Both the U-23 and U-18 Stoke City squads were in action this week, as they continue on the season journey in the Premier League 2 and Under-18 competitions.
It was a fairly decent week for the U-23 and U-18 sides as they both played in a total of three matches combined. Here’s a recap of the week that was.
Stoke City U-18
The weeks’ schedule began with a third round fixture in the FA Youth Cup, as the Potters hosted West Ham United. It was a close affair as the game would be decided in an exciting penalty shootout.
The visitors struck first in the tenth minute when Joe Powell found Jahmal Hector-Ingram in the box, and the forward slotted it home to give the Hammers a 1-0 lead.
The one goal advantage would stand at halftime, with the Potters needing to pick it up offensively in the second half.
A dream start to the second half saw the Potters go 2-1 in front. Thomas Edwards was the first to strike in the 51st minute, as he roofed a shot over the head of the keeper and into the net.
Just a minute later, Tyrese Campbell took advantage of some poor defending to put the home side in control.
Despite the strong start, the visitors would level matters ten minutes later. Hector-Ingram headed home his second of the match to complete the brace.
A handful of chances would fall for the Potters in the remaining minutes of the half, including a Thibaud Verlinden shot that hit the crossbar.
At the full time whistle it remained deadlocked, as both sides headed to extra time looking for a winner. However, the extra periods would not produce a winner and the match headed to a penalty shootout.
Goalkeeper Mate Deczki turned out to be the hero of the shootout. The Hungarian stopped two shots to help seal the win for the home side.
All four penalty takers for the Potters converted, putting all the pressure on the Hammers, and Deczki did his job in net to help the squad advance to the fourth round.
The second match of the week came on Saturday, as the Potters hit the road to face Middlesbrough. In the end, it finished 2-2, with Edwards and Campbell providing the goals once more.
Up next is Blackburn Rovers away. The Potters enter the week sitting in ninth place in the table.
Stoke City U-23
It wasn’t the best outing for the U-23 squad on Saturday. Stoke fell 4-2 to Aston Villa at Clayton Wood.
Hakim Wood gave the home side an early lead in the 14th minute, but a 23rd minute spot kick levelled the match at 1-1.
Oliver Shenton restored Stoke’s advantage in the 46th minute. Villa though went go on to score three unanswered goals to clinch the match.
The result condemned Stoke to their sixth defeat of the season.
A Friday night Premier League Cup fixture awaits the youngsters next, as they prepare to take on Reading.