Not So Stoked
Our review of the Stoke game comes from roving reporter Jack Edward who made the trip up to the Britannia Stadium. You can find Jack on Twitter @jackisbazza.
As I arrived at the Britannia an hour before kick off I could sense a belief in the away end from every single Palace fan in attendance. A belief that we would pick up our first points of the new season. I was feeling the very same way. As we got nearer and nearer to kick off the famous Palace atmosphere started to build and there was a real buzz in the away end.
The referee started what would eventually be a frustrating day and Stoke quickly built momentum as they looked like getting chances. Delaney came sprinting in to pull off a fantastic challenge. Little chances were made early on and both teams became sloppy in possession. Both teams got into the opponents half but a silly misplaced pass or poor touch would see a move fizzle out.
Fourteen minutes in both sets of fans came to a stop and a minutes applause started for the you Stoke fan who lost his life earlier in the week. Not long after Palace had their first real chance when Gayle had an effort from outside the box but Begovic gathered well.
Stoke got the first real big chance of the game as a beautiful whipped in ball reached Crouch a little over six yards out and somehow he headed over, to the amazement to most of the crowd.
Just after thirty minutes and Palace fans got a lift. A fine pass from Delaney found Chamakh who showed great strength and shrugged off two Stoke defenders, he got into the box and shot low past home keeper Begovic who was wrong footed. The away end erupted.
Stoke then had a huge chance as a Crouch header was tipped on to the bar by Speroni. Moxey then had the next big chance, a shot from twenty yards out and the ball went a couple of inches passed the post.
Half time came and the Palace fans were still in fine voice. But the second half from kick off had a different feel, Campana looked tired after playing mid week and recovering from an illness. Changes were made for Palace as Campana and Chamakh came off and Garvan and Williams both came on. But the damage had already been done.
Stoke played the ball to the edge of the Palace box and after some comedy defending Charlie Adam was free to put the ball into the back off the net. The fans reaction was great, continuing to chant. What felt like seconds later Stoke struck again as the ball fell to Shawcross after some poor defending by Chamakh who put the ball past Speroni and Stoke had the lead.
Palace fans were stunned and silence filled the away end much to the delight of the home fans. The silence didn’t last long and the Palace faithful started back up again.
Palace had a couple of other chances late on but nothing clear cut as players shot from distance but nothing troubled Begovic. Stoke only looked dangerous on the counter and Jerome added pace late on for them coming on for Crouch. Phillips came on for Palace late on and added some experience in our chase for the game but we couldn’t find that equaliser.
The game ended and the Palace fans stayed on to cheer the team for their effort in the game. As for the result a negative, but there were real positives to take from the game in terms creating chances and holding the ball well. But our defence is shaky and we don’t really have another goal scoring striker. Phillips is good but we can’t rely on one impact bench player.
My personal assessment is getting in a couple of central defenders and a proven goal scoring striker will certainly help win close games like this one and Spurs last week.
Palace line up – Speroni, Ward, Delaney, Gabbidon, Moxey, Digacoi, Jedinak, Puncheon (Phillips), Campana (Garvan), Gayle, Chamakh (Williams)