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Palace back to earth with 2-1 defeat

April 9 2007

Peter Taylor

Peter Taylor

Crystal Palace went down 2-1 at Stoke, reports Peter Gillman.

The Eagles were unable to recapture the magic they showed against Preston and lost at Stoke for the first time since 1989.

Palace, determined to carry on from where they left off on Saturday, pressed from the start. Morrison, Kuqi and Soares all had openings, but Stoke keeper Simonsen saved each time.

Stoke went ahead on 19 minutes when Parkin chested the ball down and drove past Kiraly from just inside the area. Moments later Cort had a header cleared off the line from a corner.

Stoke scored their second on 25 minutes when ex-Palace Ricardo Fuller pushed his way into the area and shot home from a narrow angle, with Hudson just failing to clear.

Palace grabbed a goal back three minutes later. Cort again headed a corner towards goal and the ball was deflected into the net via defender Zakuani, with commentators unsure whether to award the goal to Cort or Zakuani.

Palace went in search of the equaliser but Kiraly kept them in the match with a blinding save from Hendrie seconds before the half-time whistle.

Both sides went on the attack in the second half and Palace came close to levelling the scores on 63 minutes. A shot from Ifill was blocked by Simonsen and Fletcher drove the rebound over the bar.

Then Palace had a miracle let-off when Stoke's Lawrence scooped the ball over an empty Palace goal from barely a yard out.

Palace were on top now and Kennedy drove inches over from 25 yards. Then Grabban had a shot deflected over the bar by a defender.

Cort went up to join the attack in the five minutes of added time. But the Eagles were unable to break down a determined Stoke defence and went home pointless.

Palace: Kiraly; Lawrence, Hudson, Cort, Borrowdale; Soares (Martin 67), Kennedy (Scowcroft 78), Fletcher, Ifill (Grabban 67); Morrison, Kuqi.

Subs (not used): Speroni, Ward.

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