Premier League 2
Ryan Shawcross’s injury ravaged season took another adverse turn on Monday when he failed to appear for the second half of Stoke’s 3-2 home defeat to Manchester United in their Barclays Premier League 2 encounter.
The veteran stopper injured his right knee in a challenge on Red Devils’ livewire Angel Gomes just before the break which left both players on the ground for a number of minutes before the Potters’ central defender hobbled off.
With the latest setback, there must be a doubt over the former Manchester United man being fit again this season to assist Michael O’ Neill’s first team in their quest to avoid the drop from the SkyBet Championship.
Stoke will feel aggrieved that they didn’t have at least one goal in the opening 45 minutes, after had the ball in the net on three separate occasions through Mame Diouf, Julien Ngoy and Gabriel Kyeramanteng, but on each occasion the goals were ruled out for offside.
The youthful United, with their neat passing, were a joy to watch in the first half and led by three goals to nil at the break with goals from Gomes and a brace from the impressive James Garner. The tally could have been higher but for some sharp goalkeeping from Adam Davies in goals for Kevin Russell’s team.
Whatever Russell said to his team at the break had the desired effect and they hit back on the 55th minute when Diouf got the last touch after William Forrester headed a Sorenson corner goalwards.
As the visitors tired, Stoke got a second on the 66th minute when Shawcross’s replacement Cameron McJannet headed in a Sorenson free kick from close range.
Kyeramanteng almost snatched an equaliser at the end when his volley beat Kovar in the United goal but was headed off the line by Tuanzebe which proved a match winning intervention.