Two goals in a minute late in the game denied our U23s a win at Heritage Park tonight.
Boro had looked in control after second half goals from Mitchell Curry and Tyrone O’Neill, but City struck on 88 and 89 to take a share of the spoils.
There was a much-changed line-up to both sides with players on first team duty in the first team game at the Riverside earlier this afternoon.
Nathan Wood and Djed Spence were on the bench at the Riverside, Connor Malley just missed the cut. All three, therefore, were unavailable tonight.
Those who featured strove to impose themselves on the game early on, Jacob Twyford and Tre Pemberton showing up well for the visitors, Dan Ward and Daniel Dodds likewise for Paul Stephenson’s side who almost took the lead with 25 minutes played, but Mitchell Curry’s shot was cleared off the line.
A Billal Brahimi cross from the left set up Tyrone O’Neill with a chance, one that was headed (powerfully) over.
The opening goal came 30 seconds into the second half when Mitchell Curry was sent through the middle and comprehensively beat Nathan Broome in the City goal.
It took a very smart save at his near post from Brad James to keep out Oliver Shenton just a couple of minutes later as the second period got off to a flying start.
Joy soon turned to despair for Curry however, as just seven minutes after scoring he twisted very awkwardly in making a tackle and played no further part.
His replacement, Stephen Wearne, wasted a good opportunity to increase the lead when set up by O’Neill, drilling a shot low and wide across the face of goal.
O’Neill came within a whisker of scoring one of the goals of the season with 72 minutes played, launching himself into a superb cross from Stephen Wearne, only to see his header come crashing back of the bar.
By then we had been afforded the first look at Sam Folarin, a right-back/right-midfielder on a two-week trial from Tooting and Mitcham. He had little time to influence the game, but looked to have a tidy touch.
It was Tyrone O’Neill who looked to have wrapped up the points five minutes from time, controlling well, turning sharply and firing low across and beyond Broome from deep inside the box.
City pulled one back two minutes from time when Gabriel Kyeremateng cracked home low and the game had not long restarted when Scott Wara stole in behind and tucked home to complete an unlikely comeback.
Scorers Curry 46, O’Neill 85, Kyeremateng 88, Wara 89
Boro James, Dodds (Folarin 65), Mahmutovic, Dale, Reading (Capt.), Hackney, Ward, Sykes, Brahimi, O’Neill, Curry (Wearne 53). Subs Brynn (gk), Hood, Balde.
Stoke City Broome, Coates (Macari 38), Corrigan, Porter (Varian 74), Wara, McJannet, Pemberton, Twyford, Kyeremateng, Shenton (Capt.), Toure. Subs Gyollai (gk), Malone.
Referee Garreth Rhodes
City Corrigan 27, shirt pull