FA Cup Round-Up

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Preston NE 1 Crystal Palace 1

With the visitors in fifth place and Preston two points adrift in sixth, this all-Championship tie was as close as their League positions. The south Londoners took an early lead when Preston defender Youl Mawene dithered on the ball in his own penalty area, lost possession and Palace's England striker Andrew Johnson (pictured) coolly finished from 12 yards.

The North End attack, without the suspended David Nugent, conjured an equaliser in the 27th minute when their midfielder Brian O'Neil headed Graham Alexander's accurate free-kick past Palace goalkeeper Gabor Kiraly.

"We started strong but we sat back and conceded the goal," the disappointed Palace manager, Iain Dowie, said. "After that we finished the game strongly, but the last thing we need is a replay."

Preston's boss, Billy Davies, was more upbeat. "We have done very well against a huge club with huge resources who are just out of the Premiership," he said."We had a slow start, but the response to going behind was excellent."

Unbeaten in 19 games but with nine draws out 15 home games, Preston began the second half well and Kiraly tipped Dave Hibbert's shot past the post. Palace had a second Johnson goal disallowed for offside, but when Hibbert headed over from three yards out, the replay back at Selhurst Park was booked. But first, the sides meet again at Deepdale on Tuesday in the Championship.

Stoke City 2 Walsall 1

The Potters, who needed a replay and a penalty shoot-out to beat Tamworth of the Conference in the Third Round, their only win in eight games, put poor Championship form aside for an afternoon to beat Paul Merson's League One team.

Stoke went ahead in first-half time added on when Karl Henry's shot was blocked by Walsall's Anthony Gerrard, cousin of Steven, and Mamady Sidibe finished. "He's not what I'd call a footballer but he's a handful," Merson said. "He'd get in my team, he's good at what he does." The second goal was better.

Four minutes after the restart Luke Chadwick cut inside from the right and scored with a fierce drive into the top corner. Not, Merson said, "the sort of goal you come up against every week".

Two minutes after going 2-0 down, Walsall got back in it. Mark Wright found room on the right and his tantalising ball across the face of goal gave Kevin James a tap-in from six yards. Merson's young side pressed for a second and substitute Alex Nicholls' shot boomed back off a post. On the hour the Potters goalkeeper, Steve Simonsen, went off injured, but replacement Ed de Goey kept Stoke's lead intact.

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