Fulham 0 Stoke City 1
Peter Crouch’s first goal of the season was enough to knock Fulham out of the Capital One Cup and steer Stoke into the fourth round.
The former QPR striker exchanged passes with Peter Odemwingie before firing into the bottom corner from just inside the box on 32 minutes.
The Whites had a host of chances late in the game, with both Ross McCormack and Lasse Vigen Christensen forcing keeper Shay Given into decent saves at the far post.
Christensen was also unable to find an unguarded goal from 40 yards out after Given’s miscued clearance, while defender Dan Burn hit the Stoke bar with a volley in stoppage time.
Fulham’s strong finish was in complete contrast to a first half dominated by an energetic Stoke, with only Alex Kacaniklic forcing Given into a save.
Crouch was always a threat for the Potters, and he started off the move for his goal by skilfully beating a man before playing a one-two with Odemwingie, and then shrugging off Richard Stearman’s challenge before applying the finish.
Fulham improved in the second half but McCormack’s poor end-product on the night was epitomised when he failed to put Ben Pringle’s cross into the back of the net on 76 minutes.
Odemwingie came close to doubling Stoke’s lead when he broke clean through on goal but chipped his effort over both keeper Joe Lewis, who made his Fulham debut, and the crossbar.
Christensen’s back-post volley forced Given into a quick reaction save but the Irish keeper was in no man’s land when Christensen controlled his clearance but shot wide of the near post.
Given was also beaten when Burn struck the woodwork at the death.
Subs not used: Lonergan, Bodurov, Kavanagh, Evans.