STOKE CITY FC 3 BRIGHTON HA 0
Stoke got off to a super start in the match with big John Carew heading in from a Delap long throw in (14 mins).Jon Walters doubled the lead. A Pennant run down the right was taken on by the overlapping right back Wilson, whose ball in was redirected into the net by the striker (22 mins). Etherington, starting the match following a hamstring injury went off at this point, looking decidedly uncomfortable, to be replaced by Ricardo Fuller.
Stoke’s third goal, before halftime, fell to Captain Ryan Shawcross. Jermaine Pennant’s corner from the right was headed across goal, to the unmarked skipper, who headed home his first goal since our cup exit against Chelsea last year.
No further goals in the second half, with The Potters playing their way into the final eight. Kenwyne Jones came on for Carew, but again did not look likely to score. With the fans on his back life continues to be difficult for him. Fuller seemed below what we know to be his best, until the last few minutes when he suddenly managed a couple of his mesmerising dribbles. The second culminated in a shot to the near post which the keeper parried away for a corner. Even more than at Birmingham last week the selection of Wilson and Pugh at fullback seemed to increase our creative options.
A thoroughly professional performance against the high scoring Division One leaders, in a fixture that might have posed problems for us in the past.