Potters see off Walsall
The Potters managed to overturn Walsall with a 2-1 win at the Britannia to make it only their second win in nine games.
Two goals either side of the half time interval from Mama Sidibe and Luke Chadwick condemned the League 1 strugglers, despite scoring with a goal from Kevin James which gave some impetus to a late Walsall rally.
As is always the case in these cup competitions, Walsall proved themselves up to the task and Mads Timms (on loan from Man Utd) and Daniel Fox both saw shots go narrowly wide in the first half.
Stoke equalled the pressure with shots from Paul Gallagher and Luke Chadwick until Sidibe managed a left foot shot from 12 yards on the stroke of half time to break the deadlock.
After half time, Stoke managed the perfect start with Luke Chadwick performing one of his impressive runs in the from right wing to hit a beautiful shot straight into the top corner of the net to double Stoke’s lead.
Walsall, down but not beaten, hit straight back with a simple tap in from six yards by James after a cross from Mark Wright. Steve Simonsen injured himself trying to prevent the goal and had to be substituted by former Dutch international Ed de Goey, making only his second appearance of the season.
De Goey was instrumental in keeping Stoke in the Cup after performing several excellent saves which ensured that Stoke go into the hat for the 5th round draw for the first time in three years
Walsall manager, Paul Merson, agreed that 'it was a world-class finish and a world-class save that was the difference.'
A bit more “world class finishing” in the league would be great for Stoke fans. But in the meantime, let’s hope that we can get a “world class” Premiership team at the Brit in the next round. That would certainly improve on the poor 8,834 attendance and provide some welcome extra cash.