Youngsters Advance

Gabriel Kyeremateng

STOKE CITY U23s have qualified to the next round of the Premier League Cup following tonight’s 4-1 win over Charlton Athletic at Harrison Park, writes Matty Perry.

Thanks to goals from William Forrester, Oliver Shenton and a Gabriel Kyeremateng double, Kevin Russell’s men have confirmed their place in the knockout stages and in doing so, have ended the Addicks' hopes of progression.

The result also presents the chance for City to finish at the summit of group A as they sit in second place and just two points behind leaders Sunderland who they face away from home in their final group game.

Prior to the match, Charlton had won their previous Premier League Cup encounter with a convincing 3-0 away victory at Peterborough, putting them in touching distance of the Potters before kick off.

But it was City who took an early advantage after a well worked corner kick met the head of Forrester. After a spell of pressure from the home side, the youngsters capitalised from a set piece, with the lurking Forrester on hand to calmly put the Potters ahead.

Moments later, Russell’s side were beginning to show their class and doubled their lead just after a quarter of an hour. Joshua Tymon’s darting run down the left flank created space for the full back to find Kyeremateng, who was waiting inside the six-yard box to slot home and put City in a comfortable position.

However, the Addicks refused to go down without a fight and halved the deficit just after the restart. The away side worked their way down the left-hand side to eventually find Toby Stevenson, who tapped in from close range.

But the Potters responded instantly and restored their two-goal lead just two minutes later. A lofted ball from midfield fell kindly to the feet of Kyeremateng, who cooly fired home his second of the night.

Twenty minutes later, City made it four and it was in style. A phase of constant passing in the middle of the park opened up the chance for Shenton to roam into space, 25-yards away from goal. Sorensen played a cute ball to lay him off, before Shenton fired one from range to make it four – the move was as good as the finish.

As the 90 minutes were upon us, Charlton’s number one Henry Newcombe was on hand to prevent City from adding a fifth, but despite his best efforts, Russell’s charges went on to claim the points and secure their place in the next round of the Premier League Cup with a game to spare.

Stoke City: Gyollai, Wara, Tymon, Sorensen, Collins, Forrester, Verlinden, Dunwoody, Kyeremateng (Varian 77), Shenton (Twyford 81), Jarvis (Pemberton 55). Unused: Kanuric, Niakate.