In what could be described as a below-par season, Stoke City signed off in style with a 2-0 victory over play-off bound AFC Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium.
It was a full strength Cherries side despite more important games coming up in the next 10 days, but they couldn’t get the better of Michael O’Neill’s outfit, who had a look of inexperience about them all the way through the squad.
There was none of the likes of Nick Powell, Steven Fletcher, James Chester, James McClean and not even the more talented younger players like Harry Souttar and Nathan Collins.
Stoke’s bench was filled with development squad talents and injuries to Collins and Souttar gave the opportunity for Will Forrester to make his first Potters start.
The 19-year-old had been a regular for the under-23’s team and after being on the bench multiple times for the senior squad, he finally got his debut this afternoon.
Quiz: Did these 18 players make more than 100 Stoke City appearances?
And the centre-back wouldn’t have believed his luck as he was on hand to open the scoring in the first half – a corner fell to the defender and on the half-turn he hammered the ball beyond Asmir Begovic.
Tommy Smith would later complete the victory early on in the second half but it was Forrester that Stoke fans were talking about – check out their reactions to his performance.
— Harvey saxon (@Harveysaxon1) May 8, 2021
Announce 10 year contract
— Leigh Spooner (@leighspooner1) May 8, 2021
Best defender at the club already
— Ben 🔴⚪️🔴⚪️ (@ben_hannon3) May 8, 2021
Ahahahahaha remember the name
— Jack (@ScfcJ18) May 8, 2021
— Karl Podmore (@poddy_8) May 8, 2021
Great see local talent coming through, chuffed for him https://t.co/P49S2cuXCp
— Phil Hares (@PilHares) May 8, 2021
Dream start for the local lad 🤩
Things you love to see. https://t.co/ino50xC2fk
— Ollie Walton (@OWaltonSports) May 8, 2021
Was not Expecting That! https://t.co/04E21Gce25
— AWard2110 (@award2110) May 8, 2021