Crystal Palace 6 Stoke 3
By Simon Fudge
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Andy Johnson scored a first-half hat-trick for the in-form Eagles, taking his tally to 18 goals in 16 matches for the South London club.
He opened the scoring for Palace with a neat lob past Potters goalkeeper Ed de Goey on five minutes before Stoke's John Eustace equalised moments later with a free-kick that eluded the Palace wall.
Johnson then scored twice from the penalty spot, with his first penalty awarded when Palace's Julian Gray was brought down by Paul Williams.
The second penalty was given when Johnson fell to the ground under a challenge from Williams just after the half hour mark.
Stoke pulled back to 3-2 when Clive Clarke scored from the edge of the box close to half time but Michael Hughes restored Palace's two-goal cushion by heading home Neil Shipperley's cross in first half injury time for 4-2.
Ten minutes after the break, Hughes turned provider for Shipperley to climb above Williams and head the ball past de Goeyto make the score 5-2.
The Potters then made it 5-3 when Kris Commons was brought down by Tony Popovic and Carl Asaba made no mistake with his spot-kick.
However, Palace ensured they had the final say as Wayne Routledge turned past two defenders in the box before poking the ball past de Goey.