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Match Reports

Match Report : 05/01/2013

5 January 2013

Palace held their own against Premier League Stoke City to earn a spot in the fourth round draw after a goalless draw, but can only progress after a replay despite controlling the majority of the game without finding the goal needed to send them through.

Despite rumours in the week about how many changes both managers would make, two very strong sides lined up at Selhurst and the home fans didn't have to wait long to see their team test their opponents. Only two minutes had elapsed when Jermaine Easter cut inside from the left flank and let fly with a rasping shot that Thomas Sorensen did well to push away.

Stoke created their first opportunity 10 minutes later when their two former England strikers combined and should have given their side the lead. Michael Owen, making his first start for the Potters, connected with a cross from Michael Kightly and flicked a header towards goal which found its way to Peter Crouch, but from only a yard out he stabbed a shot badly wide of the target.

Andre Moritz began 2013 with a bang by netting a brace of free-kicks against Wolves in the previous game, and he came close to scoring the opener when Yannick Bolasie found the Brazilian in space in the box but he dragged his effort wide of the far post. Then Wilfried Zaha saw a powerful drive tipped over by Sorensen as the Eagles finished the half on top of their Premier League visitors.

However Stoke came out brightly in the second period and Kightly blazed over the crossbar after a knock-down from Crouch, before Bolasie dribbled 60 yards with the ball and tee up Moritz who miscued his effort badly from just inside the box.

Palace’s best attacking play had come through Bolasie and he tested Sorensen with a low shot before a raft of substitutions ruined the flow of the game, they included a quiet Owen being replaced by Charlie Adam, Zaha coming off for Jonny Williams and Jason Banton making his Eagles debut for Bolasie.

The new boy had a chance to give his first-team career the perfect start when he was played in by Moritz but he fired wide from a tight angle, and then broke down the flank before passing to Kwesi Appiah who fed Williams but the Welshman shot straight at Sorensen on 78 minutes.

It was all Palace as the final 10 minutes approached with Stoke unable to test Lewis Price in the Eagles goal, and apart from blasts from Moritz and Peter Ramage, which flew over the bar, neither side came close to finding the elusive breakthrough and had to do it all at the Britannia Stadium 10 days later.

Palace: Price, Parr, Bolasie (Banton 68), Jedinak, Zaha (Williams 55), Easter (Appiah 65), Moxey, O'Keefe, Delaney, Ramage, Moritz. 

Subs not used: Fitzsimons, Parsons, Wynter, Taylor
Bookings: O’Keefe, Banton

Stoke: Sorensen, Cameron, Huth, Owen (Adam 53), N’Zonzi, Shawcross, Whitehead, Walters, Kightly (Jerome 55), Crouch( Jones 73), Shotton. 

Subs not used: Nash, Upson, Etherington, Wilkinson
Bookings: Walters

Attendance: 13,693.

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