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22:22 21st June 2012

Glenn Murray struck twice to earn Palace a point against a tenacious Leeds side as the Eagles kept up their recent good form and made it three games without defeat.

No doubt riled up by the returning Neil Warnock, Leeds began the game well and makeshift right-back Kagisho Dikgacoi had to be alert to deny Ross McCormack in the very first minute. In an end to end first 15 minutes, Dikgacoi headed a Stephen Dobbie corner just wide and Steve Morison volleyed over for the visitors before the Eagles began to control the game.

Excellent work down the right from Wilfried Zaha gave Murray his first chance of the game, and he connected well with his header but aimed too close to Paddy Kenny who was down smartly to save. Dikgacoi then got forward well again and supplied Murray, but again Kenny was equal to the forward's first time effort.

It was to prove third time lucky for the Eagles hit-man as Zaha linked cleverly with Jonny Williams and the midfielder stood a left-footed cross up at the back post for Murray to head home. Palace were started to purr and more quality from Zaha gave Jonathan Parr the opportunity to burst forward from full-back; the Norwegian able to beat his man, but not Kenny as the veteran keeper parried at his near post.

Leeds were well organised but lacking threat in the first half and more good Palace inter-play could have seen the Eagles further ahead at half-time, instead Tom Lees and Lee Peltier stood firm and the Whites almost pulled themselves level before the interval. A driving run from Paul Green gave him the chance to test Speroni, and when the Argentine proved equal to his effort the sliding Mile Jedinak prevented Luke Varney from tapping home, as Palace kept the lead.

With the managers barely back in their seats for the second half Zaha almost settled the game, but after being played in down the right he curled his effort narrowly wide as Kenny rushed out to close the angle. Then from nothing, Warnock's side were level, quick passing set Varney away down the left and, with the Palace defence out of position, his centre was calmly tucked home by the excellent Morison.

Frustrated at having thrown away their lead, Palace were soon back on the attack and Stephen Dobbie twice fired well-struck efforts narrowly wide before the game took another twist. As the Eagles defence failed to deal with Kenny's simple clearance, the ball fell to a completely free Morison and he hammered home a volley to give the visitors a lead against the run of play.

Williams flashed an effort wide and Dobbie again went close as a nervous tension gripped Selhurst, but as the game entered the final 10 minutes, Murray, the goalscorer supreme, struck again to level the match. Damien Delaney's foray forward from defence was bold and a well-struck cross-field pass fell perfectly into the striker's path for him to tuck him his 30thgoal of the season on the volley.

The final whistle soon went with Palace having struck late to preserve an 18 match unbeaten home run and cut the deficit to the automatic promotion places to just a point.


Palace: Speroni; Dikgacoi, Ramage, Delaney, Parr; Williams, Jedinak (c); Zaha, Dobbie, Bolasie; Murray

Subs: Price, Richards, Butterfield, Phillips, Wilbraham, Moxey, Moritz

Leeds: Kenny, Peltier (c), Lees, Green, Morison, Varney, Warnock, Tonge, Norris, Byram, McCormack

Subs: Ashdown, Pearce, Austin, White, Brown, Habibou, Hall