Potters through but Begovic awol
Stoke progressed through to the third round of the Carling Cup after a 2-1 win over Shrewsbury Town, but the night will be remembered for Asmir Begovic pulling out the squad fuelling speculation over his future.
The Bosnian told Tony Pulis that he wasn`t in the right frame of mind to take part in the game as rumours linking him with Chelsea intensified. Stoke have already rejected a bid from the Premier League holders and don`t want another one submitted, but with player power now playing a significant part in the game there is every chance he will move on.
It was a strong Potters side who lined up. Carlo Nash made his first start in his second spell at the club and the midfield included Matthew Etherington and Glenn Whelan in front of a back four of Shawcross, Huth, Wilkinson and Higginbotham. Tuncay, who made a big impact against Spurs on Saturday, partnered Walters upfront.
Goals from Jon Walters, his second for the club, oh sorry that first one wasn`t given against Spurs so that makes it his first Potters goal, and another from Tuncay in the first half put the Potters in cruise control until Steve Leslie pulled one back for the Shrews.
Walters opened his Stoke account by flicking a Matthew Etherington cross into the far corner to send the Potters on their way after a dominant opening period. And soon after they doubled their lead as Tuncay tucked away yet another Etherington cross with a deadly header.
The game seemed to be wrapped up until Steve Leslie capitalized on a Ryan Shawcross to head beyond Nash. However that was it as far as Shrewsbury were concerned as the Stoke saw the game out.
The seven English sides enter the draw in the next round as Manchester United will be gunning for a third successive cup but Stoke will hoping for another kind home tie as they feel a good cup run is well within their capabilities.