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MATCH REPORT

PUBLISHED
21:45 3rd December 2013


Marouane Chamakh came back to haunt his former club and give Tony Pulis the perfect Selhurst welcome as he netted the only goal of the game to beat West Ham United.

The Moroccan striker's header in the 42nd minute was enough to give the Eagles a second win in three games and lift them off the bottom of the table with a hard-fought three points in a gritty encounter in SE25.

A quiet opening saw neither goalkeeper really tested. Barry Bannan saw a curled shot drift well over the crossbar and Jason Puncheon drove an effort straight at Jussi Jaaskelainen whilst the visitors could only claim a wild Razvan Rat blast during a tepid first 20 minutes.

As the half progressed Sam Allardyce's men began to establish themselves and created two dangerous chances. Stewart Downing's clever flicked free-kick fell into Kevin Nolan's path, but the Hammers captain skewed a volley straight at Julian Speroni before another Downing ball found the Mohammed Diame's head but he ballooned the opportunity over the top from six yards. 

But a much better header gave the Eagles the lead going into the interval. A poor corner from Bannan came back out to the Scottish midfielder and second time around he delivered a much better cross into the area where Marouane Chamakh diverted the ball into the net to register against the side where he spent last season on loan.

In first-half stoppage time Downing nearly levelled when Diame found him from a wide position and after the England winger struck the ball on the half volley Damien Delaney produced a fantastic block to deflect the strike away from danger.

Palace came out buoyed after the restart but saw three chances go begging in a matter of minutes. Firstly a long ball by Mile Jedinak was collected by Cameron Jerome before the advancing Jaaskelainen, and he and Chamkah combined to give Puncheon a go at goal but he saw a shot deflect off the post via James Collins.

From the resulting corner Kagisho Dikgacoi was found by Bannan but the South African's header just flew over the target, and a minute later Jerome was sent galloping towards goal but saw his one-on-one battle with Jaaskelainen go the way of the Finnish keeper.

Both teams were then left frustrated by the linesman's flag. Downing lashed home from just inside the area after a knock-back by Joey O'Brien but he was adjudged to have fouled Chamakh in the process and minutes later Jimmy Kebe tapped home an offside Jedinak's cut-back but both were correctly ruled out.

All of the visitor's threats were coming through Downing and he again forced Speroni into a save when the Argentinian got down low to stop his free-kick from 25 yards and Dikgacoi had a decent hit from the same distance but it was comfortable for Jaaskelainen. 

Allardyce's boys kept plugging away but found the home defence impossible to breach, with only a wayward header by Collins from a corner all they could muster in the latter stages, while Kebe should have sealed the win in stoppage time after rounding Jaaskelainen but failing to find the unguarded net when under pressure from Collins. 

Ultimately though, one goal proved enough as Pulis picked up his first victory in SE25 to lift his men off the bottom of the Premier League table.

Palace: Speroni, Ward, Gabbidon, Delaney, Moxey, Jedinak, Dikgacoi, Bannan (O'Keefe 81), Puncheon (Kebe 66), Chamakh (Williams 85), Jerome. Subs: Price, Mariappa, O'Keefe, Gayle, Phillips.

West Ham: Jaaskelainen, O'Brien, Collins, Tomkins, Rat (McCartney 78), Noble, Nolan (J. Cole 58), Morrison, Downing, Diame, C.Cole (Maiga 58). Subs: Adrian, Jarvis, Demel, Collison.