LEYTON ORIENT 0 STOKE CITY FC 1 (after extra time)
True to his word Tony Pulis fielded his reserve team for this match.The exception would be Dave Kitson,included I would think to give him the chance to notch that first competitive goal for The Potters to get the monkey off his back.
The first half produced real chances for both teams with the defences looking shakey at times.Near misses but no goals.
The home team started the second half in very positive fashion,putting Stoke under pressure.Davies and Griffin replaced Sonko and Shotton very quickly to produce a little more composure in defence.
The ineffectual Tom Soares was replaced by prospect Lewis Moult,the youngster partnering Kitson up front with Cresswell dropping into midfield.Having hit the Orient wall with a freekick on 66 minutes,a minute later Kitson had a powerful shot blocked on the line.
Moult burst into the Orient area,but his squared ball was just beyond Kitson's reach.
The final 10 minutes saw Stoke coming on strong, stringing some passes together. One superb header from Kitson struck a defender on the head,rebounding onto the bar and away to safety.Stalemate at full time....now for extra time.
Within a minute Orient missed a golden opportunity from 6 yards out with the Stoke defence at sixes and sevens.
Kitson highlighted the "O's" waste when he scored from 30yards out with a half volley into the top corner (94 mins).Well deserved indeed, capping a fine performance from the ex-Reading man on the night,and reflecting his improved form and commitment this season.
Stoke played out the second period of extra time with relatively few scares.
Third round here we come......the draw....Saturday lunchtime.Could it be the Vale??