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20:28 13th February 2010

Manchester City 1 Stoke City 1

CITY are in the draw for the Quarter-Finals of the FA Cup for the first time in 38 years after Ricardo Fuller's second half header ensured the two teams would meet again at the Britannia Stadium a week on Wednesday.

The Jamaican international superbly headed home a Rory Delap long throw-in just ten minutes into the second half to cancel out Shaun Wright-Phillips' fortuitous opener for the Citizens early in the first half.

The Potters looked the side more likely to go on and secure the win, but will settle for a replay especially after Ryan Shawcross, who was being watched by England boss Fabio Capello, made a brilliant goal-line clearance in the fourth minute of stoppage time.

Ahead of the game Tony Pulis stuck to his promise to field an attacking line-up as he handed starts to Fuller, Tuncay, Mamady Sidibe and Matthew Etherington. The hosts, who were without the injured Carlos Tevez and Craig Bellamy, named an otherwise full strength team.

The ball bounces off Ryan Shawcross' head to allow Shaun Wright-Phillips to poke home. ACTION IMAGES

Despite looking the brighter of the two teams during the initial exchanges it was in fact the hosts who took the lead in the eleventh minute when Wright-Phillips was handed the easiest of tasks of slotting the ball into an empty net.

The England international raced on to Stephen Ireland's through ball and dinked the ball over Thomas Sorensen, however, Shawcross tracked back and looked set to clear the ball off the line; only to miss-time his clearance and allow the City winger to tap home.

The Potters then suffered a catastrophic blow minutes later as the lively Etherington was forced off on a stretcher after appearing to jar his knee as he attempted to dispossess Martin Petrov on the flank.

Matthew Etherington is stretchered off at Manchester City. ACTION IMAGES

Liam Lawrence was brought on as his replacement, and it was his deliveries from a number of set-pieces which nearly drew the visitors level.

Firstly, Fuller volleyed over from 12-yards after skipper Kolo Toure could only half clear Lawrence's corner, whilst only a brave challenge from Joleon Lescott denied Robert Huth from heading home another dangerous centre from the Ireland international.

Pulis' side continued to look the more likely of the two teams to find the next goal and it very nearly came just after the half hour mark when Tuncay found Lawrence with a delightful ball into the danger zone, only to see his superb strike deflected out for a corner off the unaware Wayne Bridge with Shay Given looking beaten.

Higginbotham then went agonisingly close to scoring what woulkd have been a contender for the goal of the season after flicking the ball up then audaciously firing a volley inches wide of the top right hand corner from almost 40 yards.

Danny Higginbotham shuts out Shaun Wright-Phillips. ACTION IMAGES

Fellow defender Andy WIlkinson found himself in referee Mark Clattenberg's book in the 40th minute after cynically hacking down Wright-Phillips right on the edge of the penalty area, but from the resulting free-kick Bulgarian international Petrov curled an ambitious effort well over Sorensen's bar from an acute angle.

Having already lost Etherington to injury, Pulis had his plans disrupted for a second time on the stroke of half time when his replacement Lawrence landed awkwardly on his knee, almost identically to his team-mate. Rory Delap was thrust into the equation and his first task was to unleash a long throw which Given dealt with comfortably, though things would pan out somewhat differently the next time they were to come head-to-head.

The half time interval brought with it no further changes, though, the injury curse was about to strike the Potters again just minutes into the second half. This time Wilkinson went down holding his ankle after being caught by a late challenge from Wright-Phillips, and he had to be replaced by Danny Collins.

Whilst the travelling 3,500 City supporters were applauding the efforts of Wilkinson, they were sent into delirium when Fuller rose highest eight yards out to head home a Delap missile to level the tie in the 56th, with Given well and truly beaten.

Ricardo Fuller heads home Rory Delap's long throw to equalise against Manchester City. ACTION IMAGES

Things almost got even better shortly after when Jamaican international Fuller latched onto a long punt forward from Higginbotham, but just as he looked to flick the ball past the fast approaching Given, Lescott came from nowhere to usher the ball away from danger.

Roberto Mancini welcomed both Roque Santa Cruz and new signing Patrick Vieira midway through the half in an effort to rejuvenate his side, who were struggling to contain an impressive City side.

Their introductions did manage to spark an improvement from the hosts, who went close through both Gareth Barry and Emmanuel Adebayor. Another Delap long throw then wreaked havoc inside the Manchester City six yard box with Huth and Shawcross both going close to finding the back of the net as the hosts failed to clear the danger.

Mamady Sidibe is closely watched by Pablo Zabaleta. ACTION IMAGES

Denmark stopper Sorensen then showed his class by brilliantly denying Barry with a point blank save, whilst moments later saving well down at his near post to thwart Togo star Adebayor.

A nerve wracking four minutes of additional time was added on at the end, and three minutes into it the hosts nearly undeservedly snatched a winner. Substitute Santa Cruz neatly controlled Vieira's clever ball into the box and drilled the ball underneath Sorensen, but fortunately Shawcross was on had to superbly deny the Paraguayan with a goal-line clearance.

There was still time for City to go close themselves, but after beating Lescott and Bridge, the Turkey captain fired just wide of the near post, before the referee brought the curtain down on a thoroughly entertaining 90 minutes, in which the Potters extended their unbeaten start to the New Year to eight games.

Ricardo Fuller and Mamady Sidibe celebrate at Manchester City. ACTION IMAGES


    The Potters played out four replays to finally beat Bury in the FA Cup in 1955