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22:23 21st June 2012

Palace's away day blues continued once again at the hands of Ipswich Town, who netted three goals in the space of 12 minutes at the end of the first half to ensure it was the Tractor Boys who picked up the three points in a crucial game at both ends of the table.

A brace from Frank Nouble and a stunning effort from Aaron Cresswell gave Mick McCarthy's side an incredible 3-0 lead against the run of play, and Palace were unable to find the target in the second 45 minutes as their scoreless run stretched to five games.

The visitors had enjoyed much of the opening 15 minutes in their opponents' half without creating a clear-cut opportunity, and the game's first fell to Town's Nouble who dragged a shot wide of the Palace goal after dispossessing Kagisho Dikgacoi.

The game petered out after that as play got scrappy and wayward shots from Dikgacoi and Jay Emmanuel-Thomas were all either side could muster, however Jonny Parr was taken off for the Eagles with an injury.

With not much quality on show, it looked likely that a mistake would bring about the opening goal and that was the case as Ipswich took the lead after 36 minutes in bizarre circumstances. 

A long punt upfield saw Julien Speroni rush out to deal with the danger but having controlled the ball on his chest, he mis-kicked his attempted volley under pressure from Nouble who had the simple task of rounding the stranded keeper and tapping the ball into the unguarded net.

One goal hadn't looked likely for Town before that but unbelievably they went into the break 3-0 ahead as things went from bad to worse for the Eagles in first-half stoppage time. Not much looked on when Cresswell picked the ball up 30 yards from goal, but after taking a touch the left-back smashed a wonderful effort from the angle of the area into the top corner.

And seconds after the restart Peter Ramage was caught dwelling on the ball by Nouble, and the striker pounced to slide the ball past Speroni to collect his second opportunistic goal of the evening.

With nothing to lose Palace threw more bodies up front and finally forced Scott Loach into a save when the keeper had to be at full stretch to save an Andre Moritz free-kick, but it should have been four when Carlos Edwards found Daryl Murphy inside the area but the attacker shanked his shot well over.

Still searching for that illusive 30th Championship goal of the season, Glenn Murray forced Loach into a diving catch from a volley after a neat touch from substitute Kevin Phillips, and Luke Hyam should have completed the rout when he failed to find a way past Speroni from all of four yards.

In injury time Murray forced a superb save from Loach and Philips saw his rebound smack the post as the Eagles' search for a goal passed seven and a half hours of football, and with no wins from their last six games Saturday's visit of Leicester City could be a huge game in the race for promotion.

Ipswich Town: Loach, Cresswell, Chambers, Stearman, Edwards (Kisnorbo 80), N'Daw, Emmanuel-Thomas (Wordsworth 69), Hyam, Smith, Murphy, Nouble (Hewitt 90). Subs: Lee-Barrett, Chopra, Drury, Tabb.

Crystal Palace: Speroni, Ward (Wilbraham 69), Parr (Richards 28), Bolasie, Dikgacoi, Zaha, Murray, Williams (Phillips 46), Delaney, Ramage, Moritz. Subs: Price, Dobbie, Marrow, Gabbidon.