Town draw 1-1 with Stoke City at the Montgome
Town: Steve Arnold, Ryan Haynes, Mat Sadler (Omar Beckles, 82), Greg Docherty, James Bolton, Lenell John-Lewis, Alex Gilliead, Luke Waterfall, Josh Laurent, Lenell John-Lewis, (Aaron Amadi-Holloway, 17) (Lee Angol, 83), Ollie Norburn, Anthony Grant.
Subs: Joel Coleman, Josh Emmanuel, Omar Beckles, Lee Angol, Aaron Amadi-Holloway, Abo Eisa, Ryan Sears.
Stoke: Adam Federici, Erik Pieters, Ashley Williams, Tom Ince, Peter Etebo, Benik Afobe (Peter Crouch, 75), James McClean (Mame Diouf, 75), Bruno Martins-Indi, Saido Berahino (Tyrese Campbell, 75), Sam Clucas, Tom Edwards.
Subs: Jakob Hougaard, Mame Diouf, Cuco Martina, Peter Crouch, Tyrese Campbell, Lasse Sorensen, Harry Souttar.
Referee: David Webb
Assistants: Paul Hodskinson and John Flynn
Fourth official: Simon Mather
Attendance: 7512 (1525)
A first-half goal wasn’t enough to see Town progress into the next round as the visitors found an equaliser.
Ollie Norburn and Peter Crouch got the goals that will now see Town and the Potters face off in a replay fixture.
Team News: Sam Ricketts named the same team for the FA Cup tie with Stoke City as he did for Town’s Sky Bet League One fixture with Sunderland.
The third-round tie with Stoke City promised an entertaining game, and the first 10 minutes provided. Town would have been forgiven for sitting back against the Championship opposition but Sam Ricketts’ team were competing and matching the visitors.
Lenell John-Lewis was forced to leave the pitch after 16 minutes. The striker pulled up sharply and after running for the ball and picked up an unfortunate injury.
Town looked dangerous on every attack and it was Greg Docherty who orchestrated a number of Town’s positive moves. The midfielder continually picked the ball up in the middle of the park and forced the play up the pitch.
The only real chance the visiotrs got in the early stages of the half was a driven long-range effort by the Potters centre-back Ashley Williams. Williams picked the ball up near the edge of the box but saw his powerful effort go wide of the post.
Steve Arnold was called into action just a few minutes later and made a great save for Town. Tom Ince found himself through on goal, but Arnold got down low and parried the ball away to safety – keeping the scores level.
Ollie Norburn was given a yellow card with 15 minutes to go, as the referee deemed the midfielders challenge to be a foul.
Town were awarded a penalty on the stroke of half time for a foul on Aaron Amadi-Holloway. Norburn stepped up to take the penalty and buried the ball in the right hand corner – sending the keeper the wrong way.
Town more than matched the visitors in the early stages of the half and looked to be the team in control as the half drew to a close. A late penalty saw Town go into the break with a deserved lead.
The visitors came out for the second-half determined to get a goal back. The Potters were pushing forward and pressuring Town’s back four, but Town remained strong and were doing a good job sealing out Garry Rowett’s men.
Town came inches away from doubling the lead just 10 minutes into the half. Another great ball from Docherty found its way to the head of Amadi-Holloway, but the striker headed the ball over the bar.
Ince was the danger man for the visitors and looked a continual threat as the game went on. Despite looking positive, the winger was unable to find the target and was being limited to long-range efforts.
Town were beginning to play counter-attacking football to combat the Potters pressure. A counter-attacking move saw Josh Laurent through on goal in the 77th minute but the tight angle meant Town could only win a corner, which the Potters dealt with.
The visitors managed to pull a goal back just a minute later. Second-half sub Peter Crouch got on the end of a driven cross and managed to knock the ball over the line after sustained pressure on the Town back line.
Mat Sadler was withdrawn from the game in the 82nd minute after sustaining a head injury due to a clash of heads.
The game came to an end level on the score sheet and Town will play a replay at the Bet 365 Stadium.