Pulis victorious on return to Gillingham

Gillingham 1 Stoke 3

Tony Pulis enjoyed a victorious return to the Priestfield Stadium as Stoke hit back from a goal down to open their FA Cup campaign with a comfortable win against Gillingham.

Last season's runners-up, Stoke responded to Danny Kedwell's 16th-minute strike with goals from Jon Walters, Cameron Jerome and Robert Huth to reach the fourth round.

Pulis managed Gillingham between 1995 and 1999, guiding the club to the brink of the Championship before leaving in acrimonious circumstances, which ended in a court case.

Gillingham owner Paul Scally banned Pulis from all areas of the ground except the dug-out and the changing room and wrote in the match programme that he could never forgive the Stoke boss.

But the Gillingham support gave Pulis a standing ovation, which he returned with a wave and applause to all corners of the ground before taking his place in the technical area.

On the field, Stoke arrived with six changes from their victory over Blackburn and last year's FA Cup finalists took time to assert their control.

Gillingham took advantage and earned their reward for a bright start when Kedwell latched on to a loose ball in the box and lashed his shot past Stoke goalkeeper Asmir Begovic.

After a suspicion of handball, Danny Jackman cut inside from the left, Stoke failed to deal with the cross towards Lewis Montrose and Kedwell pounced to score his 11th of the season.

Stoke were standing off Gillingham. Matthew Upson left Jackman clear to swing in another cross and Kedwell just strayed offside before rifling a shot into the side netting.

Rory Delap was booked after hacking Curtis Weston down from behind, having been beaten to the ball in midfield as Gillingham continued to show the greater urgency.

But Stoke turned things around with two goals in quick succession to reach half-time ahead.

Walters played the ball up to Jerome and then continued his run before scuffing a low finish under Ross Flitney, who should have done better in the Gillingham goal.

With Stoke back on level terms, Huth flighted a long ball over Jerome to Walters who picked out Kenwyne Jones at the far post but the striker somehow guided the ball over the bar from point-blank range.

But two minutes before the interval, Ryan Shawcross' near-post flick to Ryan Shotton's long throw deflected off the bar and Jerome was on hand at the far post to tap into an open net.

Stoke came out of the blocks quickly after the interval, with Jones and Shotton combining down the right before Jonathan Woodgate's cross forced Flitney into action.

Jones held the ball up well to feed Shotton, whose strike was turned behind for a corner.

Wilson Palacios picked out Huth in the box and the centre-back rose to plant a commanding header past Flitney to extend Stoke's lead.

Stoke were in control now and almost worked a fourth after a goal-mouth scramble but Flitney produced a brilliant reaction save at the near post to deny Jerome.

Ricardo Fuller was sent on for Jones and lifted the pace, working his way into the Gillingham box but, with Jerome and Walters waiting in the middle, his cross was blocked at the near post.

Walters slipped the ball through to Jerome, who advanced on the keeper but the ball appeared to bobble and the striker's shot flew high over the bar.

Gillingham kept playing with spirit and substitute Luke Rooney forced Begovic into a strong reaction save, with the Stoke keeper turning the ball around the near post.

Referee Mark Halsey waved away Gillingham's penalty appeals when Rooney went down in the box and captain Andy Frampton missed a golden chance to score the Gills' second.

Stoke should have made it four through Fuller, who won his side a corner and was then unmarked in the box but directed his volley over the top.

PA

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Stik on the crane as he completed the mural
art
News
Happy in his hat: Pharrell Williams
people
News
i100(More than you think)
News
Phyllis Dorothy James on stage during a reading of her book 'Death Comes to Pemberley' last year
peopleJohn Walsh pays tribute to PD James, who died today
News
peopleExclusive: Maryum and Hana Ali share their stories of the family man behind the boxing gloves
Arts and Entertainment
John Hurt will voice Prince Bolkonsky in Radio 4's War and Peace
radioRadio 4 to broadcast 10-hour adaptation of War and Peace on first day of 2015
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: ‘We give them hope. They come to us when no one else can help’

Christmas Appeal

Meet the charity giving homeless veterans hope – and who they turn to when no one else can help
Should doctors and patients learn to plan humane, happier endings rather than trying to prolong life?

Is it always right to try to prolong life?

Most of us would prefer to die in our own beds, with our families beside us. But, as a GP, Margaret McCartney sees too many end their days in a medicalised battle
Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night - is that what it takes for women to get to the top?

What does it take for women to get to the top?

Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night and told women they had to do more if they wanted to get on
Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour War and Peace on New Year's Day as Controller warns of cuts

Just what you need on a New Year hangover...

Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour adaptation of War and Peace on first day of 2015
Christmas 2014: 10 best educational toys

Learn and play: 10 best educational toys

Of course you want them to have fun, but even better if they can learn at the same time
Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game
There's a Good Girl exhibition: How female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising

In pictures: There's a Good Girl exhibition

The new exhibition reveals how female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising
UK firm Biscuiteers is giving cookies a makeover - from advent calendars to doll's houses

UK firm Biscuiteers is giving cookies a makeover

It worked with cupcakes, doughnuts and macarons so no wonder someone decided to revamp the humble biscuit
Can SkySaga capture the Minecraft magic?

Can SkySaga capture the Minecraft magic?

It's no surprise that the building game born in Sweden in 2009 and now played by millions, has imitators keen to construct their own mega money-spinner
The King's School is way ahead of the pack when it comes to using the latest classroom technology

Staying connected: The King's School

The school in Cambridgeshire is ahead of the pack when it comes to using the latest classroom technology. Richard Garner discovers how teachers and pupils stay connected
Christmas 2014: 23 best women's perfumes

Festively fragrant: the best women's perfumes

Give a loved one a luxe fragrance this year or treat yourself to a sensual pick-me-up