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Match Reports

Match Report : 02/10/2012

2 October 2012

Match Report

An excellent brace from Wilfried Zaha secured a third straight away win for Crystal Palace as they beat Wolverhampon Wanderers -2-1 to stretch their unbeaten run to six games.

On a cold night in Staffordshire, the tricky winger lit up the game by scoring twice in the space of seven second half minutes to secure a superb victory for the Eagles.

Dougie Freedman made two changes to the side that beat Bolton Wanderers on Saturday, with Dean Moxey starting at left back instead of Jonathan Parr, and Jonny Williams replacing the injured Kagisho Dikgacoi.

The home side had the first opportunity of the game after five minutes when a blistering run and shot by Sylvan Ebanks-Blake was deflected wide by Joel Ward for a corner, and Bakary Sako's delivery was poked just wide by Roger Johnson.

Palace's first chances fell to Yannick Bolasie who fizzed a strike just over Carl Ikeme's crossbar after 14 minutes and later latched onto a Zaha pass that Kevin Foley did brilliantly to block and prevent a certain goal as the Eagles began to control the game..

Julian Speroni was called into action for the first time just after the half hour mark when Sako escaped down the left and dinked a cross towards the back post for Ebanks-Blake, but his stooping header was thwarted by superb stop from the Palace shot-stopper.

In a topsy-turvy first 45 minutes, Wolves then began to look the most likely to open the scoring and Sako stung Speroni's palms with a fierce shot from a tight angle, and from the resulting corner Kevin Doyle headed over.

Palace were fuming just before half-time when Zaha was denied a clear penalty after squeezing past two Wolves defenders and being brought down in the box, but the referee waved play on, despite the youngster's need for treatment once the ball had gone dead.

Both sides came close to taking the lead into the interval, as Sako missed a glorious chance when Speroni could only deflect a cross into the winger's path, but he spooned his shot wide with the majority of the goal to aim, before Dean Moxey tested Ikeme with a low effort before the whistle blew.

It was a defensive howler though that handed the home side the opening goal seven minutes after the restart when an unchallenged Delaney got his feet tangled with the ball, and Ebanks-Blake capitalised to easily slot the ball past Speroni.

It was very nearly 2-0 on 59 minutes when Sako saw a shot bravely blocked by Delaney, but the ball fell kindly to Doyle who saw his close-range effort cannon back off the crossbar.

Despite Wolves dominating the opening 15 minutes of the half, Palace weathered the storm and turned the game on its head with two quick-fire goals. Firstly a long ball by Ward long ball reached Zaha just outside the area, and he beat a defender before calmly slotting into the bottom corner.

The exciting winger then added a second in sensational style. After controlling a raking pass from Owen Garvan on his chest, he turned Richard Stearman before rifling an unstoppable shot from just outside the box past Ikeme.

Having worked so hard to take the lead, the Eagles nearly let it slip when an unmarked Stephen Ward had a free header from a corner, but couldn't keep his shot on target, but Freedman's men comfortably saw out the final 10 minutes to ensure the unbeaten run continues.


Wolves: Ikeme, Foley (Edwards 82), S. Ward, Henry (capt) (Davis 58), Berra, Johnson, Peszko (Sigurdarson 70), Doumbia, Ebanks-Blake, Doyle, Sako.

Subs not used: Stearman, Batth, Forde, De Vries.

Booking: Henry.

Palace: Speroni, J. Ward, Delaney, Moxey, Blake, Zaha (Ramage 88), Murray, Jedinak (capt), Garvan, Bolashie (Moritz 62), Williams (Parr 70).

Subs not used: O’Keefe, Price, Wilbraham, Goodwillie.

Att: 19,561. Ref: G. Salisbury.

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