Stoke defender Danny Higginbotham made a successful return to action with the only goal in the reserves' win over Sheffield United.
Higginbotham has been sidelined for six months after rupturing a cruciate knee ligament against Chelsea in April.
The 32-year-old scored the only goal of the game with an early free-kick before being replaced at half-time.
Higginbotham was happy with his return as he reported no ill-effects to his run-out.
"It's been a long old time to be out of action, but all the hard work has been worth it just by being out there on the pitch today," Higginbotham told the club's official website.
"It was a nice bonus to score the winning goal, but the main thing for me was just to get through those 45 minutes without feeling any affects of the injury.
"There is still a long way to go though because it's going to be important to manage it in the right way now."