Manchester Under-18s picked up three well-earned points in the Potteries on Tuesday night, courtesy of a second-half free-kick from Andrea Pereira.
The Reds seemed determined from the first whistle to avenge the opening-weekend home defeat to Stoke City, taking this third game of the season to the hosts at Clayton Wood. Pereira almost scored in the 7th minute when James Weir played him through, only for the Potters' Bermudan goalkeeper Dale Eve to make the first of many good saves by tipping over the resulting shot. The woodwork thwarted United's next attack, with Stoke clearing the rebound after Sam Byrne's deflected shot hit the inside of the post.
Byrne was involved in two further opportunities before the half somehow ended goalless. Firstly, he had a 'goal' disallowed for offside after Eve parried Rothwell's long-range shot. Then Byrne's backheel set up James Wilson for a low drive saved by Eve with his feet.
United's pressure paid the decisive dividend just four minutes after the interval. Louis Rowley's raid from left-back was halted illegally on the edge of the box and Pereira swept the resulting free-kick through a forest of players. Pereira spurned his best chance for a double when he sliced high and wide and Wilson's later free-kick was saved by Eve, but one goal ultimately was enough to yield the Reds' second consecutive away win.
United: Gollini; Evans, Grimshaw, McNair, Rowley; Weir, Pearson, Rothwell, Pereira; Byrne (Rudge, 86), Wilson. Subs not used: O'Hara, Gorre, Wilkinson, Harrop.