Anthony Patterson: 6/10
Called up in place of Hoffmann and did OK. No chance at all with either goal and otherwise had very little to do.
Trai Hume: 7/10
Gave the team a better balance, looked to overlap his winger often, was comfortable on the ball and Cheltenham simply didn’t threaten down his side.
Daniel Batth: 6/10
Stoke fans were right about Batth, an old fashioned centre half with no distribution. Too many aimless punts forward. Made a good recovery tackle in the first half but I expected more of a leader, not seeing that yet.
Callum Doyle: 4/10
Got caught out in the first half, leading to Batth bailing him out and jumped into a position that he wasn’t needed in leading to Cheltenham getting in behind him for their winner. Like Neil, he’s a young lad who has been overplayed and needs a rest.
Dennis Cirkin: 5/10
Tried to get forward often and put in one good cross which saw a Pritchard header cleared off the line but need good covering play by Matete to stop the home side having loads of room on Cirkin’s side following the left back not tracking back quickly enough.
Jay Matete: 6/10
I like what I saw from Matete today on his full debut. Tenacious in the tackle, had the awareness to cover for Cirkin, covers every blade of grass and has a good turn of pace. There were some sloppy bits of play in the second half but a promising display.
Corry Evans: 5/10
Did well in the first half in a more advanced role than he’d normally play, with Matete covering behind him but disappeared in the second half when we needed him most and backed off too much for their opener.
Leon Dajaku: 5/10
Almost scored a header in the first half but the effort was well saved by the home goalkeeper. Some good bits of play here and there but drifted in and out of the game and couldn’t get in the game after the break.
Alex Pritchard: 5/10
Scored a great free kick, had a header cleared off the line and was at the forefront in the first half. Barely involved in the second half other than his headed effort, leaving Stewart isolated.
Jack Clarke: 5/10
Very lively opening to the game, where he had the beating of his full back. One great opportunity to score, when he robbed a centre half, drove forward but hit his shot wide. Another who was anonymous after the break though.
Ross Stewart: 5/10
Very little to work with. Hit the crossbar when offside and well placed, had one shot into the side netting following a neat pass from Hume but was not the handful for defenders he has been for the majority of the season and often isolated up front.
Patrick Roberts: 6/10
Always looked to make something happen on the ball, not always fairly. Clearly dived on one occasion and was rightly booked but a better shout for a push on him shortly after but his previous dive likely influenced the referee.
Jermain Defoe: 6/10
Had one good chance after being played in by Roberts but couldn’t finish from a tight angle. Needed to be on much sooner than he eventually appeared.
Elliot Embleton: 6/10
On for the last five minutes as we desperately looked for an equaliser.
Man of the Match: Trai Hume.
I thought our three full debutants were our bright sparks today. Matete and Clarke were both particularly good in the first half but Hume gets my man of the match as he carried on his good first half display into the second half and makes you wonder why he has been sitting on the bench for the last month while makeshift right backs played ahead of him.