STOKE endedthe 2018/19 campaign with an entertaining draw against Premier League bound Sheffield United at the bet365 Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
Goals from Sam Vokes and Ryan Shawcross twice had the home side in front against the Blades, although they fought back on each occasion to ensure a share of the spoils.
Welsh international Vokes drew first blood with a great volley midway through the first half.The home side dominated long periods of the first half but were pegged back almost immediately after the interval when substitute Kieren Dowell rifled home from eight yards just a couple of minutes after being introduced. Jones’ men continued to press forward however, and were rewarded for their endeavours when Shawcross slammed Tom Ince’s centre into the back of the net with just over 20 minutes remaining. The Blades managed to fashion yet another equaliser seven minutes later courtesy of Enda Stevens, whose drive down the left was topped off with a superb strike into the far corner.
There was very nearly a fairy tale ending when substitute Charlie Adam, making his final outing for Stoke, let rip a thumping long-range strike, only for defender Jack O’Connell to bravely block his seemingly goal-bound strike.
It proved to be the final opportunity for the home side to secure what would have been a deserved victory, having gone close on numerous occasions to have added to their tally throughout the afternoon.
As the encounter drew towards its end, both sides through caution to the wind as they chased that decisive goal of the day.
Benik Afobe, another late introduction from the substitutes bench, linked up well with McClean and Bojan, but wasn’t able to beat Dean Henderson, whilst Jack Butland made two hugely important saves of his own to preserve the point his side had earned.
So we end with a draw, one of 22 this season and we undoubtedly say goodbye to a few players who completed the lap of appreciation after the final whistle.