Crystal Palace's woes continued after a 1-0 defeat to Coventry at Selhurst Park saw them slip into the Coca-Cola Championship relegation zone.

In a week which has seen speculation surrounding manager Neil Warnock's future intensify, the Eagles were dealt another blow when substitute David Bell's chip gave Coventry victory with five minutes remaining.

Palace had chances to take the lead with Darren Ambrose twice going close before Coventry goalkeeper Keiren Westwood denied Nick Carle.

However Bell's strike saw Palace slip into 22nd place, a point from safety, while Coventry moved up to 10th place.

The visitors made a bright start and Carl Baker let fly from 25 yards but his shot was straight at Crystal Palace goalkeeper Julian Speroni who made a comfortable save.

Minutes later Aron Gunnarsson latched onto a flick from Jonathan Stead but fired a wild effort wide.

Palace eventually began to find their rhythm and Scannell was off-target with an effort from distance before Shaun Derry sent a shot over the bar.

Ambrose scored a superb free-kick against Aston Villa in the FA Cup last weekend and almost repeated the feat with a rasping free-kick from 35 yards that went just over.

Soon after Ambrose breezed past two challenges and his shot was fumbled by Westwood and trickled just past the post.

With half-time approaching Palace midfielder Nick Carle lost the ball in his own box and Michael McIndoe, who has yet to score this season, fired a point blank shot wide when he should have done better.

At the other end another defensive mistake saw Alan Lee round Westwood and tee up Ambrose but his shot was cleared off the line by Richard Wood.

Moments before the break Stead got a shot away from inside the box but Speroni made a superb save to keep the scores level.

Palace should have been in front five minutes after the break when Carle played an excellent ball into Ambrose but he scuffed the shot wide when he should have done better.

The home side were on top and Ambrose clipped in a wonderful ball to Johannes Ertl who headed goalwards but Westwood tipped the ball over the bar.

Ambrose was involved in everything positive from Palace and thundered another 30-yard free-kick just wide.

As the half wore on Coventry became more dangerous and a fumble by Speroni almost gifted them a chance but the Argentinian gathered at the second attempt.

Former Palace frontman Clinton Morrison was having a quiet game but with 15 minutes remaining his flick sent Gunnarsson clean through but he fired straight at Speroni.

Westwood made a superb save to deny Carle before Bell won it for Coventry with five minutes remaining.

Bell played a one-two with Stead and broke clear before producing a clever chip over the onrushing Speroni to send the visiting fans into raptures.

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

Topics:
#David Bell
#Nick Carle
#Bristol City
#Alan Lee
#Championship
#Carl Baker
#Darren Ambrose
#Michael McIndoe
#Johannes Ertl
#Richard Wood
#Julian Speroni
#Shaun Derry
#Jonathan Stead
#Keiren Westwood
#Clinton Morrison
#Aston Villa
#Nick Carle
#Crystal Palace
#FA Cup
#Coventry City
#Aron Gunnarsson
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