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MATCH REPORT

PUBLISHED
12:51 19th January 2011

Cardiff City 0 Stoke City 2

TWO-GOAL Jon Walters booked Stoke City a Staffordshire derby in the fourth round of the FA Cup as they overcame Championship high-fliers Cardiff City in extra-time.


The £2.75 million signing from Ipswich Town headed the Potters in front shortly after the start of extra time following a goalless 90 minutes in the replay in South Wales.


Then Walters settled the issue with a second squeezed home from the tightest of angles as Tony Pulis' side finished the game much stronger than their opponents.


It means City now face a trip to Wolverhampton Wanderers in the next round following their emphatic replay win over Doncaster Rovers at Molineux.


The turning point of an uneventful game at the Cardiff City Stadium was the introduction of substitute Marc Wilson who stamped his class and composure on proceedings to bring City to life as they gained the upper hand going into extra-time.


The only setback of the night was an injury to Danny Higginbotham in the early stages although Danny Collins was outstanding when he switched to the centre of defence and he must have impressed onlooking Wales boss Gary Speed with his display.


City's line-up bore no resemblance to the one from Saturday as Pulis made no fewer than ten changes and most of those players left out did not even make the trip.


Likewise, Cardiff had a number of notable absentees with Bellamy the most notable one, while Bothroyd and Whittingham were also missing from Dave Jones' side.


Ironically, the one survivor from the Bolton match lasted only a few minutes as Higginbotham pulled up with what appeared to be a hamstring injury and was immediately replaced.


That forced Pulis into a reshuffle which saw Collins move into the centre of defence alongside Faye, while Pugh dropped into the left back spot as Tonge was brought on.


There were one or two promising moments for City in the early stages and Pugh's burst down the left ended with him firing over a dangerous cross that was cleared.


The first real tussle of the night between former City striker Parkin and Faye ended with Cardiff being awarded a free kick, but Naylor fired that high and wide.


Naylor posed more of a threat moments later with a burst down the left hand side which ended with a cross which had Sorensen at full stretch as he palmed it away.


Hudson produced an important block when Fuller latched onto a header back into his path from Walters and unleashed a fierce shot which appeared to be goalbound.


Unfortunately, Pennant was not as accurate with his final shot after he had weaved his way into a good position and his left foot effort flew well wide of the target.


That wayward attempt really summed up what was a first half devoid of much goalmouth action and both goalkeepers had precious little to do throughout the 45 minutes.


There was a glimmer of hope for City when a sliced clearance by the Cardiff defence almost fell the way of Walters but he couldn't react quickly enough to take advantage.


Things did not improve at the start of the second half although City had a couple of chances from set-pieces shortly after the break to offer them some hope.


Shotton probably felt he should have done better with a header when he rose to meet a corner swung in from the left by Pennant, and then when the winger delivered another cross from the left Walters found space in the box to send his header over the bar.


Pulis made a couple of changes as the half wore on with Wilson coming on to replace Diao and then Soares being thrown on as a straight replacement for Pennant.


Both Wilson and Soares were involved in City's best move of the game ten minutes from the end which led to Shotton on the overlap crossing from the right. It found Fuller 15 yards out and his first-time shot was deflected wide, much to Cardiff's relief.


City appeared to have the fresher legs and were building some momentum going into the closing stages, but they were given a scare when Keogh found space 25 yards out and chose to go for goal from long range with his effort flashing just over the bar.


Cardiff had appeals for a penalty rejected in injury time when Chopra went down in the area and with that went the last chance to settle the replay in 90 minutes.


Within a minute of the start of extra time, City broke the deadlock after Tonge's burst down the left forced a corner which the midfielder took himself. He swung into the near post where Walters got in front of his marker to send a header flashing past Heaton.


The Potters almost caught Cardiff on the break three minutes later when Fuller released Walters and he carried the ball 30 yards before cutting inside to try a shot that was blocked by Hudson and the home side managed to scramble the ball to safety.


City continued to look the sharper of the two sides, although Cardiff thought they should have been awarded a penalty again for a handling offence, but that was waved away by the referee much to the home crowd's annoyance and frustration.


As extra-time moved into the second period, it was quite evident that some of the home players were struggling and City retained possession well.


It brought its reward eventually after Whelan had a shot deflected behind for a corner, the resulting flag kick leading to the second goal for Walters.


The former Ipswich man was initially denied when he burst into a shooting position, but he regained possession to squeeze his shot in from the tightest of angles.


    Data provided by Press Association

    QUICK FACTS

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