Stoke beat Leicester to advance
4th January 2014 3pm
Stoke City beat Championship pace setters Leicester City 2-1 at the Britannia Stadium to progress to the Fourth Round of the F.A. cup for the fifth successive time.
Goals in each half coming from Kenwyne Jones, who had a rare opportunity to lead the line and Charlie Adam gave the illusion that the Potters were going to ease through a potential tricky cup encounter.
Complacency from the Potters and good substitutes from Nigel Pearson saw the Foxes make the final moments at the Britannia Stadium a nervy affair though after David Nugent pulled a goal back after linking up with fellow substitute Lloyd Dyer.
Mark Hughes made three changes from the side that drew with Everton a matter of days ago at the Britannia Stadium as Jack Butland was handed his first start for the Potters and Kenwyne Jones and Marko Arnautovic were recalled to the starting eleven.
Injured Thomas Sorensen along with Jonathan Walters and Peter Crouch made way for the replacements.
Nigel Pearson made four changes to his side that have helped the Midlands outfit reach the summit of the Championship.
Former Potter Richie De Laet, along with Matty James, Jamie Vardy, Paul Konchesky and Jeff Schlupp came in for Liam Moore, Wes Morgan, David Nugent, Gary Taylor-Fletcher and Lloyd Dyer from their 3-1 away victory against Millwall on New Year`s Day.
The Potters would have been wary of a potential cup upset as high-flying Leicester are in top form leading the way in the search of Premier League football next season.
The Foxes were unsettled at the start of the game and Stoke nearly opened the scoring when Charlie Adam beat goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel, but defender Ignasi Miquel managed to clear off the line.
Stoke continued to pile on the early pressure and pleased the deminished crowd of just over 16,000 as on-loan winger Oussama Assaidi, who has been in phenomenal form recently found space on the left and cut inside on his right foot and crossed to Kenwyne Jones who headed home from inside the 6-yard box.
The Potters were allowed to pass the ball around at ease, without really creating any chances as Leicester changed to a 4-4-2 formation and stopped the Potters full backs from joining the attacks, which also thwarted any real attacking penetration from the Foxes.
Although Knockaert could have equalised with a volley but hit over and Jeff Schlupp hit wide from a tight angle as the first half came to a subdued end.
The Potters came out the second half with more impetuous and were rewarded shortly after. Charlie Adam picked up the ball centrally and was able to run 20/30 yards unchallenged before unleashing a superb strike from 20 yards that flew past Schmeichel to seemingly end the encounter.
Both teams seemed content with the result until a mixture of complacency that crept into the Stoke ranks and shrewd substitutes from Pearson kicked started the game.
Club top goalscorer Nugent and flying winger Lloyd Dyer were brought on to liven up Leicester.
The former England international Nugent nearly brought Leicester straight back into the encounter but Butland, who had a quiet game was more than a match.
Moments later the former Birmingham stopper had no such luck as David Nugent linked well with Dyer and smashed a header home to make the last 10 or so minutes nervy.
Both teams had chances in the final moments, but Stoke managed to hold their nerve, and progress to the fourth round.