Pressure mounts on Hughes after FA Cup defeat

Stoke Hughes out

Stoke City’s poor form continued under manager Mark Hughes as the Premier League strugglers lost 2-1 to League 2 Coventry City in Saturday’s FA Cup third round clash at the Ricoh Arena.

Coventry City 2 Stoke City 1
Willis clears Diouf’s shot off the line
The same player hands Coventry the lead
Adam scores from the spot
Grimmer hits winner

Match summary

Stoke started the stronger and were grateful to Jordan Willis as he cleared Mame Biram Diouf’s strike off the line in the early stages. The same player then handed the hosts the lead with a superb header from Jordan Maguire-Drew’s cross.

After the break, Charlie Adam drew Stoke level from the spot after Ramadan Sobhi was brought down. Yet, Jack Grimmer was the hero as he scored the winner in the 68th minute.

Match report

It was the Premier League visitors that started on the front foot with Stoke centre-back Geoff Cameron advancing up the field before seeing his strike blocked by Tom Davies in the early exchanges. In the 10th minute, Coventry were grateful to Willis as he hooked Diouf’s strike off the line with Liam O’Brien beaten.

Thereafter, both teams were probing without really threatening, although just after the 20-minute mark the Ricoh Arena exploded when Willis headed home a superb cross from Maguire-Drew, which gave Jack Butland no chance.

The goal from the League Two outfit seemingly ruffled the feathers of the Potters, who barely threatened again for the rest of the first stanza.

Just before the break, Coventry nearly made it 2-0 when Tom Bayliss fed in Mark McNulty but his effort rolled just wide of the post. Soon after the keeper used a foot to block the striker’s effort as the noise levels rose at the Ricoh.

After the interval, Mark Hughes brought on Peter Crouch as he looked to add more cutting edge to Stoke’s attack. It paid dividends in the 54th minutes when Willis slid in on Sobhi in the area and the referee pointed straight to the spot. Adam stepped up to send Liam O’Brien the wrong way.

Nonetheless, the Sky Blues showed resilience and saw their lead restored in the 68th minute through Grimmer. The 23-year-old found a pocket of space outside of the box before striking a powerful effort beyond Butland from around 25-yards.

The away team piled on the effort in the final 20 minutes as they chased a goal to level matters. In the 77th minute Crouch found half-a-yard of space but his strike was saved comfortably by O’Brien in goal. Hughes brought on Maxim Choupo-Moting and Xherdan Shaqiri as he looked to find a way back into the contest.

Coventry’s keeper not long after produced a fine double-save to keep his team in the lead before Diouf missed a golden chance to level matters when he put his far post header wide. Crouch headed just over deep into stoppage time as the home team recorded a famous victory to advance to the fourth round.