CAMERON JEROME and Robert Huth made it an FA Cup double . . . as Stoke City eased into the fifth round with a comfortable victory over Derby County.
England Under-21 international Jerome and German defender Huth, who had both been on target in the third round victory over Gillingham, grabbed the goals that earned the Potters a 2-0 triumph at Pride Park and place in tomorrow's fifth round draw.
Roared on by a following of 5,500 fans, City gained the upper hand as Jerome lashed home his fourth goal in as many weeks to give them an early lead.
Huth, who had hit the woodwork with a header in the first half, wrapped it up with ten minutes remaining as he swept home a Jermaine Pennant corner.
It was City's fifth victory in their last seven away matches and this win had their ecstatic fans dreaming of a return trip to Wembley in the competition.
Pulis had made four changes to the side beaten by West Brom, one of which was to reward Jerome for his recent goalscoring form, one of which had played a part in City's passage into the fourth round at Gillingham.
The other changes saw Begovic, Wilkinson and Whitehead all return to the starting line-up with Shotton, Delap and Woodgate all dropping to the bench, while Sorensen was rested as Nash sat on the substitute's bench.
City, defending the goal behind which their 5,500 supporters were accommodated at Pride Park, had plenty of possession in the opening stages and it wasn't only five minutes into the tie that they made that bright start count.
Etherington's burst down the left earned them a corner from which the winger linked up with Whelan to tee up the chance.
When Whelan's cross was flicked on by Wilson, both Huth and Jerome were on hand, but it was the former Birmingham man who hammered his shot into the back of the net from six yards out, giving Fielding no chance whatsoever.
It was not surprising in the circumstances that the Stoke fans were making all the noise and they roared on the team to go in search of a second goal that would give them a cushion to reflect their early dominance of the tie.
The game was almost a quarter of an hour old before Derby exerted some pressure on the City defence but Whitehead dived full length to clear the danger with his head when the overlapping Brayford swung over a cross.
The physical presence of City's defence appeared to be holding Derby at bay with some ease although Shawcross was cautioned by referee Clattenburg for a clumsy challenge which upended Bailey as he ventured forward.
City first anxious moment of the tie came when Bryson burst down the right and whipped over a cross which required some desperate defending to block Green's effort before Hendrick fired his shot wide of the target.
On the half hour mark, the Potters were denied a second goal by the woodwork when Huth, matchwinner at this stage of the competition last season, rose to head Etherington's corner goalbound but saw it crash against the upright and Fielding managed to smother the loose ball in the follow-up to that chance.
The Potters carved out another opening when Crouch rose to flick on a free kick delivered up to him and when Jerome then flicked it into the danger area, there was no City player on hand to make the most of the opportunity.
Derby were moving the ball about with more confidence as the half wore on and the home crowd were incensed when referee Clattenburg waved away appeals for a foul when Ward went down as Wilkinson challenged him.
Replays showed that Wilkinson had hardly made any contact and Ward went down far too easily, but the two players were involved in another incident as the half drew to a close which infuriated the home fans again.
Ward tried to whip a ball in from the left, but Wilkinson managed to block it with his arm, but much to the frustration of the Derby fans, the referee did not blow up although it took place outside the penalty box anyway.
There were a couple of promising moments for City at the start of the second half as Etherington found space on a couple of occasions to run at Brayford. In the first instance, his cross was gathered by Fielding quite comfortably and when he got past the full back a second time, his final delivery was a pretty poor one.
Derby's first threat of the second period came from a long through ball that had Begovic darting off his line to head clear.
Pulis made a tactical switch when Walters and Etherington swopped flanks and City's next attack came down the right.
Etherington managed to slip the attention of two markers to get to the by-line, but his cross was pushed away by Fielding.
That was the last action for Etherington as both he and Crouch made way in quick succession with Pennant and Jones coming on in their place, a double switch no doubt with Tuesday's trip to Old Trafford in mind.
City continued to press forward in search of a second goal and they were denied by a fine save from Fielding after being awarded a free kick for a foul on Jones, but Pennant's long range effort was pushed away by the 'keeper.
They sustained the pressure and from a corner swung in by Pennant from the left, Walters sent a glancing header flashing over the bar.
The Potters gave themselves the two-goal cushion they had been seeking for some time in the fourth round tie with ten minutes remaining when Pennant and Wilkinson's skilful work on the right earned them a corner.
Pennant swung the corner in from the right hand side and it fell for Huth to slam a close range shot under the body of Fielding.
Fuller, who had been brought on in place of Jerome, threatened to stretch City's lead in the closing stages with a couple of penetrating runs into the box and Walters had a shot blocked when he latched onto a Pennant cross.