Â The Potters handed full debuts to new boys Seyi Olofinjana and Thomas Sorensen as they claimed their fourth straight victory and fifth in six attempts in pre-season so far at St. Mary’s.
Â The home side could well have taken the lead in a frantic start, with David McGoldrick blazing over after just seventeen seconds, but it was the Potters who broke the deadlock just one minute later, Dave Kitson finishing well after latching onto Mamady Sidibe’s flick on.
Â City were pegged back in the 37th minute, with former Vale loanee McGoldrick scoring with a low strike from the edge of the penalty area. A host of half-time substitutions followed, but it took until the 74th minute for another goal to come, Stoke misfit Vincent Pericard doing what few thought him capable of doing, picking the ball up forty yards out, surging through defenders and firing a long range effort into the top corner, leaving Kelvin Davis in the goal no chance.
Â Southampton were level again though just two minutes later through Stern John’s header, owing in part to some absent City marking. However, on 80 minutes the Potters again took a desrved lead and this time held on to it, the impressive Pericard beating three defenders and rounding the keeperÂ before firing across the box to see his effort turned into his own goalÂ by Southampton defender Jamie Hatch.
Â A dampener was put on a good Stoke performance with both Ryan Shawcross and Carl Dickinson having to be substituted with injuries, at this stage you would hope that they are not too serious and both players will be ready for the first Premier League match against Bolton in ten days.
Stoke team (4:4:2):
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Simonsen
Griffin (c)Â CortÂ ShawcrossÂ DickinsonÂ
Â Â DelapÂ OlofinjanaÂ PulisÂ Cresswell
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â SidibeÂ Â Kitson
Subs: Sorensen for Simonsen (46), Buxton for Cort (63), Cort for Shawcross (79), Wilkinson for Dickinson (28), Diao for Olofinjana (49), Pericard for Cresswell (34), Pugh for Sidibe (49), Parkin for Kitson (49)
Not used: Whelan
NB Leon Cort was substituted in the 63rd minuted but returned to play in the 79th minute due to an injury to Ryan Shawcross, as is permisible in the friendly rules.
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