Match Report: Stoke u-23 2 West Brom u-23 2

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Stoke under-23s collected a point from an action-packed Premier League 2 clash, thanks to a man of the match showing from Potters keeper Adam Davies.

But, in rain-soaked conditions at the home of non-league Leek Town, Stoke were left to rue a string of missed chances and the fact they wasted a two-goal lead.

Senegal international Mame Diouf shot Stoke in front in the 12th minute, firing low to the left corner from inside the box after a good pass from wide man Daniel Jarvis. 

The home side doubled the lead in the 22nd minute when centre-half Cameron McJannet rose highest in the box to head home a delightful free-kick from the right wing by Danish midfielder Lasse Sorensen.

Davies denied West Brom striker Finn Azaz a certain goal with a point blank save before the West Brom pressure told with Jamie Soule reducing the deficit to beat Davies with a shot to the bottom  left corner from 10 yards after 29 minutes. 

The visitors’ equaliser came just before the break when Chris Willock, on loan from Benfica, fired home from 12 yards after Davies parried a shot from Soule.

Stoke coach Wade Elliott replaced Diouf at the break with Gabriel Kyeremateng  and the German striker almost made an immediate impact with a fierce shot blocked. 

But Albion almost edged in front when a Clayton Phillips shot struck the butt of the right post with Davies beaten.

Stoke introduced Lewis Macari, son of former player Paul and grandson of former Potters manager Louis Macari on 65 minutes. 

And Stoke left-back Ash Kigbu fired a screamer with his left foot from 25 yards in the 67th minute only to see the ball crash over after hitting the top of crossbar with the Albion keeper beaten. 

Within a minute Dan Jarvis was played through by Potters team mate Julien Ngoy and he dinked the ball over the advancing keeper and it would have been 3-2 had centre half Rekeem Harper not got back to clear off the line for the team in green and yellow stripes.

Macari had a half chance in the 85th minute but his low shot didn’t trouble the away keeper unduly. Both  Kyeremateng and Ngoy had opportunities to win it at the death with decent chances. 

The point sends Stoke into third place in the table leapfrogging  Middlesborough who don’t play until Monday and Elliott was grateful to Davies for his first half performance. 

He added: “I thought it was a really good game between two good teams. I thought that in large patches of the game we were excellent. 

“We looked in command and total control. I think that on the balance of the game we should  have won it.” 

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