Norwich City's Under-23s suffered a disappointing evening at Harrison Park, the home of non-league side Leek Town, as they were beaten 7-2 by Stoke City in Premier League 2, Division 2.
Stoke had seven different scorers on the night with strikes coming from Mark Waddington, Tre Pemberton, Tyrese Campbell, William Forrester, Jake Dunwoody, Daniel Jarvis and Gabriel Kyeremateng.
City responded twice with goals coming from Adam Idah, but it ended in a disappointing night for the Development Squad.
Matt Gill made two changes to the side which was beaten by Leicester City in the Premier League Cup in their last outing. Bilal Kamal returned at right-back for Ben Marshall and Ant Spyrou deputised after serving a suspension. He came in for Simon Power.
Despite a fairly even start to the match, Stoke took an early lead within eight minutes. The ball was worked well down their left-hand side and Oliver Shenton eventually crossed low for Waddington to finish into the bottom corner.
Stoke looked to capitalise on taking the lead and almost had another moments later when the provider for the first, Shenton, sent a dipping first-time volley inches wide of Jon McCracken’s left-hand post.
Things got worse for City on 15 minutes. Stoke won the ball back in midfield and they had a two v one situation at the back, allowing Campbell to square for Pemberton who couldn’t miss from about ten yards.
Stoke went mightily close to a third seconds later as Waddington curled inches wide following a Campbell knockdown.
The host’s dominance continued as the half progressed and they led by four as the game reached the half hour mark. First, Campbell precisely finished a rebound following a smart save from McCracken and then Forrester gambled in the penalty area to tap into an empty net following another good save by the City stopper.
The Canaries earned themselves a lifeline shortly after the restart after quick reactions from Josh Coley saw him get to the ball ahead of the Stoke goalkeeper Daniel Gyollai and win a penalty after contact was made in the box. Up stepped Idah to fire home to spot-kick and give the visitors some hope.
City increased the intensity of their pressing and they looked to capitalise on their goal, however Stoke were dealing with most of what was being thrown at them. The best City could muster came when Tom Scully fired a volley into the arms of Gyollai.
Stoke then hit City with two quickfire goals to put the result beyond doubt. First, substitute Dunwoody swivelled in the area and found the bottom corner before Jarvis produced a near identical finish, cutting in from the left flank and dispatching with aplomb.
The other Stoke substitutes linked up to make it seven as Krisztofer Szereto found Kyeremateng to head home on 70 minutes before City replied for the second time – Idah finishing superbly into the bottom corner from the edge of the area.
City ended the night with ten men after Idah was forced to withdraw from play when he picked up an injury in stoppage time.
City XI: McCracken; Kamal, Odusina (c), Jones (Lomas, 77), Richards; Coley, Payne, Aransibia, Scully (Milovanovic, 68); Idah, Spyrou (Thorvaldsson, 77)
Subs not used: Johnson (GK)