Eagles out but leave with heads held high
PALACE crashed out of the FA Cup on Tuesday night but took Premier League big boys all the way to the wire.
Glenn Murray sent the tie to extra-time when he scored a penalty late on to cancel out Kenwyne Jones' second half opener, but two goals from Jonathan Walters and one from Cameron Jerome eventually put the Eagles to the sword.
Ian Holloway felt his side didn't deserve to be on the end of such a defeat, but paid tribute to his opposite number Tony Pulis and attacker Walters, who bounced back from scoring two own goals and missing a penalty last weekend against Chelsea.
"In reality, that would have been two points out of six with a home and away draw against Stoke," he said.
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"Unfortunately it was a cup competition and we had to do however many minutes, which is the last thing any of us needed.
"I was forced to do substitutions – some of those lads hadn't played probably for three or four weeks, particularly at this sort of level.
"I think the gulf in the end was a little bit unfair on us but we're trying to catch up to someone like Stoke.
"Tony Pulis has done a fantastic job – his team are hard-working and they never stop. And Jonny Walters summed it up for me.
"You watch what he did on Saturday against Chelsea, he tried to clear two things and it went wrong, but against us you would never have known.
"I feel a bit aggrieved, because overall, did my lads deserve that? "I think that's where they are and where we're trying to get to - I would rather take the positives out of it."
Palace made a good start and had a penalty appeal turned down after 28 minutes. A fantastic piece of skill by Zaha beat Walters, but the referee waved away appeals for a foul.
Moments later, Zaha was then booked diving, after it looked as though he'd been tripped just inside the box.
And Zaha was the centre of attention again minutes later when the Eagles were awarded a spot-kick when he was forced over by Ryan Shawcross.
Jermaine Easter opted to take it, but he decided to place it to the right and Sorensen pulled off a great save.
The hosts opened the scoring midway through the half.
Cameron Jerome's great delivery found substitute Kenwyne Jones and the big striker headed past Price.
Top goalscorer Glenn Murray was thrown on after 80 minutes as Palace went for it with three men in attack.
They were rewarded for their persistence when the referee awarded another penalty after Williams was felled.
This time Murray stepped up and sent Sorensen the wrong way with an emphatic finish to force extra-time.
But just five minutes in Stoke regained their lead thanks to Walters.
A great delivery from Etherington on the left found the Irishman unmarked at the far post to head home with ease.
Walters made the game safe with his second of the match and Stoke's third. The former Ipswich striker burst into the box and slotted the ball past Price.
And late on Jerome raced onto a through-ball, went around Price, and fired home to give the hosts a fourth round tie against Manchester City.