10-man Stoke end Crawley's FA Cup run
Stoke City booked their place in this season's FA Cup quarter-finals with a 2-0 win away to fourth-tier Crawley Town today despite playing most of the match a man down after Rory Delap was sent off.sports Updated: Feb 19, 2012 20:15 IST
Stoke City booked their place in this season's FA Cup quarterfinals with a 2-0 win away to fourth-tier Crawley Town on Sunday despite playing most of the match a man down after Rory Delap was sent off.
Goals either side of half-time, courtesy of a Jonathan Walters penalty and a Peter Crouch header, saw Stoke, last season's beaten finalists, make it into the last eight.
Stoke's victory ended the FA Cup run of League Two side Crawley, the lowest-ranked club left in the tournament, who also reached this fifth round stage of English football's leading knockout competition last season.
But Premier League Stoke suffered an early setback when defender Delap was shown a straight red card by referee Mike Jones for a lunging challenge on Crawley's David Hunt in the 17th minute.
For most of the first half Stoke, beaten in the Europa League by Valencia on Thursday, were on the defensive and Crawley nearly scored when Crouch almost put through his own net.
Crawley's Kyle McFadzean came close when his 30-yard shot forced a save from Stoke keeper Asmir Begovic.
But three minutes before half-time McFadzean found himself playing an unwanted role when he upended Ryan Shawcross in the Crawley box.
Jones wasted little time in pointing to the spot and Walters's driven low penalty had too much on it for Crawley keeper Rene Gilmartin.
Stoke, who lost to Manchester City in last season's final at Wembley, went into the break 1-0 up and seven minutes after half-time England striker Crouch had doubled their lead in typical fashion.
Glenn Whelan's free-kick picked out the tall forward at the far post and Crouch, rising above the Crawley defence, headed the ball back across goal and beyond the reach of Gilmartin.
Sunday's other ties see high-flyers Tottenham Hotspur travel to League One side Stevenage while Liverpool at home to Championship side Brighton, who knocked them out of the FA Cup in 1983.
Premier League teams Everton, Bolton and Sunderland are all in Sunday's draw for the quarter-finals following wins on Saturday.
So too are second tier Championship team Leicester, who beat Premier League Norwich 2-1 on Saturday in the only upset of the fifth round so far.
Chelsea will also be in the hat but they must beat Birmingham in a replay to be sure of a quarter-final spot after being held to a 1-1 draw on Saturday.
First Published: Feb 19, 2012 20:13 IST