Crystal Palace 0
Stoke City 1
Russell 38

"The boos weren't as bad as the last home game," said beleaguered boss Peter Taylor, who was clutching at straws to find a positive from his side's latest dismal defeat.

Six defeats from seven games is a damning enough statistic, but the most telling statistic of the all is the two shots on target Palace managed against a side who barely entered the Eagles half for the remaining 45 minutes.

Taylor was right, the boos were not as harsh as the game against Plymouth. The Eagles did show a bit of fight for a 20-minute spell just after half-time.

But once again the late onslaught to try to salvage at least a draw did not arrive as Stoke played out the remainder of the game with relative ease.

To his credit Taylor is looking for answers to end the rut by recalling inspirational skipper Michael Hughes to inject some much-needed leadership skills and passion. But in-keeping with Taylor's bizarre tactics, left-footed Hughes was deployed on the right wing where his influence was instantly down-graded.

Taylor also recalled striker James Scowcroft to partner Clinton Morrison and brought back Mark Hudson to resume his early-season centre-back pairing with Leon Cort.

After a quiet opening period, Stoke's on-loan Aston Villa midfielder Lee Hendrie had the first real effort on goal when his 20-yard free-kick was tipped over the bar by the recalled Gabor Kiraly.

Stoke's gangly centre forward Mamady Sidibe had the next opening, when he beat the Palace offside trap, only to miscue his side-foot finish which nearly resulted in a half-decent cross for strike-partner Vincent Pericard.

Palace then enjoyed a good spell of possession which saw Jobi McAnuff cut-in from the left, after good link-up play with Morrison, only to see his right-footed effort blocked by Stoke skipper Michael Duberry.

Despite keeping the ball well, Palace never seriously threatened and it was left to Stoke to show the real attacking bite Sidibe once again evaded the Palace offside trap and set-up Derel Russell for a shot from the corner of the box before Hendrie's clever dummy found Pericard whose drivefound the side netting Stoke's wayward finishing was keeping Palace in the game, and McAnuff nearly punished the Potters on the half-hour mark when he shot past Steve Simonsen after good work by Morrison and Tom Soares, only to see his effort cleared off the line by Danny Higginbotham.

It was only a matter of time before the visitors did find their scoring boots and the goal came five minutes before the break.

A stray pass by Tom Soares was picked up by Luke Chadwick who fed Hendrie. The midfielder carried the ball forward and cleverly slipped through Russell who beat Kiraly at his near-post with a stinging drive.

Stoke could have made it 3-0 before the break, when Salif Diao and Hendrie made the most of some poor Palace defending to fire in shots which failed to find the net.

Morrison, Hughes and McAnuff signalled for more noise when they reappeared after the break and a quiet Selhurst Park turned-up the volume as Soares and Russell got involved in a scuffle, which saw both players and an interfering Morrison booked.

Unfortunatley that was as loud as it got as Palace did little to lift the mood.

Dougie Freedman and Shefki Kuqi were introduced in the bid to freshen things up, but they could not inspire a lacklustre Eagles.

With 15 minutes remaining the Eagles were restricted to shots from distance with little success.

Kuqi wasted his only chance when he fired over from an awkward angle eight yards out. With five minutes to go you would expect Palace to throw everything at Stoke. But once again it did not materialise.

Palace star man: Michael Hughes. Showed the type of passion and determination that's been missing even though he was played in an unfamiliar right-wing role. Needs to be played in the centre to get the best out of him.Palace: Kiraly 5, Butterfield 5, Hudson 7, Cort 6, Granville 5, McAnuff 5, Kennedy 5, Hughes 8, Soares 7 (Freedman 60 6), Morrison 6, Scowcroft 6 (Kuqi 70 6)