Home Sports FA Cup: Moses Helps Stoke Win at Rochdale

FA Cup: Moses Helps Stoke Win at Rochdale

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Stoke City avoided being the victim of another FA Cup fourth-round upset with a comfortable victory at League One side Rochdale.

A stunning volley from Bojan Krkic gave the Premier League side an early lead before a neat finish from substitute Stephen Ireland and a driven Victor Moses goal put them in control.

Rochdale got on the scoresheet late on when Rhys Bennett struck from close range but Jon Walters made sure of victory by tapping home in stoppage time.

Stoke, losing finalists in 2011, will travel to Championship team Blackburn in the fifth round.

After several upsets in Saturday’s FA Cup games, there was a sense of belief among the Rochdale supporters that their side could also claim a Premier League scalp.

They had seen off Championship side Nottingham Forest to secure their place in the fourth round for the second successive season and, keen to progress even further for the first time since 2003, they immediately went on the attack against Stoke.

An enterprising start saw them win an early corner after Peter Vincenti’s shot was deflected behind but for all their early enthusiasm, there was little they could do about a moment of magic from Bojan inside the fourth minute.

The former Barcelona forward quickly adjusted to the unfamiliar surroundings of Spotland when he volleyed in a stunning opener after a clearing header fell to him on the edge of the area, reports the BBC.

It was a brilliant finish, but was to be his only contribution as his game was ended just after the half-hour mark when he suffered an injury after chasing a ball into the box. He later left the ground on crutches and will have a scan.

Bojan’s departure seemed to invigorate both Rochdale’s players and fans and the hosts embarked on an impressive spell of dominance, coming closest to an equaliser when Matt Done poked a shot just wide after getting between two Stoke defenders.

Potters boss Mark Hughes became increasingly animated as the half wore on, and whatever was said in his half-time team talk clearly had the desired effect as the visitors scored twice in under 10 second-half minutes.

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