Stoke win 5-4 on penalties
Stoke survived a huge scare before claiming a 5-4 win on penalties over Tamworth to set up a fourth-round FA Cup meeting against Walsall.
Stoke players celebrate their shootout victory
Belgian Carl Hoefkens netted the winning spot-kick after Michael Touhy had seen his weak effort saved by the experienced Steve Simonsen.
Stoke's Paul Gallagher sent the game to extra time with an 80th-minute strike.
Nathan Jackson had given the Conference side the chance of an upset when he fired home after 42 minutes.
Stoke, who outplayed the home side for much of the first half, had the better of the opportunities with Gallagher blazing over the bar twice.
He then had a goal-bound shot early in the second half blocked by Tamworth defender Adie Smith.
The Championship side also had a good appeal for a penalty turned down in the second half when Matthew Redmile appeared to impede Mamady Sidibe in the area, but they got their reward when Gallagher finally found the net.
The weary Lambs refused to give in and kept battling for a winner in extra time but luck was not on their side in the shoot-out.
With the sides tied at 3-3 after four penalties apiece, Carl Heggs slotted the ball home to put the pressure on Stoke's Lewis Buxton who responded superbly to level it again.
Touhy's poor shot was then easily saved by Simonsen leaving it to Hoefkens to become the Stoke hero.
Tamworth manager Mark Cooper:
"I didn't watch the penalties. I went to a back room near the dressing room. I turned the TV off, got a beer out of the fridge and thought whatever will be will be.
"My lad Charlie, who's seven, came to me in absolute bits so I knew we'd lost. I still don't know who missed the penalty, but I'm not bothered either.
"I was just bothered about putting on a show and I thought we did that by giving it a real go. But it's a cruel, cruel way to go out."
Stoke assistant manager Jan De Koning:
"I've just told their manager he can be proud of his team.
"We are very relieved, especially as the team made it very difficult for themselves by not scoring one or two before half-time.
"But I always had the feeling we would score a goal because in the second half we also had good opportunities."
Tamworth: Bevan, Touhy, Smith, Redmile, Anaclet, Wright (Turner 66), Melton (Storer 83), Ward (Stamps 116), Bampton, Heggs, Jackson.
Subs Not Used: Cooper, Gayle.
Booked: Smith, Heggs.
Goals: Jackson 42.
Stoke: Simonsen, Henry, Hoefkens, Duberry, Broomes (Rooney 80), Chadwick (Kopteff 45), Brammer (Junior 45), Harper, Buxton, Gallagher, Sidibe.
Subs Not Used: Sweeney, Duggan.
Booked: Harper, Junior.
Goals: Gallagher 80.
Ref: P Joslin (Nottinghamshire).