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MATCH REPORT

PUBLISHED
22:23 21st June 2012

Palace picked up another point towards securing a play-off place at Blackburn with an industrious display at Ewood Park to earn a 1-1 draw, a result that sees them enter the final week of the campaign aiming to secure a spot in the top six.

Stephen Dobbie's well-taken strike was cancelled out just before half-time by Jordan Rhodes but despite both sides creating plenty of chances in the second half neither could snatch all three points.

Despite the presence of the Championship's two leading scorers on the pitch, it was surprising that it took 23 minutes for the first shot to be registered and it landed for Rovers' leading marksman but  Rhodes fired well over.

However six minutes later the Eagles took the lead in fine style with their first shot on goal. A long ball by Damien Delaney was knocked down by Aaron Wilbraham into the path of Dobbie, and he took a touch before coolly wrong-footing a defender and casually slotting the ball past the beaten Greg Sandomierski.

The Scottish midfielder almost added a second on 33 minutes when he curled a free-kick from 30 yards just wide of the post and then his delivery from a free-kick caused problems for the Blackburn defence who only cleared it to Delaney who saw a half volley just miss the target.

Despite beginning to dominate the game, the Eagles were pegged back four minutes before half-time against the run of play. Josh King clipped the ball into the path of Rhodes, and as Speroni advanced the striker knocked the ball over the Palace keeper and saw it nestle into the back of the net to restore parity at the break.

The second 45 began in a much more attacking vein and after Speroni had saved from former Palace loanee David Goodwillie, moments later Glenn Murray found himself in space in the Rovers box and beat a defender before seeing his strike hit the crossbar.

Mile Jedinak went just as close on the hour mark when his header from a corner deflected off the top of the goalframe and Murray saw a low drive just flash wide of the far post as the visitors continued to carve out good opportunities.

Having been on the backfoot, Rovers began to push for a winner and put Palace under pressure as Goodwillie took aim from 25 yards but was nowhere near troubling Speroni and Morten Gamst Pedersen dragged a shot wide of the target as the game entered the final 10 minutes.

Palace had a great chance to win it with six minutes remaining when Kagisho Dikgacoi chipped the ball towards the back post where Delaney was waiting but his header flew off-target meaning Ian Holloway's side had to settle for a draw, but collected a point that could prove crucial in a week's time.

Blackburn Rovers: Sandomierski, Morris, Dann, Hanley, Kane, Jones, Williamson, King (Stewat 90), Nuno, Gomes (Pedersen 46), Goodwillie, Rhodes. Subs: Usai, O'Sullivan, Rekik, Murphy, Bentley.

Crystal Palace: Speroni, Ward, Delaney, Gabbidon, Moxey, Jedinak, Dikgacoi, Zaha, Dobbie (Garvan 65), Murray, Wilbraham (Williams 56). Subs: Price, Ramage, Moritz, Phillips, Bolasie.