Birthday boy Jaden Philogene-Bidace inspired Stoke’s 3-0 Championship victory against 10-man Swansea as the Potters recorded a first home league win since November.
Stoke, with only one win in eight home league fixtures heading into the tie, started promisingly and had a glorious opportunity for an opener inside two minutes.
On-loan Manchester City youngster Taylor Harwood-Bellis was found in acres of space in the Swans area but was unable to convert his header.
Fellow defender Ben Wilmot also tried his luck in an entertaining first five minutes, but his snapshot from close range was diverted wide.
Stoke’s early dominance showed no sign of relenting with Philogene-Bidace – making his first home start after a winter loan move from Aston Villa – also threatening to break the deadlock.
The sprightly forward had two early sights of goal, first seeing a venomous volleyed effort blocked by Jay Fulton before being thwarted by Swans goalkeeper Andy Fisher in a sign of things to come.
However, it was full-back Josh Tymon who came closest to securing a deserved Stoke lead shortly before the half-hour mark, but his clean volley from range whistled narrowly over the crossbar.
The visitors, looking to keep their play-off hopes alive after Saturday’s encouraging win against Blackburn, did threaten an unlikely opener.
In a rare venture forward into the Potters half, Olivier Ntcham pounced on a slack Joe Bursik pass to tee up Fulton, but the midfielder’s effort was blocked.
Philogene-Bidace was again left ruing some resolute Swansea defending when his powerful effort from close range was blocked by Ryan Bennett before the interval.
Yet the youngster’s patience was rewarded shortly after the restart when he was in the right place at the right time to convert – a great way to mark his 20th birthday celebrations.
The inspired England youth international nearly turned provider immediately, but Nick Powell dragged his strike wide from a promising position.
After making all three substitutions by the 55th minute, an already frustrated Russell Martin would have been left further displeased when his Swansea side were reduced to 10-men moments later.
Shortly before the hour mark, Bennett – who only came into the side to replace the suspended Ryan Manning – was given his marching orders for handling Jacob Brown’s goal-bound effort on the line.
Lewis Baker stepped up for the ensuing spot-kick and gladly obliged to double the Potters’ advantage with his second goal for the club in his fourth appearance since a January move from Chelsea.
It took 77 minutes for the visitors to register their first shot on target when Joel Piroe tested a likely cold-handed Bursik, but any chance of a late comeback soon evaporated.
Scotland international Brown rounded off an impressive Stoke display late on when he rifled home his second goal within the space of four days to seal victory.
Thank you for reading 5 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access
Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1
*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription
Join now for unlimited access
Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1
Get the best features, fun and footballing frolics straight to your inbox every week.
Thank you for signing up to Four Four Two. You will receive a verification email shortly.
There was a problem. Please refresh the page and try again.