Stoke too strong for York
Minstermen take early lead before hosts hit back at The Britannia
Last Updated: 02/01/10 6:04pm
Stoke City booked their place in the fourth round of the FA Cup with a 3-1 victory over non-league York City.
A trio of set-piece goals proved enough for the Premier League side to avoid a giantkilling after they had fallen a goal behind in the opening half.
Neil Barrett's flick header gave the Minstermen a shock lead but their 4,000 strong away following barely had time to dream of an upset before Stoke had turned the game around.
Rory Delap's long throws led to a Danny Parslow own goal and a header for Ricardo Fuller, the hosts scoring twice in as many minutes.
A superb curling free-kick from Matthew Etherington made the game safe in the second half, Stoke running out comfortable winners in the end.
The match was thrown into doubt prior to kick-off, with the visiting side's coach having been delayed by the weather on its way to the stadium.
For a short time it looked as if the game would not be played at all but York's coach finally made it to the ground just before 3pm and the match got under way half an hour later.
Having made widespread changes for Carling Cup fixtures this season, Stoke manager Tony Pulis sprung a surprise by making only a few adjustments to his starting line-up.
Fuller replaced Tuncay Sanli in the Potters attack, while Cort and Danny Collins came into the defence, with Ryan Shawcross suspended and Abdoulaye Faye not featuring in the squad.
Martin Foyle named an unchanged York XI from the side that beat Mansfield in their last league fixture.
Delap's trademark long throw caused problems for York as early as the third minute but goalkeeper Michael Ingham was able to punch the ball away to deny Fuller after it had been flicked on.
But York, roared on by their vociferous supporters, were looking to make an early impression and Michael Rankine tried to a drill a low effort across Thomas Sorensen in the seventh minute, only to see it go comfortably wide.
The non-league outfit were showing plenty of spirit and, after harrying their opponents for much of the opening 20 minutes, took a deserved lead.
York won a free-kick on the left and Barrett directed a header past Sorensen to send shockwaves around the Britannia.
Stoke were rattled but moments later they had turned the game on its head.
First Delap delivered a long throw that Parslow could only deflect past his own keeper.
Then Fuller headed home after Cort had connected with another specialist Delap delivery to put Pulis' side in the ascendancy.
Delap's throwing prowess could hardly be described as a secret weapon these days but York seemed unable to deal with it whenever the midfielder sent a ball into the box.
Panic ensued again in the 42nd minute after another Delap throw, with Levi Mackin almost sending the ball past Ingham for a second own goal, but the Minstermen survived.
The hosts almost extended their advantage immediately after the break but, having risen highest to meet Etherington's corner, Cort was unable to guide his header on target.
At the other end, Richard Brodie managed to create some space to turn and shoot in the box but the effort did little to trouble Steve Simonsen, who had come on at half-time to replace Sorensen.
As time wore on, Stoke were looking increasingly comfortable, with Robert Huth narrowly heading over from Etherington's corner and Fuller just failing to get on the end of Liam Lawrence's delivery.
A third goal seemed to be in the pipeline and it duly arrived after 56 minutes thanks to Etherington's dead-ball accuracy.
From just outside the area, the winger stepped up and sent a delightful free-kick into the top left-hand corner, barely giving Ingham the chance to move.
Etherington then attempted a carbon copy just after the hour mark but could only send the ball into Ingham's grateful arms.
Perhaps sensing the opportunity for his strikers to boost their poor goal return this season, Pulis sent on Tuncay for the ineffective Beattie for the final quarter of the game, while Mamady Sidibe came on for Fuller with 10 minutes remaining.
The new strike partnership looked lively and Tuncay went close after cutting into the box in the 81st minute but could only lift his effort over the bar.
Sidibe then flashed a header over and saw a shot tipped round the post by Ingham, with Tuncay unlucky not to connect with a header from the resulting corner.
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Sat 2nd Jan - Third Round
Stoke City3 - 1York City
Huddersfld0 - 2West Brom
Portsmouth1 - 1Coventry
A Villa3 - 1Blackburn
Preston7 - 0Colchester
N Forest0 - 0Birmingham
MK Dons1 - 2Burnley
Tottenham4 - 0Peterboro
Bolton4 - 0Lincoln
Wigan4 - 1Hull City
Middlesbro'0 - 1Man City
Scunthorpe1 - 0Barnsley
Torquay0 - 1Brighton
Millwall1 - 1Derby
Sunderland3 - 0Barrow
Southampton1 - 0Luton Town
Plymouth0 - 0Newcastle
Fulham1 - 0Swindon
Blackpool1 - 2Ipswich
Sheff Wed1 - 2C Palace
Everton3 - 1Carlisle
Leicester2 - 1Swansea
Reading1 - 1Liverpool