U23s share points with second-place Bristol City following six-goal thriller...
STOKE CITY U23s remain top of their Premier League Cup group following a high scoring draw against second placed Bristol City U23s at St. George’s Park on Friday afternoon.
Despite a Robins’ goal just before the interval, a first half brace from Tyrese Campbell and a second half strike from Shola Ayoola looked to have put the Potters in pole position to gain maximum points from the tie.
However, the young Potters failed to hold onto their lead and conceded two late goals, including a 90th minute penalty which sealed the visitors’ comeback.
City got off to the best possible start after a smart diagonal ball from Harry Souttar released Julien Ngoy, whose low left footed cross found Campbell free inside the area to put the Potters ahead after just six minutes.
Ngoy looked lively during a crisp winter’s afternoon at the national training centre and was thwarted at the third time of asking following a quick turn of speed saw him evade two initial challenges in the Bristol City area.
Stoke further capitalized on their pressure when the pacey Campbell doubled their lead after latching onto a clever pass from Jake Dunwoody. The young striker maneuvered the ball onto his favored left foot before curling a spectacular effort into the far corner.
Bristol pulled one back in the 32nd minute to make something of the tie, after Freddie Hinds was quickest to react and flick a soft header that trickled into the bottom corner.
The goal was only the Robins’ second effort on target after Connor Lemonheigh-Evans saw a dipping free-kick on the edge of the box saved.
Hinds again went close late into the first half, dragging a shot from just outside the area wide of Josef Bursik’s post.
HT: STOKE CITY U23 2-1 BRISTOL CITY U23
Campbell was denied the chance of securing a hat-trick when he was replaced by Ayoola, but the change proved to be decisive minutes into the second half when the youngster got on the scoresheet.
A bursting run forward from Daniel Jarvis saw his dangerous low cross converted by the substitute at the far post and hand City what looked likely to be a victory.
The Robins’ first effort after the half-time break came from Tyreeq Bakinson, who pulled a snapshot wide of the far post.
Moments later, a promising Bristol counter-attack came to nothing after Hinds found himself behind the Potters’ backline, but his cross fell kindly into the arms of Bursik.
The visitors were seeking a way back into the tie and pulled one back via a wonderful finish from Rob Holden, who fired into the top corner from 25-yards out after being allowed to move the ball onto his favored side.
The gave the away side inspiration of finding a leveler and they did just that in the 90th minute when Jake Andrews stepped up to slot away a penalty after Ngoy fouled an attacked in the box.
FT: STOKE CITY U23 3-3 BRISTOL CITY U23
Stoke City: Bursik, Pemberton, McJannet, Sorensen, Souttar, Butler, Dunwoody, Shenton, Campbell (Ayoola), Jarvis, Ngoy. Unused: Da Silva, Gyollai, Twyford, Hill