Striker Dave Kitson earned Stoke a place in the third round of the Carling Cup with the extra-time winner in a 1-0 victory over Leyton Orient.
His 35-yard half-volley soared over the head of Orient goalkeeper Glenn Morris to end the stubborn resistance of the Geraint Williams' League One side.
The Barclays Premier League outfit fielded a team of reserves against their lowly opponents with only midfielder Amdy Faye keeping his place in the side from Saturday's draw at Birmingham.
Stoke were quickly onto the attack and in the ninth minute Kitson fired just over the crossbar from 20 yards. Moments later, the City striker was wide of the target with a volley after Carl Dickinson's cross had found him lurking by the penalty spot.
Orient lost goalkeeper Jamie Jones with a knock on the half-hour. He was replaced by substitute Morris.
And the keeper had to be at his best again in the 38th minute when Kitson tried his luck with an angled drive towards the near post. The substitute dived low to his right to prevent the ball from sneaking in as Stoke briefly raised the pace of their game.
Adrian Patulea wasted a great chance in the 47th minute when John Melligan's cross found the Orient striker unmarked at the far post. But Patulea's header was weak and lacked an accuracy as he placed it wide of the target from point-blank range.
Orient continued to cause Stoke problems in defence and Patulea's neat flick-on in the 58th minute was met by Tamika Mkandawire. However, the Orient defender had his back to goal and his attempted header fell neatly into the arms of Steve Simonsen.
Stoke should have broken the deadlock in the 83rd minute when Danny Pugh's corner was met by the head of Kitson. But somehow his effort was headed against the crossbar and out by Melligan on the goal-line.
However, Kitson settled the tie in the third minute of extra-time when his 35-yard effort found the top corner of the net.
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