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16:58 15th October 2011

Watford 0 Crystal Palace 2

The npower Championship continued after the international break and with it five changes to the Palace starting line up for the visit to Vicarage Road. There was a first start of the campaign for Nathaniel Clyne as he returned to the back four following a foot injury which was suffered in pre-season. Kagisho Dikgacoi made his third appearance of the season in the centre of midfield having recovered from injury but Dougie Freedman had to do without Dean Moxey, who missed out with flu, so that is where Clyne returned to the starting line up as Peter Ramage returned at right back. In the ninth minute a run from Clyne forward saw him beat a couple before the ball fell out wide to Glenn Murray and his shot was deflected over the bar for the opening corner of the afternoon. A dominant opening spell for the visitors also saw Sean Scannell shoot just over the target from distance. The closest to a goal though from either side came from Watford's Joe Garner just past the quarter hour when he made his way through the middle and his shot struck Julian Speroni's right hand post. The 33rd minute saw the next best chance of the game as Wilfried Zaha got a cross in to Murray but he couldn't get a good connection and the ball fell to Scannell and the striker saw his effort saved low down by goalkeeper Scott Loach. A half which apart from a bright opening from the visitors was one short of chances and under the clear blue sky of Autumn neither side could be separated at the half time whistle. The first opportunity of the second period saw John Eustace pull away from his marker as he got on the end of a Carl Dickinson cross from the left but Speroni saved low down to his right hand side. Two early chances for Palace in the half saw Paddy McCarthy head a chance over the bar from a Zaha cross from the right whilst moments later Jonathan Parr tried his luck with a long range left footed shot but it went wide of the target. The breakthrough was not long in coming after that effort following a piece of brilliance from Zaha. A perfect ball was played through by Scannell after good work from Dikgacoi and Zaha took on and beat defender Dickinson to the ball and produced a superb strike across Loach into the corner of the net to give the vistors the lead. Freedman made a couple of changes from the bench as Mile Jedinak and Anthony Gardner were brought into the game at the expense of KG and Parr. The home side kept pushing as the clock counted down but they didn't really create any real chances to trouble the lead and then another bit of magic extended the advantage. Substitute Jermaine Easter picked up the ball from Murray's flick on and with a perfectly struck right footed shot gave Loach no chance in the Hornets' goal and confirmed the Palace victory. The final whistle came soon from official Mark Halsey to signal back to back away wins for Palace courtesy of those two brilliant strikes from strikers. Teams: Watford Loach, Doyley, Taylor (Mirfin 57), Mariappa, Dickinson, Eustace, Forsyth (Yeates 67), Kightly, Hogg, Sordell (Iwelumo 73), Garner. Subs Not Used: Gilmartin, Buaben. Booked: Forsyth, Mariappa. Crystal Palace Speroni, Clyne, McCarthy, Tunchev, Ramage, Wright, Parr (Gardner 80), Dikgacoi (Jedinak 72), Scannell (Easter 85), Zaha, Murray. Subs Not Used: Price, Ambrose. Att: 12, 559     Referee: Mark Halsey (Lancashire). 
    Data provided by Press Association