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    Stoke stun Bolton to reach first FA Cup final

    London: Stoke City reached the FA Cup final for the first time when three goals in the first 30 minutes paved the way to a stunning 5-0 win over Bolton Wanderers at Wembley Stadium on Sunday.

    Goals from Matthew Etherington after 11 minutes, Robert Huth six minutes later and Kenwyne Jones after 30 minutes had Stoke manager Tony Pulis leaping for joy on the touchline before a second-half double from Jon Walters put the result beyond doubt.

    Stoke, who first entered the FA Cup in 1883 and had never got beyond the semi-finals, will now face Manchester City in the final at Wembley on May 14 where they will once again be out to prove their doubters wrong.

    "We're used to being the underdogs, and we will be in the final too, so bring it on," Etherington told ESPN television. "We've made history today. Let's go one better and win it.

    "People say certain things about us but some of the goals we scored today were good. We're proving people wrong slowly but surely."

    Stoke, who have a reputation for being a physical side who play a long-ball game, now have the chance of securing a place in next season's Europa League depending on where City finish in the Premier League.

    Founded 148 years ago, Stoke are the second oldest professional club in the country and they have become the first team to score five goals in an FA Cup semi-final since Chelsea beat Watford in 1970.


    As in Saturday's semi-final between Manchester City and Manchester United, one team dominated the opening stages, but unlike Manchester United who let City off the hook, Stoke made their superiority count with some clinical strikes.

    Etherington, who scored a superb goal against Tottenham Hotspur last week, grabbed the first with another stunner, picking his spot wide of Jussi Jaaskelainen with a well struck 20-metre left-foot shot after a bad mistake by Paul Robinson.

    Six minutes later Huth doubled the lead, finding the same corner of the net with a long-range right-foot shot after a Gary Cahill header fell straight to him, leaving Bolton reeling.

    Stoke though were in no mood to let them off the ropes and went 3-0 ahead with only 30 minutes played after a storming run through the gaping holes in Bolton's midfield by Jermaine Pennant who took the ball off Martin Petrov and scampered away.

    His final, superbly weighted ball went straight to Jones who placed his angled right-foot shot wide of Jaaskelainen who had no chance of saving.

    Two goals from Walters then sealed the biggest win in the semi-finals since 1939 as he cracked a long-range shot into the bottom corner in the 68th minute and then steered another effort into the far corner in the 81st to complete the rout.

    "Everyone wrote us off before the game ... people were saying Bolton would get to the final. We proved them all wrong - 5-0," Walters said.

    Bolton, chasing a first final appearance since 1958, had had the first scoring chances in the Wembley sunshine with Gary Cahill going close twice in the opening seven minutes but whatever game plan manager Owen Coyle might have demanded of his men was then totally decimated.

    Stoke now have the chance of becoming the first "new" winners of the Cup since Wimbledon in 1988.