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Stoke City 4-1 Palace: Extra-time Eagles run out of gas despite Murray equaliser

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CRYSTAL Palace were knocked out of the FA Cup this evening after a very flattering scoreline gave Stoke City a 4-1 win.

Glenn Murray sent the tie to extra-time when he scored a penalty late on to cancel out Kenwyne Jones' second half opener.

But late goals from the hosts thanks to a Jonathan Walters double and Cameron Jerome at the death put the Eagles to the sword.

The hosts had a good chance to take an early lead when Dean Whitehead received the ball on the edge of the box, but instead of hitting it first time, he played the ball left to Matthew Etherington, who won a corner.

But Palace went up the other end when Jonathan Williams burst through the middle, and with Stoke backing off, he played in Matt Parsons down the left, who delivered a great ball for Aaron Wilbraham to head just over from ten yards.

17-year-old midfielder Hiram Boateng was looking bright in the middle and showed confidence in the 12th-minute with a beautifully chipped pass down the left to Parsons to run on to.

Whitehead saw an effort deflect over for a corner shortly after, while Lewis Price was lucky to claw away a delivery in from the left from Etherington after slightly misjudging the flight of the ball.

Stoke showed their class at times down both flanks before the midway point of the first period but to no real effect with Peter Crouch a frustrated figure in attack.

Palace had a penalty appeal turned down after 28 minutes following a short corner when, following a fantastic piece of skill by Zaha to beat Walters on the left side of the box, the winger cut inside and went tumbling, but the referee wasn't interested.

However, moments later, the Eagles were awarded a spot-kick when Zaha was fouled inside the box after tangling with Ryan Shawcross.

Jermaine Easter opted to take it, despite Wilbraham collecting the ball first, but he decided to place it to the right and Sorensen pulled off a great save to tip it onto the post and out for a corner.

Zaha was denied from a good Stoke block just the break after curling an effort towards goal, while rumours were circulating around the press box that Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson was in attendance to watch the academy product.

However, Zaha was replaced by Yannick Bolasie at the break, and the winger looked very lively early on winning a couple of corners early on in quick succession.

Stoke picked themselves up and tried to force the issue once again using both flanks, but the Palace defence stood firm and looked to release the likes of Williams and Boateng through the middle of the park.

In fact, speaking of Boateng, he was showing such fantastic composure on the ball up against Premier League players and certainly didn't look out of place.

Ian Holloway decided to bring the youngster off after 64 minutes and introduced Andre Moritz to spark a bit more creativity as the Eagles looked to go for the winner.

But it was the hosts who opened the scoring midway through the half, slightly against the run of play.

Cameron Jerome had hit the post from a deflected strike, and with Stoke continuing their build-up down the left, a great delivery into substitute Kenwyne Jones found the big striker to head past Price.

However, it looked to have been a mistake from the goalkeeper, as the ball seemed to go through his hands - and he didn't deserve to beaten like that either.

Top goalscorer Glenn Murray was thrown on after 80 minutes as Palace went for it with three men in attack, and they nearly grabbed an equaliser when Moritz hit the side netting following a great run from Parsons down the left.

However, they were rewarded for their persistence when the referee awarded another penalty after Williams was sent crashing to the ground he looked to pull the trigger.

This time, who else but Murray to step up and send Sorensen the wrong way with an emphatic finish. Game on.

And despite a late flurry of attacks from both sides, the tie went to extra-time in bitterly cold conditions.

Just five minutes in and Stoke regained their lead thanks to Walters. A great delivery from Etherington on the left found the Irishman unmarked at the far post to head home with ease.

The Eagles managed to hold on until the halfway point of extra-time, but something Holloway must have said sparked them into action again as they looked very bright in the second half of extra-time, particularly through Bolasie.

However, all their further persistence was crushed when Walters made the game safe with his second of the match and Stoke's third.

The attacking midfielder burst down the right, entered the box and cooly slotted the ball past Price into the far bottom corner.

And there was nearly a fourth when Jones found himself one on one with Price, but the custodian made a good double save.

However, Stoke did grab another goal at the death when Jerome raced onto a through-ball, went around Price and slotted home to give the hosts a flattering 4-1 victory.

Palace: Price, Gabbidon (Murray 79), Ramage, Delaney, Parsons, Boateng (Moritz 65), Jedinak (c), Williams, Easter, Zaha (Bolasie 46), Wilbraham.

Subs Not Used: Speroni, Taylor, Wynter, Moxey.

Attendance: 11,617


By Croydon Advertiser Sports Reporter Mark Ritson

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