Trailing 1-0 but well in the game with 59 minutes played, the Tigers conceded an unfortunate second goal as Mame Diouf’s tame effort deflected into the back of the net before Evandro was sent off for a second bookable offence, leaving Adkins’ team to play out the final 30 minutes a man down.
“We’re still growing as a side but we’re disappointed that we’ve come away from this game with nothing,” said Adkins.
“We can’t keep conceding goals from set-pieces and we know that we need to deal with that, but I thought we were a little bit unfortunate today.
“We have an honest, hard-working group of players who are eager to do well and improve for this football club and that will continue.
“Obviously Stoke have managed to get in front in the first ten minutes and it came after David Marshall had done really well to clear the ball out of the area from a corner. It landed nicely for their player to strike and it goes through two pairs of legs and then takes a deflection off a third to go into the net, so we didn’t really get the rub of the green there.
“We responded well to that, played some good football and really the only threat to us was from set-pieces. We grew into the game, although it was a game of few chances. We started the second half brightly and were looking at making a couple of positive changes when Stoke managed to get a second goal out of nothing.
“Evandro gets sent off a minute later and the complexion of the game has completely changed in a short amount of time. 2-0 down with ten men against a side just relegated from the Premier League that has spent a lot of money – it was tough from there.”