Blackburn Rovers failed to match their two recent impressive performances on the road as they went down 2-1 at home to Stoke, courtesy of a first-half brace from Peter Crouch. Rovers had started brightly and defender Christopher Samba had hit the woodwork then had a goal controversially disallowed.
But Stoke went into this game with only one defeat in their previous seven league outings and by the break were two goals to the good.
Dean Whitehead set up Crouch for the first and Matt Etherington was the provider for the England striker just on the stroke of half-time. In both cases Crouch showed he can be a fine finisher with his feet as well as his head.
Rovers gave themselves a lifeline with 20 minutes remaining as substitute David Goodwillie scrambled home a reply.
Leading scorer Yakubu almost rescued a point for the host's but his effort was blocked on the line by Jonathan Woodgate allowing the visitor's to make it five consecutive Premiership wins over the home side.
Blackburn remain in the bottom three whilst Stoke are now eighth in the league.
Referee: Lee Mason
Venue: Ewood Park
Blackburn scorers: Goodwillie 69 Stoke scorers: Crouch 17, 45
TRIBAL ASKS: Blackburn will need to buy wisely and quickly in January if they are to stay in the top flight.
Yellow cards: Huth (STO), Hanley (BLA), Rochina (BLA)