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Million Manhoef double helps Stoke finish with a flourish
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PA Sport staff
Press Association
Stoke City’s Million Manhoef looks on during the Sky Bet Championship match at the bet365 Stadium, Stoke-on-Trent. Picture date: Saturday March 16, 2024.
Stoke City’s Million Manhoef looks on during the Sky Bet Championship match at the bet365 Stadium, Stoke-on-Trent. Picture date: Saturday March 16, 2024.

Stoke’s impressive run of form continued as they ended the season in style with a 4-0 hammering of Bristol City in the Sky Bet Championship.

The Potters, who confirmed their safety with victory over Southampton last weekend, picked up a third successive win for the first time since October.

First half strikes from Luke Cundle, Tyrese Campbell and Million Manhoef sent the hosts firmly on their way to all three points.

And Manhoef struck his second after the interval with the pick of the bunch, arcing a delightful effort from range beyond a helpless Max O’Leary.

The travelling Robins, who were unbeaten in seven games under Liam Manning prior to this contest, fell to their heaviest defeat since January 2022.

Stoke continued where they left off on the south coast with Bae Junho – winner of the club’s Player of the Season Award – coming close to sourcing an early opener.

However, it was Bristol City who had the ball in the back of the net first with Scott Twine adding the finishing touch to an intricate move, only to be flagged for offside.

The hosts’ bright start was eventually rewarded before the half hour mark when alert Wolves loanee Cundle poked home beyond an onrushing O’Leary.

An entertaining opening period ensued and the Robins should have levelled soon after but the feet of Daniel Iversen denied Twine to preserve Stoke’s slender lead.

Influential South Korean youngster Junho then rattled the crossbar as Steven Schumacher’s side attempted to turn the screw.

And it was not long until the Potters’ persistence bore fruit again with a quickfire double before the break tightening their control on the tie.

The out-of-contract Campbell notched his second in as many games as he rifled a fierce effort from a tight angle into the top corner.

And January recruit Manhoef added a third roughly 60 seconds later, finishing into the roof of the net moments prior to the interval.

Stoke showed no signs of slowing after the restart and soon notched their fourth of the afternoon – their most in a single fixture since the opening day of the campaign.

Manhoef collected the ball on the edge of the box and set his sights from 25 yards, curling a pinpoint effort in for a fourth goal in six appearances.

Twine again came close to a consolation for the visitors but he failed to convert from Ross McCrorie’s accurate cross.

The lively Cundle, who added two assists to his first half opener, then nearly completed a brace – only to see his strike cannon off the crossbar.

Ultimately, it proved to be another step in the right direction for Schumacher’s Potters, who ended the season with only one defeat in eight games.

Meanwhile, Andy King made an appearance from the Robins’ bench as the Premier League winner called an end to his 17-year career.


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