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June 5 2023 11.54am

Adebola goal sinks Stoke City

April 26 2003

Dele Adebola

Dele Adebola

Palace ended their home campaign on a high beating Stoke City thanks to a late Dele Adebola strike which denied the Potters the point they need to nail down their Division One safety.

The visitors played defensively and going for the draw backfired as substitute Adebola slotted in from Dougie Freedmanís cross with nine minutes to go after Tommy Black took a quick free-kick.

Eagles captain Hayden Mullins hopes Steve Coppellís Brighton will get their victory and Stoke lose for the Seagulls to stay up.

He said: "Steve's a good manager and itís going to be an exciting finish but I hope they stay up.

"A couple of years ago we were in the same situation and we just scraped it by winning at Stockport. Itís a desperate position to be in."

It was a dour game with few chances and Stoke were grateful to keeper Mark Crossley for making a series of good saves to keep them in the match.

Danny Butterfield struck a powerful shot from the edge of the box which Crossley tipped over on 13 minutes.

From the resulting corner, he saved on-loan striker Noel Whelanís effort. Alex Kolinko was only called into action in the 53rd minute to deny Andy Cooke.

It looked like they would hold on for the point they needed until Adebola popped up to make them sweat it out on the last game of the season.

Starting line-ups:

Palace: Kolinko, Powell, Popovic, Mullins, Butterfield, Routledge, Derry, Watson, Black, Freedman, Whelan.

Subs: Granville, Thomson, Cronin, Adebola, Borrowdale.

Stoke: Crossley, Thomas, Handyside, Shtaniuk, Williams, Marcus Hall, Gunnarsson, O'Connor, Clarke, Cooke, Greenacre.

Subs: Hoekstra, Iwelumo, Goodfellow, Warhurst, Banks.

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