Defensive lapses cost Crystal Palace at Stoke
9:24pm Saturday 24th August 2013 in Sport
Stoke City 2-1 Crystal Palace
by Dan Prescott
A second-half fight back from Stoke condemned Crystal Palace to their second defeat of the season and sees them still searching for their first points since their return to the Premier League.
Palace had taken the lead midway through the first-half through new signing Marouane Chamakh, but goals from Charlie Adam and Ryan Shawcross secured the Potters victory.
Stoke were first to threaten when the ever-lively Matthew Etherington ran down the left flank and played in a sumptuous cross for Peter Crouch to attack, but the leggy striker put a free header harmlessly over the bar.
Palace then went in front as Chamakh pounced on abject defending from Shawcross. Chamakh was too strong for Shawcross and the Moroccan picked up the ball before unleashing a low effort past the outstretched arm of Stoke keeper Asmir Begovic.
Crouch was then again the action as Stoke looked for their equaliser. This time the former England international was denied by both the crossbar and Speroni, as the Argentine tipped his powerful headed on to the bar.
It meant that Palace went in at the break a goal to the good, but all that was to change.
Just minutes into the second half you could tell that Stoke were determined not to lose and the Potters went up a gear, whereas Palace looked a shadow of their first-half performance.
It took the home side less than 15 second-half minutes to equalise, with Adam the man on the scoresheet. The ball found the Scot in acres of space at the back post and the former Liverpool man slotted coolly past a hapless Speroni.
It livened not only the home players up but also the fans, and from then on it was Stoke that were dominant and the hosts found themselves with the lead four minutes later.
Half-hearted defending from Chamakh was met with whole-hearted intent from Huth and the rebounding ball fell kindly to Shawcross and he made no mistake in making up for his error in Palace's opener.
That goal somewhat ended the game as a contest as Ian Holloways' men struggled to get going again.
There were a few wild efforts from Dwight Gayle and Kevin Phillips' late on that flew wide but the Eagles headed home empty-handed.
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