Stoke City boss Mark Hughes was a relieved man after his Premier League side avoided a Capital One Cup banana skin at Kenilworth Road last night.
The Potters needed penalties to progress after the match had finished 1-1, with sub Geoff Cameron scoring the winning kick to make it 8-7 in the shootout once Scott Griffiths had put his effort against the crossbar.
Hughes had seen his team in pole position after Jonathan Walters’ strike on the hour before Hatters sub Cameron McGeehan got Kenilworth Road rocking with an injury time equaliser.
However, it was the Potters who prevailed and face one of Hughes’ former clubs in Championship outfit Fulham at the next stage, as the City chief said: “I think the the obvious feeling is relief. We had opportunities to win the game, we were 1-0 up with 90 minutes gone, about 40 seconds left and we allowed them the one chance that they needed.
“They deserve credit because they kept going and were competitive. They had one chance and put it away, you’re thinking at 1-1 we’re making hard work of this, but thankfully we came through extra time, without ever really on the night, creating enough chances for the play that we had,
“In the end we’re grateful to go through on penalties and that was the order of the day, to progress in the competition.
“The lads stepped up and showed good determination to convert the penalties and we went through in the end.”