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Threadbare Blues in Last Eight

Potters: Simonsen, Hoefkens, Hill, Duberry, Broomes (Rooney 86), Chadwick, Brammer, Junior, Sweeney (Sigurdsson 70), Sidibe, Bangoura.
Subs Not Used: Buxton, de Goey, Henry.

Booked: Junior, Hoefkens, Brammer.

Blues: Maik Taylor, Melchiot, Bruce, Latka, Gray, Johnson, Butt, Clemence, Pennant (Clapham 88), Forssell (Jarosik 76), Heskey.
Subs Not Used: Vaesen, Oji, Painter.

Booked: Latka, Clemence.

Goals: Forssell 47.

Att: 18,768

Ref: M Dean (Wirral).

Mikeal Forssell kept up his record of a goal in every round as he poached the winner on 47 minutes with a strikers goal at the far post. Latka had flicked on Pennant's corner and the Finn held off the Stoke defenders to hook the ball home.

Blues had enough chances in the first ten minutes to have wrapped the game up. Forssell particularly had the easiest of headers from eight yards but missed the target.

Stoke's first meaningfull effort came on 30 mins when the ball fell kindly to Hoefkens who fired in a right foot pile driver helped by the following wind. Maik Taylor made a good save to deny him.

Blues had Pennant wasting his time on the left wing for much of the game. He did almost open the scoring just before half time when his frre kick whistled past the post with Simonsen a mere spectator.

Blues were booed off at half time as the blank score line was not what the visiting fans were expecting.

Butt, restored to the side after his midweek costly dummy spitting interlude, fired in a goal bound effort. The ball was deflected for a corner which looked like a well worked dead ball as Latka coming to the near post. He flicked on and Forssell finished neatly at the far post.

Pennant was restored to the right wing and, with Melchiot, looked more like opening up the Potters defence.

Blues defending was determined if a little desperate. Time and again they their clearances were weak or untidy and and from an unnecessary given away corner Stoke almost levelled. Dubury got in a clean header which was arrowed for the top left corner and Taylor miraculously managed to finger tip it away.

So Blues enter the sixth round for the first time since 1984 when of course they lost to Finalists Watford and got relegated. Who ever Blues draw they will be outsiders and of course the matches will be played mid week this year. A home draw would be a blessing as the possible away trips in midweek do not bear thinking about.

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The Journalist

Writer:  Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Sunday February 19 2006

Time: 9:22PM

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