.
City then all but sealed the game on 57 minutes when Abdallah got the better of his marker once more before squaring his ball to Brierley who made it 3-0.
The Potters looked were handed a nervous finish as goals from Alex Curran on 89 minutes and Matthew Makinson in stoppage time handed Rovers a slim lifeline.
However, Stoke hung on to claim victory following last weekend's defeat away at Manchester United.