Writer: Chris Baldwin
Date:Sunday November 12 2006
Stoke broke another record by notching up their first win at Selhurst Park in 20 years thanks to a 38th minute strike from Darel Russell after a great run down the middle from Lee Hendrie, passing the ball to an unmarked Russell who had no trouble knocking the ball past the keeper's right hand side.
Stoke ran out comfortable winners against a team whose desperate run of form continues with no win since the middle of September and the chorus of disapproval will be growing against new manager, Peter Taylor.
Tony Pulis would have named the same team for the fourth game in a row but for Ricardo Fuller's sending off on Monday and decided to start with Vincent Pericard partnering Mama Sidibe up front. Pre-match doubtful, Danny Higginbotham, again confounded the physios by coming though another late fitness test to start in defence and despite carrying an injury probably helped ensure the Potters came away with the points after a great goal line clearance on the half hour mark and another later in the second half.
Stoke had more than there share of the game in the first half and should have been able to wrap it up early with chances from Lee Hendrie and Mama Sidibe, but the big Mali international allowed his nerves to get the better of him again, passing instead of shooting.
Second half saw neither side managing to conjure many chances, but the only criticism of the Potters` defence could be that, again, they allowed themselves to defend too deeply at times.
Before the game, Tony Pulis asked for a 'resilient' defence and he got his wish. After the game he said: 'We had some good chances, Mama went through twice with only the goalkeeper to beat, Luke Chadwick and Lee Hendrie also missed good opportunities and with little more luck we could have scored more today. In the second-half we knew we were going to have to defend and we did enough.'
'It's our second clean sheet in a row and that's credit to a growing commitment and togetherness which hopefully will help us take more points from difficult games like today.'
Only downside of the game was Lee Chadwick's departure with 20 minutes remaining as he limped off to be replaced by Dave Brammer.
Crystal Palace: Kiraly, Granville, Hudson, Cort, Butterfield, McAnuff, Hughes, Soares (Freedman 60), Kennedy, Scowcroft (Kuqi 70), Morrison.
Other subs: Flinders, Lawrence, Fletcher.
Stoke City: Simonsen, Hoefkens, Duberry, Higginbotham, Griffin, Hendrie, Russell, Diao, Chadwick (Brammer 69), Pericard, Sidibe.
Other subs: Bangoura, Pulis, Wilkinson, Paterson
Date:Sunday November 12 2006
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