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Match Report


Posted Sun 04 Jan 15 at 17:21 PM

It was a day when a team riding high in the Premier League will have thanked their lucky stars they didn't become another addition on Wrexham’s impressive list of giants downed in the FA Cup.

Mark Carrington’s diving header looked to set us on the road, but Mark Hughes then sent on his big guns, who finally did the business with three goals in the closing 11 minutes at the Britannia.

Early on Connor Jennings tried a 30-yard lob, it was comfortably saved by Butland but signaled Wrexham's attacking intent.

City's Phil Bardsley then cut in from the left after beating Ashton, but can only send a weak shot at Jon Flatt.

The speedy Wrexham start slowed down, with Stoke dictating play but Wrexham were more than holding their own.

Mame Diouf headed over the Wrexham goal following a good ball in by Assaidi after 21 minutes.

A crazy minute of action started with Blaine Hudson heading the ball straight back at Jon Flatt, who was outside of his area so couldn't pick up, but somehow we clear up field. Straight to the other end where Jennings chased a lost cause and won a corner by playing the ball off Butland’s legs.

Stoke hit back with a dangerous deep cross from Assaidi is headed away superbly by Aston, corner which is again well defended.

A superb run by Assaidi say him into the Wrexham box, as he cut one way and then the other before a powerful shot was unleashed, which was blocked by Manny Smith, who threw his body in the way.

Another Potters corner was cleared to Huth outside the box and his volley was goal-bound, but a fantastic improvised saved by Flatt kept it scoreless on 40 minutes.

Pearson played a powerful back-pass to Flatt, only for the the keeper to fluff his attempted clearance, the ball sliced backwards and passing just inches wide of the right hand post.  

That meant the teams headed back to the dressing rooms with scores still level.  

Shortly after the action restarted, full back Pearson took an early injury, after a strong tackle from Mame Diouf. Following treatment he on the pitch he was able to could carry on.

A corner to Wrexham came in front of the away end, as Wes York stormed forward but was only denied at the expense of a flag kick.

Then close to the hour, York hit the bar from 25-yards after a fantastic run and curling effort. The ball was eventually cleared for a corner to as Pearson closed in on the rebound and tried to find the net.

In the midst of all this action, Stoke boss Mark Hughes had seen enough and in n effort to get the upper hand made a double change by sending Crouch on for Sidwell and Walters on for Diouf.  

The Reds went ahead on 72 minutes, thanks to Mark Carrington’s diving header after exchanging passes with Jennings and getting on the end of a beautiful pass into the box that split the City defence.

The away stand went wild as the players converged on Carra and celebrated his strike.

It was a lead that lasted only seven minutes, as a ball fell to Crouch and while his shot was saved by Flatt, the rebound fell kindly for Marko Arnautovic to slam the ball home from close range.

With time were ticking down and just three minutes left on the clock, it was substitute Stephen Ireland who broke our hearts, with a shot on the run that went under keeper Jon Flatt to nudge the Potters in front.  

Big striker Crouch once again proved his worth to the Premiership side by knocking down a cross and setting up the midfielder from the edge of the box to fire City in front.

As we threw bodies forward in a desperate attempt to get back on level terms and deep into added time, a low angled drive from Ireland found the back of the Wrexham net to extend the home side's advantage, although it gave the scoreline an unfair reflection.

Whatever the outcome, it was a great performance from both the players and fans – a tremendous day that almost brought us what would have been a deserved reward, when few gave us much of a hope..

Stoke City: Butland, Bardsley, Shawcross, Huth, Wilson; Cameron (Ireland 76), Sidwell (Walters 61); Arnautovic, Adam, Assaidi; Diouf (Crouch 61).  
Subs: Sorenson, Pieters, Whelan, Shenton.  

Wrexham: Flatt, Pearson, Smith, Hudson, Ashton; Carrington (Moult 90), Evans (Clarke 82), Harris, Hunt; Jennings, York (Bishop 70).
Subs: Coughlin, White, Tomassen, Durrell.  

Referee: Simon Hooper  
Attendance: 19,423  
Away: 4,382  

Bookings -
Wrexham: Evans (74, foul), Flatt (85, time wasting) 

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