Barclays U21s: Stoke on the rise after beating Spurs

Stoke City climbed six places in the Barclays Under 21 Premier League with a 2-0 win over Tottenham Hotspur at the Clayton Wood Training Ground on Friday.

Defender Alex Grant gave Stoke the lead in the second half before Joel Taylor came off the substitutes’ bench and wrapped up the victory with a long-range effort.

Stoke striker James Alabi, on the back of a goal against Sunderland last time out, caused problems for the Spurs defence in the opening stages but the visitors came close to opening the scoring when Ruben Lameiras’s deflected shot hit the crossbar.

Grant, formerly of Portsmouth, gave Stoke the lead after 62 minutes when he latched on to a free-kick in the Spurs penalty area and looped a volley into the far corner. Spurs went in search of an equaliser but were unable to beat Stoke goalkeeper Dale Eve and the hosts sealed the win when Taylor’s superb 25-yard strike found the bottom corner.

The victory moves Stoke up to 12th in the Barclays U21 Premier League table, a point above Spurs who have two matches in hand. Stoke's position is one below the cut-off point where the division will be split into two from next season.

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