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Match Reports

Report: Palace 1-1 Huddersfield Town

22 December 2012

In an action-packed encounter at Selhurst, 10 man Palace put in a brave display as they took the lead via a Wilfried Zaha wonder-strike but were forced to settle once again for a point as they were pegged back by a Huddersfield side who would also see a player dismissed, and miss a first-half penalty.

Mile Jedinak returned to the side and he was inches away from making an instant impact when Palace won a free-kick just outside the box and the Aussie stepped up and his curled effort rippled the side netting after a minute. The visitors showed their own attacking threat moments later when they broke down the other end and a Jermaine Beckford header had to be tipped over by Julian Speroni.

Palace had the better of the earlier exchanges and Zaha and Owen Garvan both saw efforts flash narrowly wide of the post in the first 10 minutes but a bright start was spoilt when Damien Delaney was shown a straight red card for a high tackle on Beckford as the striker ran towards goal, and it forced Ian Holloway to sacrifice Owen Garvan for Danny Gabbidon.

Things went from bad to worse when the Terriers were handed a penalty on 19 minutes when former Palace man Sean Scannell went down softly after a tangle in the box with Joel Ward but Adam Clayton's woeful penalty was easily saved by Speroni.

Palace were now under the cosh and they had to thank Speroni once again for keeping them in the game when he made a fantastic reaction save after Beckford smashed Scannell's cutback towards goal, but despite being down to 10 men the Eagles showed they were still capable of grabbing a goal when Murray latched onto a poor backpass, rounded Alex Smithies but couldn't divert the ball into the empty net from a tight angle.

The Eagles then took the lead when Yannick Bolasie played a beautiful little flick into Zaha's path, and the winger broke into the box and beat Smithies at his near post with an unstoppable shot.

In first-half injury time Clayton tested Speroni much more from 25 yards than he did from 12 with a great shot from distance that Speroni clawed out of the top corner to ensure the Eagles went into the break a goal ahead despite being a man light.

The visitors came out brightly in the second half when another former Eagle James Vaughan shot wide before Speroni was forced to push the ball over the bar from a shot from Adam Hammill, whereas Palace's best effort of the opening 15 minutes came from a shot from distance by Jedinak which didn't trouble Smithies.

However Palace were pegged back with 15 minutes to go when a corner from Hammill ended up in the path of Keith Southern who poked the ball back towards goal, and it trickled through Speroni's legs and into the net with the keeper distracted by Beckford's presence in front of him.

But the numbers were evened up on 80 minutes when Anthony Gerrard was dismissed for a hard tackle on Bolasie just outside the area, which looked rough on Simon Grayson's side as the defender seemed to get a touch on the ball, however neither side could create anything dangerous in the latter stages as a breathless encounter petered to a finish.

Palace: Speroni, Ward (Moxey 52), Parr, Bolasie (Moritz 81), Dikgacoi, Garvan (Gabbidon 14), Jedinak (c), Zaha, Murray, Delaney, Ramage. Subs: Price, Easter, O'Keefe, Appiah.

Huddersfield: Smithies, Woods, Norwood (Hammill 46), Gerrard, Scannell (Ward 70), Clayton, Vaughan (Clarke 81), Beckford, Southern, Hunt, Lynch. Subs not used: Bennett, Dixon, Church, Atkinson.

Attendance: 17,993

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