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MATCH REPORT

PUBLISHED
22:23 21st June 2012

Despite leading twice, Palace were pegged back both times by Leicester City as the two play-off hopefuls played out a 2-2 draw that keeps the Eagles in the hunt for a top six place.


Goals from Danny Gabbidon and Stephen Dobbie either side of the break had given Eagles the lead and ended their long wait for a goal but quick responses from Andy King and Chris Wood saw an entertaining game end in frustrating fashion for both sides chasing a victory.


Palace began as bright as the spring sunshine that spread itself over Selhurst and Schmeichel was forced into an early acrobatic save when a Stephen Dobbie free-kick was inadvertently headed back towards his own goal by Matty James.


The visitors enjoyed a good spell of possession after that and Jeffrey Schlupp saw a tame header from four yards go straight to Julian Speroni before Andy King fired over as the Eagles defence attempted to throw their bodies in front of everything.


However on 25 minutes Palace's long wait for a goal was over. A free-kick from Dobbie was met by Danny Gabbidon who guided a header into the far corner out of the reach of Schmeichel to register his first goal for the club and end the five game drought.


The sense of relief among the Eagles players was evident and moments later Alex Marrow went for goal from 20 yards which Schmeichel did well to keep hold of, but the Foxes continued to show their threat and Chris Wood saw a deflected free-kick creep just over Speroni's crossbar.


Nigel Pearson's men continued to crank up the pressure though and after a couple of half-chances they netted an equaliser on 37 minutes. Some good link-up play between Paul Konchesky and Anthony Knockaert found Lloyd Dyer down the left flank and his low cross found King who tucked the ball past Speroni to level things up again.


Before the interval Marrow again tried his luck against Schmeichel with another rasping drive from the edge of the box but the big Dane tipped the ball over as a pulsating end-to-end half concluded.


Glenn Murray was in the thick of the action at both ends early in the second 45 as whilst defending he saw a header deflect off him and head towards goal which Speroni did well to keep out, and then he headed straight at Schmeichel after Damien Delaney had nodded a Dobbie delivery back across the box.


Foxes young gun Schlupp then blazed over from 10 yards out after a cross into the Palace box wasn't cleared effectively, but the Eagles were so close to regaining the league when Aaron Wilbraham connected with another dangerous Dobbie delivery but saw the ball thud off the crossbar.


Palace did strike again though on 66 minutes when Wilbraham held the ball up for Murray who attempted to dribble into the box but saw the ball run free. Thankfully for Palace though it fell for Dobbie who sweetly swept the ball into the far corner from 18 yards to re-establish the Eagles' lead.


That only lasted seven minutes though when a slip by Delaney saw the ball roll into the path of Chris Wood, and the Kiwi did well to capitalise by taking a touch before drilling the ball into the top corner to once again restore parity.


The striker had another attempt four minutes from time when a long clearance by Schmeichel found David Nugent who squared for Wood but his shot was deflected over the bar thankfully for the back-peddling Speroni as the game ended with a result that doesn't particularly help either side's promotion chances.


Palace: Speroni; Ward, Gabbidon, Delaney, Moxey, Dobbie (Bolasie 75), Marrow (O'Keefe 77), Dikgacoi, Zaha, Wilbraham (Phillips 84), Murray. Subs: Fitzsimons, Ramage, Moritz, Banton. 

Leicester: Schmeichel, De Laet, Konchesky, Morgan, King, Dyer (Gallagher 88), Keane, James, Schlupp (Nugent 72), Knockaert (Kane 90) Wood. Subs: Logan, Drinkwater, Whitbread, Moore.