U23s In Seventh Heaven

Sim Thandi, Tyrese Campbell, Tre Pemberton

STOKE CITY U23s clinched their biggest victory in the Premier League 2 after a nine-goal thriller at Harrison Park on Monday night.

Seven different goal scorers found the back of the net for the home side to complete the 7-2 win in front of first team manager Gary Rowett and secure a third league triumph of the season.

The Potters began the encounter as the brighter of the two sides in the Staffordshire Moorlands, and the deadlock was broken in their favour within the opening ten minutes. Ollie Shenton did well to pick up a long ball over the top on the left flank, before the midfielder sent in a low cross destined for Mark Waddington – who was on hand to tuck his effort beyond Jon McCracken.

Moments later and Kevin Russell’s side doubled their advantage courtesy of tricky winger Tre Pemberton. An excellent counter attacking move from the home side provided the former Blackburn Rovers man with plenty of space to be picked out in the area. After taking an initial touch, the Potters youngster composed himself to fire into the back of the net.

City looked clinical within the opening quarter of the match, and their intensity earned them a third of the game on the 20 minute mark. A lapse in concentration in the Canaries defence allowed top scorer Tyrese Campbell to remain unmarked in the area after McCracken saved a strike from Shenton. The 18-year-old made no mistake six yards from goal to put the Potters firmly in the driving seat.

With just 29 minutes on the clock, Russell’s men netted their fourth of the exciting encounter courtesy of centre-back Will Forrester. Campbell weaved his way into the area looking to secure his second, but saw his effort saved from a tight angle. Lurking at the back post though was Forrester, who was in acres of space to calmly smash the ball home, and extend the Potters’ comfortable lead heading into the break.

Norwich began the second half in the ascendancy and pulled a goal back from the penalty spot. Daniel Gyollai attempted to snatch the ball from the feet of Josh Coley, but instead dragged the Canaries player to the floor and conceded the spot kick. Adam Idah made no mistake from 12 yards to pull a goal back for the visitors, despite Gyollai’s best attempts to tip his placed effort wide.

Stoke regained control of the encounter after conceding, and duly added to their tally twice in quick succession. Substitute Jake Dunwoody brushed off his marker in the area with a great turn to fire into the back of the net, before Daniel Jarvis showed some great skill on the edge of the box to leave McCracken rooted to his spot with a strike low into the bottom corner.

Six soon became seven after a well taken goal from Gabriel Kyeremateng made three points look increasingly likely for the home side. Fellow substitute Krisztofer Szereto threaded a great ball through to the German striker, who held the ball up well to poke past the Canaries keeper.

As the game drew to a close Norwich netted their second of the match, and Idah added to his tally. The 17-year-old shrugged off a defender and created plenty of space to fire beyond Gyollai to score another consolation strike for the visitors.

Stoke City: Gyollai, Thandi, Tymon, Sorensen, Wara, Forrester, Pemberton (Szereto 68), Waddington (Dunwoody 56), Campbell (Kyeremateng 46), Shenton, Jarvis. Unused: Deczki, Niakate.