Stoke put six past Town
Tuncay scored a hat-trick as Stoke ran wild in a six goal romp at Newcastle Town.
It may have been a friendly and a very friendly, friendly against our local non-league neighbours, Newcastle Town but a win is still a win and a very welcome one at that.
Last year's encounter at the Lyme Valley stadium was a bit of a damp squib with Tony Pulis splitting his first team with a simultaneous fixture at Nantwich Town, but this year he chose to bring his entire first team squad and send the younger lads (along with Beattie and Kitson) to South Wales to play Albion Rovers - which they duly won 9-0 - getting one over on their more illustrious team-mates in the process.
Last year may have seen the home side win 2-1, but there was never going to be a repeat this time around with the Potters dominating from the outset leaving Carlo Nash a relative bystander - except for a worrying fumble from a Town free-kick. Matty Etherington was the star of the first half but it was not until the half hour mark that Robert Huth was able to head the Potters into a lead from a set-piece corner.
Despite TP bringing along seven subs he decided against the customary half-time switch and kept Etherington, Fuller and Sidibe on to harry the home defence for the start of the the second half. But it was the introduction of Louis Moult, Liam Lawrence (who came on for Matty after a poorly timed tackle had given the Stoke supporters a nasty turn) and Tuncay after ten minutes that really turned up the pressure on the home side. Ricardo Fuller finally found himself on the score sheet when he headed home a cross from Lawrence. With a goal under his belt, he quickly made way for Glenn Whelan, leaving the way clear for Tuncay, Lawrence and Moult who were all clearly in the mood to show Pulis that they deserved a bigger billing this season.
Tunny quickly added Stoke's third and he added two more to his tally over the next twenty minutes with Moult and Lawrence also playing well interspersed with a well taken goal from Michael Tonge who picked up a beautiful chip from Lawrence to calmly put the ball past the keeper.
So an entertaining afternoon for the 3,300 crowd and a good display from the Potters. But the real question is - how many of them will still be with us come the end of August?
Stoke City: Nash (Sorensen 62), Huth, Faye (Delap 62), Shawcross, Higginbotham (Collins), Tonge, Whitehead (Tuncay 55), Pugh, Etherington (Lawrence 55), Sidibe (Moult 55), Fuller (Whelan 65)