Kevin Doyle got off the mark for Crystal Palace with his first club goal since February as the Eagles brushed aside non-league Dover with new boss Alan Pardew on the sideline.
On-loan Doyle, introduced at the break by the ex-Newcastle manager, converted from close range to complete a 4-0 success for the Londoners.
The Wexford man is due to return to Wolves this month and his future is very much in the balance as he is not wanted at Molineux, where his contract expires at the end of the season.
Injury has curtailed his loan spell at Palace; that was only his fifth appearance since his move on deadline day in August and four of those have come as a substitute. He is keen to impress Pardew and extend his stay.
Stephen Ireland also reminded people of his existence by sparing Stoke's blushes with a late brace to see off Conference outfit Wrexham.
The Potters were in danger of embarrassment when Mark Carrington put the Welshmen ahead in the 73rd minute.
But Marko Arnautovic levelled matters seven minutes later before Ireland popped up to put Stoke ahead with two minutes remaining and then added another at the death.
The out-of-favour Cobh man was ending a goal famine that dated back to December 2013.
Ireland's former club Aston Villa progressed with a single-goal success over Blackpool that was notable for the involvement of Shay Given and Jack Grealish.
Christian Benteke nabbed the decisive goal in the 88th minute shortly after a fine stop from Given got Villa out of trouble.
The Donegal veteran last appeared for his employers in August, with Brad Guzan the established No 1.
Grealish was replaced with a quarter of an hour remaining, while Ciaran Clark lasted the duration. Recent capture Darren O'Dea was part of the gallant Blackpool effort.
Meanwhile, former Premier League player Sean Thornton has returned home to Ireland to sign for his native Drogheda.
The 31-year-old was tipped for big things in his teens at Sunderland but his career veered off course and he has spent the last few seasons in the obscurity of the Welsh top flight. Drogs boss Johnny McDonnell has given the midfielder a lifeline.
"It's something I've always wanted to do having spent nearly 16 years in the UK,' said Thornton. "I'm a local lad who wanted to play for his local town and I'm delighted the deal is done. It was an easy decision and I had no interest in going anywhere else when I came home."
McDonnell has also re-signed Sean Brennan.