Stoke grabbed an unwanted February double with two straight red cards a fortnight apart,the first at home to Sunderland just before the interval,the second less than 20 minutes into their cuptie at Crawley.Both were controversial and both despite being separated by over twenty minutes in the respective games,left the Potters in virtually identical situations.
Premiership rivals Sunderland had only 45 minutes to press home their numerical advantage,but the importance of scoring first in any game was highlighted by McClean's 61' cross shot.
Second division Crawley had a potential 70 minutes of 11 verses 10 to go with their home advantage,which gave them about the same chance of winning as Sunderland had had two weeks earlier at a snow swept Britannia,but a soft penalty award scuppered their high hopes.
Stoke v Sunderland in the EPL.
Crawley v Stoke,FA Cup 5th Round.