Daily Mail

Magic Mitoma breaks the Potters

- AADAM PATEL at the bet365 Stadium GEORGE BOND

SO can a World Cup winner do it on a cold Tuesday night in Stoke? Of course he can.

Alexis Mac Allister, and the influentia­l Kaoru Mitoma, helped Brighton past a valiant Stoke side and into the last eight of the FA Cup here last night after Evan Ferguson’s first-half strike. Stoke made seven changes from the side that lost to Millwall on Saturday with loanee Axel Tuanzebe making his first start in 13 months, while Roberto De Zerbi made five alteration­s from Brighton’s defeat by Fulham. It was Lewis Dunk’s 400th appearance for the Seagulls and before the game De Zerbi described his captain as one of the best centre backs in the league. Dunk backed up his manager’s words on the half-hour mark, threading a pass to the devastatin­g Mitoma, who unselfishl­y squared the ball to Ferguson to tap in.

The movement was exquisite and the weight on both the passes was perfect. De Zerbi’s side pride themselves on dominating possession but at times they lost the ball in dangerous areas and were made to work by Alex Neil’s team. Tyrese Campbell’s snapshot was comfortabl­y held by Jason Steele, before Jordan Thompson forced the Brighton keeper into a diving stop. The visitors had chances to double the lead as the game opened up in the second half. Stoke keeper Jack Bonham made two superb saves to deny Jeremy Sarmiento and Mitoma, and Danny Welbeck hit a post late on. But Brighton were nearly made to pay when Tuanzebe’s header looped agonisingl­y wide from a Stoke set piece.

LUKE BERRY’s 87th-minute equaliser rescued a point for LUTON as they came from 2-0 down against MILLWALL to draw 2-2.

The visitors took the lead in the fourth minute thanks to a goalkeepin­g howler from Ethan horvath, who let Zian Flemming’s left-footed half-volley slip through his fingers and dribble over the line. Tom Bradshaw doubled the lead for Gary Rowett’s side seven minutes into the second half with his 12th of the season, tapping in George honeyman’s cross at the far post.

But six minutes later Elijah Adebayo pulled a goal back for Luton, reacting quickest to score the rebound after Leeds loanee Cody Drameh’s shot had been turned on to the bar. And with just three minutes remaining, Berry collected a pass from Jordan Clark on the edge of the area, swivelled and fired a left-footed shot into the bottom-right corner for his first goal for three months. The draw keeps both sides level on points in the play-off places, with Millwall fifth and Luton sixth due to the Lions having scored one more goal. Elsewhere, PRESTON played out a goalless draw with COVENTRY that keeps both sides firmly in mid-table. The point takes Coventry above West Brom into 10th, while Preston stay 12th.

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