Peter Crouch scored the only goal of the game as Stoke heaped further pressure on Alan Pardew at the Britannia Stadium tonight.

The former England man netted in the first half and Newcastle never looked like getting level, with many of their supporters calling for Pardew to be sacked once again.

Jack Colback came closest for Newcastle but his effort came back off the crossbar in the dying stages.

In truth, had Colback’s shot from Gabriel Obertan’s cross gone in, it would only have thinly masked another clueless performance from the Magpies, who are now second bottom of the table.

It’s almost ironic that goals scored are keeping Newcastle from occupying bottom spot, given that the final third is where Newcastle have struggled for the past nine months.

Tonight was no exception, with Emmanuel Riviere once again cutting a frustrated figure alone up front, with no support from midfield when he needed it and no chances on which to act.

The Geordies managed just one shot on target all night and that came from right-back Daryl Janmaat – a sign of their measly attacking threat.

Stoke’s goal came after 15 minutes, when Victor Moses cut inside onto his right foot and floated an average-looking cross in Crouch’s direction. The 6’ 7” striker was able to rise high above Fabricio Coloccini and head past a stranded Tim Krul.

From the second the goal went in, the protests amongst the travelling fans began. Banners were unveiled and chants of “you’re getting sacked in the morning” were audible from both sets of fans.

Mike Ashley was in attendance and cannot have failed to hear the protests.

Minutes after going behind, Newcastle were fortunate not to concede a penalty, when Moses was bundled to the floor by Yoan Gouffran. Referee Craig Pawson prevented the protests from near-deafening level by not blowing the whistle.

Moussa Sissoko smacked an effort wide of Asmir Begovic’s goal as Newcastle tried to respond, before the Bosnian ‘keeper finally dirtied his gloves when he parried Janmaat’s shot.

Pardew turned to Papiss Cisse at half-time, hoping he could continue the kind of form that rescued a draw against Hull last weekend. Cisse scored twice against Stoke on Boxing Day last year but was starved of service as Newcastle huffed and puffed in the second half.

Stoke almost doubled their lead when Marc Muniesa saw his header cleared by Mike Williamson, before Marko Arnautovic struck a shot off the inside of Krul’s post. Charlie Adam also worked the Dutch goalie with a curling free-kick.

Pardew then further frustrated fans when he turned to the bench to introduce Obertan and Sammy Ameobi in place of Gouffran and Remy Cabella. The changes rather sum up a side that is struggling for goals, ideas and results.
However, Colback could have salvaged something at the death when he brought down Obertan’s cross, only to smash against the crossbar from inside the six-yard box.