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27 August 2014

Blues exit Capital One Cup

Former Blues striker Crouch started for the hosts and had the first opportunity on seven minutes when he headed Marc Muniesa’s cross narrowly wide.

Johnny Ertl made his first appearance of the season alongside full debutant Nick Awford in midfield.

Goalkeeper Jones, defender Joe Devera and midfielder Ricky Holmes were the only players to keep their place.

Andy Awford made eight changes to the side that won at Oxford in the league on Saturday.

Paul Jones produced a sublime display in goal for an inexperienced Blues 11, making a string of fine saves to halt the Potters’ charge.

Jonathan Walters scored a goal in each half, while Peter Crouch grabbed a late third to ensure it was the Premier League side who progressed.

Pompey’s Capital One Cup adventure was ended at the second round stage, as Stoke eased to victory at the Britannia Stadium.

Stoke enjoyed plenty of possession in the opening stages without really threatening Jones’ goal.

But they broke the deadlock on 16 minutes as Walters got in front of Jones to prod home Muniesa’s left-wing cross.

The keeper made a fine double save to prevent the Potters from doubling their advantage moments later, getting down quickly to deny first Victor Moses and then Crouch at point-blank range.

The Blues were struggling to contain their top-flight opponents and Crouch was next to go close when he beat the offside trap and volleyed over.

And Jones was called into action again on 22 minutes when Walters rose highest in the box to meet Moses’ cross.

There was not too much happening at the other end of the pitch, although Andy Barcham enjoyed a rare foray forward before eventually being crowded out.

Meanwhile, Stoke were still threatening and Moses beat two defenders before firing narrowly wide on 32 minutes.

Pompey were then forced into a substitution, as Jack Whatmough hobbled off to be replaced by Paul Robinson.

The visitors finally had their first shot just before the break, although Jed Wallace’s long-range effort sailed well wide.

The keeper did even better from the resulting corner, adjusting quickly after Robert Huth’s drive caught a huge deflection.

But it was Stoke who finished the half with a flourish as Jones had to tip over Charlie Adam’s speculative strike from distance.

Stoke 1 Pompey 0 Half Time:

Jones continued his star showing soon after, however, by brilliantly denying Walters his hat-trick before diving bravely at the feet of Crouch.

But that changed less than two minutes after the restart as Moses got free down the left and swung in a low cross for Walters to convert from close range.

For all of Stoke’s dominance, they only had a one-goal lead to show for their efforts at the interval.

The ex-Blues man really should have strengthened the Potters’ advantage further, but sent two headers wide and another comfortably into Jones’ arms.

It had been a quiet evening for Stoke keeper Jack Butland, but he was called into action on 63 minutes to tip over Holmes’ goal-bound effort.

And Pompey’s keeper then kept out Adam’s angled drive as he continued to single-handedly frustrate the opposition.

Danny Hollands and Miles Storey were brought on for the closing stages to freshen up the home side.

But the Blues were unable to find a route back into the game and Crouch added a late third for the hosts when he guided a header past Jones' grasp.
Butland; Wilkinson, Shawcross (c), Huth, Muniesa; Cameron (Sidwell 38), Adam; Odemwingie (Shenton 81), Walters, Moses (Arnautovic 64); Crouch Stoke (4-2-3-1):
Walters 16, 47, Crouch 90 Goals:

Sorensen, Teixeira, Wilson, Diouf Subs not used:
Adam Booked: 10,312 (894 Pompey fans)Attendance:

Andy D’Urso Referee:

Brezovan, Close, Atangana, Westcarr Subs not used:
Jones; Webster (Hollands 64), Devera, Whatmough (Robinson 34), Butler; Ertl (c); Barcham (Storey 71), Awford, Wallace, Holmes; Taylor Pompey (4-1-4-1):

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