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17:01 6th August 2011

Peterborough United 2 Crystal Palace 1

Promoted Peterborough United welcomed Crystal Palace to London Road for the opening day of the Championship and Dougie Freedman named a much changed side from the one that finished last term. Summer signing Glenn Murray started up front with Sean Scannell whilst three new players started the game for the Londoners. Jonathan Parr made his Palace debut in a wide left position. It was Scannell who had the first chance of the afternoon as he forced a save in the opening minute from goalkeeper Paul Jones, the 'keeper parried the shot out for a corner. On eight minutes Julian Speroni was not troubled by the home side's first effort on goal which came in from distance by Lee Tomlin. Minutes later though he had to tip over another shot from distance, this time coming from Boro skipper Grant McCann. Darren Ambrose was brought down on the edge of the box after a break by Scannell put him clear. Ambrose took the free kick which was blocked by the defensive wall who held firm just before the twenty minute mark of the game. On 33 minutes the ball fell to Scannell from a long ball forward and the impressive striker beat off the challenge and then lifted the ball over Jones head to give Palace the advantage.   It was soon after that Tommy Rowe broke clear at the other end and Speroni made a fine save from the shot which was from just inside the box. Posh came back strongly after conceding the goal and Palace were thankful to a goalline clearance to keep them ahead. That save from Speroni fell to substitute David Ball who saw his shot cleared by Parr off the line. The home side left the field after the first half though behind on day one to that Scannell effort. Early stages of the second period saw the home side coming out with some good possession to try and get back in the game with the pick of the early chances falling to George Boyd but he shot wide of the target and Tomlin brought a save out of Speroni with a shot from inside the box.  It was  not long before the chances were turned into an equaliser. Boyd's free kick found McCann on the edge of the box and his shot took a deflection to beat Speroni and put Darren Ferguson's side on level terms.  Freedman made a change from the bench as goalscorer Scannell was replaced by Wilfried Zaha. It was the Posh sub though who was going to make a difference to the game as the home side came from behind to take the lead. Ball got on the end of a Mark Little cross and from close range made no mistake to give the newly promoted side the lead. Chances were limited in the second half for the visitors and a couple of long range efforts from Zaha went over the bar and then the striker did bring a save from Jones with a third shot, this one from distance. In added time Speroni produced a fine save to keep the margin at one as he put a fierce shot from Ryan Tunnicliffe around the post for a corner. The opening game of the season finished in disappointment as the Eagles let the early lead slip and the promoted side started the campaign with three points. Teams Peterborough Jones, Little, Bennett, Zakuani, Basey, Frecklington (Tunnicliffe 87), McCann, Boyd, Rowe, Ajose (Ball 27), Tomlin. Subs Not Used: Day, Wootton, Alcock. Crystal Palace Speroni, Ramage, Davies, McCarthy, McGivern (Garvan 79), Ambrose, Dikgacoi, Wright, Parr, Scannell (Zaha 70), Murray (Easter 77). Subs Not Used: Price, Tunchev. Booked: Murray, Ramage, McCarthy, Dikgacoi. Att: 11,604   Referee: James Linington (Isle of Wight). 
    Data provided by Press Association