City Complete Albion Comeback

STOKE CITY U23s completed a treble of local derby victories with an action-packed 4-2 victory over West Bromwich Albion on Friday evening.

The Potters had fallen 2-0 behind following Callum Morton’s first half brace, however City turned the game on its head after the striker and fellow Albion player Nathan Ferguson were sent off midway through the second period.

Tyrese Campbell pulled one back in the 75th minute with a close range effort before he struck the other side of substitute Shoyla Ayoola’s strike to make it 3-2.

Ayoola later went on to make it four as the Potters added gloss to the scoreline and ensure they claimed a third win in Premier League 2 over Midlands rivals this season having already beaten Aston Villa and Wolverhampton Wanderers.

On a chilly evening in Staffordshire, it was the visitors who warmed the quicker of the two sides and after Morton had fired an early warning shot following his own surge forward, Albion took the lead through the forward’s next effort in the 15th minute.

A corner out on the right wasn’t dealt with by the Potters backline and when the ball fell to Morton he spun on the spot and fired a 10-yard shot past a host of players into the back of the net.

Belgium attacker Thibaud Verlinden tried to burst City into life and had the home side’s first two chances of the game when he firstly connected with Lewis Banks’ right wing cross only to see his effort saved, before curling a 25-yard shot over the bar.

Just as Glyn Hodges’ side were gaining a foothold in the contest, they were dealt a sucker punch shortly after the midway point of the half when Albion doubled their lead after Morton evaded the offside trap to coolly finish inside the box.

The Potters had a glorious chance to half the deficit on the half hour mark when a tug in the area saw referee Joseph Johnson point the spot, however Daniel Jarvis fired his penalty wide of the upright.

Despite a third setback of the opening period, City didn’t allow their heads to drop and Oliver Shenton tested the handling skills of visiting ‘keeper Brad House with a rasping drive from range.

The hosts finished the first 45 strongly and almost pulled one back when Shenton played a short corner to captain Banks who drove an effort towards the near post, only to see the keeper claw away his shot.

City picked up where they left off after the interval and went close once more when Max Melbourne cleared off his own line after Banks had met Verlinden’s cross into the box.

Campbell went even closer to notching for the Potters in the 63rd minute when he moved the ball onto his left foot before firing an effort from the edge of the area which cannoned back off the inside the post.

The home side’s chances of finding a route back into the contest were to be massively increased following two quick dismissals for Albion who saw Morton sent off for an off the ball incident, before Ferguson was given his marching orders for a rash and late challenge on Shenton.

City duly increased their intensity and turned the game on its head in a devastating 12 minute spell from the 75th minute.

Campbell firstly drilled in an Albion clearance inside the opposition box, before substitute Ayoola acrobatically connected with a cross from the left to score the equaliser off the underside of the bar.

With two minutes remaining the Potters completed their turnaround as Campbell pounced on a goalkeeping area to coolly dispatch from 16 yards.

In the seventh minute of additional time City added a fourth when Ayoola bagged his second of the game by heading in Pemberton’s perfectly weighted cross from the right.

The result means the Potters now draw level on points with seventh placed Wolves ahead of their next encounter away at Blackburn Rovers on Monday 30th October.