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Ressies sunk by Stoke

Stoke City inflicted a 2-0 defeat on our reserve side with a goal in each half proving decisive at Leyton Orient.

Stoke City inflicted a 2-0 defeat on our reserve side with a goal in each half proving decisive at Leyton Orient.

It was game that didn't really kick into any sort of momentum, and Stoke's opener, right on the stroke of half-time, was a setback from which the team were unable to recover.

There were no real incidents of note in the opening 20 minutes, as the game struggled to come to life in the biting cold inside Brisbane Road. With the side lacking natural firepower, Adel Taarabt attempted to inject a little snap to events with a quick-fire shot from outside the area, but visiting goalkeeper Steve Simonsen was more than equal to the effort.

Stoke, with a team containing a fair few with first team outings under their belt this season, were likewise labouring in their bid to make an impact. Much of this was due to the control exerted by returning midfielder Kieran McKenna from the base of a central diamond.

The Northern Ireland Under-21 captain was calling the shots from deep, closing down, snapping into tackles - as well providing the vocal leadership.

Charlie Daniels, scorer of two goals in his last reserve game, tried his luck from distance just before the half hour mark as possession was being won, but accurate final third delivery was lacking. A Daniels corner was only just palmed away by Simonsen, the goalkeeper later smothering another long-range drill goalwards from Taarabt.

Just before half-time Stoke snatched the lead on the break, a cross from the right dispatched by Demar Phillips was met on the volley by Danny Pugh, who calmly steered past Ben Alnwick.

Clive Allen made two changes at half-time, with Danny Hutchins and Jacques Maghoma coming on in a blustering gale to take the place of Dorian Dervite and Gilberto.

A twist and a turn from Taarabt led to the inside of the upright being clattered in the 51st minute, Simonsen was beaten all ends up, but the ball flew to safety as some considerable speed.

Five minutes later Stoke doubled their advantage when a Kevin-Prince Boateng pass fell short, Vincent Pericard stole in and threaded through into the path of Michael Tongue, who applied a clinical finish past Alnwick.

McKenna, probably the most effective player on the pitch, completed nearly an hour on his comeback before making way for Yuri Berchiche.

Alnwick was forced to make a reaction save from Phillips after a lull in the match before a flurry of action where Pericard shot over, Simonsen tipped aside Maghoma's effort and Kyle Fraser-Allen burst through on goal, only for Ibrahima Sonko to make a last-ditch challenge that diverted the ball wide.

It wasn't to be, however, as the points returned to the Potteries.