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18:11 8th January 2011

Stoke City 1 Cardiff City 1

STOKE CITY face an FA Cup third round replay in South Wales . . . after being held to a 1-1 draw by Championship high-fliers Cardiff City at the Britannia Stadium.

Tony Pulis' side had to come from behind after Michael Chopra put Cardiff ahead in the eighth minute before Tuncay netted the equaliser just before half time.

City pressed hard for an equaliser in the second half and created plenty of chances, the best of them coming when Kenwyne Jones forced a brilliant save out of David Marshall.

Chopra had earlier taken advantage of a defensive lapse to volley Cardiff in front after his header came back off the post, but Tuncay fired a low shot past the diving Marshall in the final minute of the first half after latching onto a flick from Ricardo Fuller.

As expected, Pulis made a number of changes to the side that played at Old Trafford and in doing so handed a home debut to Shotton who came in at right back.

While Begovic, Collins and Whitehead were rested, Delap, Jones, Wilkinson and Etherington all dropped to the bench to make way for some of the fringe players.

Cardiff were without three key men up front, Bellamy, Bothroyd and new signing Parkin, while former Potters midfielder Olofinjana was also rested for the tie.

Both sides laboured in their attempts to make an early impact on proceedings although Marshall pushed a long range shot from Tuncay round the post.

It was Cardiff who gained the upper hand, however, when they went in front in the eighth minute when City's defence left Chopra unmarked in the box.

The striker was picked out by Whittingham's pinpoint cross from the left and although his initial header hit the post, he volleyed the rebound past a helpless Sorensen.

It took the Potters time to recover from that early setback although the Cardiff defence was stretched when Higginbotham on the overlap whipped over a cross which deflected off Hudson and just evaded the incoming Pennant at the far post.

Whittingham's delivery from the left hand side caused the Potters defence more problems in the 15th minute but Keogh's header was straight at Sorensen on that occasion, while at the other end Tuncay tried an ambitious overhead kick from Shotton's long throw.

Some neat interplay between Tuncay and Walters opened the way for the Turkish international to fire a shot straight at Marshall, but he was adjudged to be offside.

City went close to drawing level in the 33rd minute when they were awarded a free kick for a foul on Tuncay and unfortunately Wilson's curling 25-yard effort rebounded out off the underside of the bar with Cardiff 'keeper Marshall well-beaten.

The Potters were beginning to exert more pressure on the Cardiff defence as the half progressed and it took some brave defending to keep Fuller out.

But the equaliser arrived in the last minute of the half when Sorensen's long kick was flicked on by Fuller and Tuncay stepped inside his marker before firing a low shot beyond the reach of the diving Marshall and inside his right hand post.

City started the second half with more purpose and Fuller felt that he was pulled back as he got clear of his marker in their first attack after the break.

Tuncay had an excellent opportunity to grab a second moments later when a Pennant cross fell to him at the far post after a neat dummy from Fuller. But although he struck his shot cleanly, it was not powerful enough to beat the sprawling Marshall.

The Potters sustained the pressure and when Shawcross laid the ball back to his defensive partner Huth, his shot from the edge of the box was charged down.

Higginbotham ventured forward on another run down the left and his cross was met by Fuller's header at the near post which flashed wide of the target.

City then made a couple of changes in their search for a second goal, sending on Etherington for Pennant and replacing Walters with Jones.

It almost paid dividends when Jones worked his way into an excellent position inside the box, but his powerful shot was brilliantly saved by Marshall.

City then went close to a winner again when Higginbotham sent over a cross from the left that was headed down by Fuller and it bounced over Marshall and clipped the top of the bar.

Pulis then sent on Delap in place of Higginbotham and he immediately set up an excellent chance for Jones with a cross from the right, but his header flew over.

    Data provided by Press Association


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