Palace downed in extra time at the Britannia Stadium
Despite a valiant display, Crystal Palace are out of the FA Cup going down 4-1 in the third round replay at Stoke City.
Ian Holloway’s men pushed their Premier League hosts to extra-time after finishing the 90 minutes all square at 1-1.
However, Jonathan Walters broke the hearts of the travelling Eagles army with two goals in the added 30 minutes, and Cameron Jerome twisted the knife in the final minute sending Stoke into a fourth round clash with Manchester City.
It could have been very different but for Jermaine Easter’s woeful penalty miss in the first half of normal time – the out of form striker gifted Thomas Sorensen the easiest of saves, and Palace were not finished with the gifts there.
There was little to choose between the two sides but Stoke’s Kenwyne Jones got the breakthrough in the second half when his soft header was allowed to slip between Lewis Price and the post for a belated Christmas present.
Holloway brought on Glenn Murray and the hitman levelled the scores from the penalty spot when Jonathan Williams was brought down and extra time loomed.
On the resumption, Walters struck in both periods of extra time to finally end Palace’s resistance, and Jerome sealed the win, meaning it was the hosts who took their place in the next round.
Palace host Bolton Wanderers this weekend in the Championship – the return of one Dougie Freedman to Selhurst Park.
Holloway said: "If it had been two league games we be talking about taking two points of Stoke City.
"But this was a cup game, and we really did not need extra-time. There were players out there who have not played in three weeks and it showed.
"The lads are disappointed, but they have done the club proud."