Taylor is caught out by Palace polish

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The Independent Online

England's caretaker manager, Peter Taylor, was the victim of a coup masterminded by Alan Smith as his Leicester side surrendered their grip on the Worthington Cup in the third round at Filbert Street last night.

England's caretaker manager, Peter Taylor, was the victim of a coup masterminded by Alan Smith as his Leicester side surrendered their grip on the Worthington Cup in the third round at Filbert Street last night.

Smith's Crystal Palace, one off the bottom of the Nationwide First Division, stunned the holders with goals by Clinton Morrison, Steve Thomson and the Latvian Andrejs Rubins, and then resisted Leicester's attempts at a fightback.

The defeat was the first setback of his Leicester career for Taylor, and he will not want to hear a repeat of last night's jeering when he sends out England against Italy next month.

A run of six successive defeats had brought Palace a rollicking from Smith, and they responded with a draw at Bolton on Saturday. That was welcome, but this performance was a revelation as they took advantage of Taylor's decision to rest Matt Elliott, Muzzy Izzet and Robbie Savage. Tim Flowers had a hamstring injury, so Simon Royce made his first start of the season in goal.

He was beaten in the 17th minute when Craig Harrison headed a corner from Wayne Carlisle across the face of the goal and Morrison scored from close range. Six minutes later, Smith's decision to flood midfield paid off again when Thompson spun away from Callum Davidson to rifle a 35-yard shot beyond Royce.

Palace wrapped things up in the 52nd minute when Rubins raced across the halfway line and unleashed a 30-yard thunderbolt.

Leicester City: Royce; Sinclair, Davidson, Rowett, Gilchrist (Elliott, h-t), Lennon, McKinlay, Eadie (Izzet, h-t), Gunnlaugsson, Cresswell (Benjamin, h-t), Guppy. Substitutes not used: Savage, Price (gk).

Crystal Palace: Kolinko; Smith, Austin, Mullins, Rodger, C Morrison, Black, Thomson, Rubins, Carlisle, Harrison. Substitutes not used: Frampton, Gray, Evans, Forssell, Gregg (gk).

Referee: R Pearson (Peterlee).

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