New signing Sam Surridge bagged his second goal in as many games and skipper Harry Souttar was also on target as Stoke eased to a 2-1 home victory over Fleetwood.
Former Bournemouth striker Surridge pounced with a smart close-range strike on the stroke of half-time as the Championship side edged a scrappy affair against their League One visitors at the bet365 Stadium.
And Australia international defender Souttar powered a 77th-minute header beyond keeper Alex Cairns to secure place in the second round of the Carabao Cup.
James Chester deflected substitute Callum Morton’s cross into his own net in the fourth and final minute of injury-time, but the result was never in doubt.
Striker Jacob Brown headed wide at the back post after just four minutes as the home side started brightly and midfielder Jordan Thompson went close with a thunderbolt free-kick.
Midfielder Callum Camps had a goalbound strike brilliantly blocked by Souttar, while winger Tom Ince fizzed a shot well wide for the home team.
But then Fleetwood’s defence was caught sleeping as Ince collected a quick thrown-in and crossed for Surridge to fire into the roof of the net in the first-ever meeting between the two clubs.
Ince blazed high and wide from a good position early in the second half as Stoke pushed to put the contest to bed.
However, skipper Souttar made sure of victory when he rose tallest to power substitute Mario Vrancic’s inswinging corner into the foot of the net.
There was still for Chester’s bizarre own-goal, but Michael O’Neill’s team deserved their victory.
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