Oldham. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1
DARREN Beckford, booed by Stoke supporters because of his Port Vale pedigree, marked his return to the Potteries by earning Oldham a fifth-round home tie against Barnsley at the Victoria Ground last night.
Beckford's goal may have stirred memories among Oldham's followers of their run to the semi-finals in 1990, when they succumbed only after a replay to the eventual winners, Manchester United. In truth, it was the only effort Joe Royle's side put on target in a replay dominated by the hosts.
Stoke, on the fringe of the First Division promotion race, set about their Premiership visitors as if they meant to settle the tie as quickly as possible. Toddy Orlygsson might have put the issue beyond doubt in the opening 20 minutes. After only three minutes, Orlygsson seized on Mike Milligan's misplaced pass and let fly from the angle of the penalty area. The ball came back off the crossbar.
Jon Hallworth made two desperate saves, from Nigel Gleghorn and Graham Potter, before Orlygsson overpowered Neil Pointon and sent another drive inches wide. But Oldham clung on, and broke out to score a stunning goal after 31 minutes.
Milligan, fed by Neil McDonald in the inside-left channel, instantly lobbed the ball into the danger zone. Beckford planted his header into the right corner of Mark Prudhoe's net from 12 yards.
Sadly, a handful of Stoke fans did rather more than jeer Beckford at the end, showering the match-winner with spittle and racial abuse as he headed down the tunnel.
Stoke City (1-4-3-2): Prudhoe; Cranson; Butler, Overson, Sandford, Potter (Sturridge, 71); Orlygsson, Foley, Gleghorn; Bannister, Regis. Substitutes not used: Gynn, Sinclair (gk).
Oldham Athletic (4-4-2): Hallworth; Makin, Jobson, Fleming, Pointon; Bernard, Milligan, McDonald, Holden; Beckford, Sharp. Substitutes not used: Ritchie, Pedersen, Gerrard (gk).
Referee: P Jones (Loughborough).Reuse content