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Charlton 0 Palace 1

14 September 2012

Crystal Palace secured derby day delight for their travelling fans by beating Charlton 1-0 thanks to an excellent strike by Kagisho Dikgacoi.

The South African volleyed in a delightful effort on 51 minutes which proved to be enough for the visitors to secure their first league win at Charlton since 1989.

Dougie Freedman made one change to the side picked up their first win of the season against Sheffield Wednesday, with Dikgacoi replacing Andre Moritz in central midfield.

Backed by a passionate following of 3,000 fans in the away end, Palace started brightly and had the first chance of the game after just six minutes when Owen Garvan played in Wilfried Zaha, and his cut-back was fired narrowly over the bar by Dikgacoi.

They came closer to taking the lead five minutes later when Zaha again caused problems down the right, and after Glenn Murray's goalbound effort hit Ben Hamer in the Addicks' goal, Garvan saw his effort cleared off the line by Leon Cort.

Being a derby game there were always going to be a few meaty challenges going in, and Charlton's Dale Stephens was the first to find himself in the book on 22 minutes for a foul on Dikgacoi. The stoppage allowed Chris Powell to make an early change when former Eagles defender Rhoys Wiggins injured himself trying to contain the sparkling Zaha, and was replaced by Lawrie Wilson.

Palace continued to put pressure on their opponents, and Yannick Bolasie was next to try his luck after cutting inside but blazed his shot well over the bar.

However they were fortunate not to find themselves behind on 32 minutes when Wilson's free-kick was flicked onto Bradley Wright-Phillips, who planted a header past Julian Speroni and ran off celebrating, only to be thwarted by the linesman's flag. It looked to be the wrong decision as replays showed the striker looked to be level with the Palace defence.

Bolasie forced Hamer into a low save straight after, and the Frenchman continued to shoot at every opportunity as he tried his luck from 25 yard out which sailed harmlessly wide, before Yann Kermorgant battled his way onto a Stephens cross but missed the target as the action sprang from end to end.

Five minutes before half-time, Stephens found himself in space 30 yards from goal and smashed a shot towards the Palace goal which whistled just over Speroni's crossbar. Despite switching flanks, Zaha was causing the Addicks' defence all sorts of problems, and dragged a shot wide two minutes later. 

In first-half stoppage time, Johnnie Jackson bent a free-kick around the Palace wall which forced Speroni into a diving save before Bolasie spooned another shot into the stand as the referee called time on a pulsating half, which Palace dominated for the opening half hour before the hosts edged back into it.

Palace began the second half on top and made their pressure pay by going ahead in the 51st minute. Garvan's corner was headed back across the box by Damien Delaney, and Dikgacoi did brilliantly to control the ball on his chest and set himself up for a volley that flew past Hamer and sent the away support behind the goal into raptures.

Boosted by the goal, the visitors forced another corner two minutes later which Garvan fired in and found Murray who headed over into the deafening Eagles faithful.

Having fallen behind, Ricardo Fuller was added to Charlton's attack on 57 minutes for Johnnie Jackson, and missed with a header from a Wilson cross on 63 minutes as the Addicks looked for an equaliser.

Mile Jedinak was booked for persistent fouling in the 69th minute after tripping Fuller 25 yards from goal, but Kermorgant wasted the resulting free-kick. He was followed into the notebook by Bolassie a minute later. This time Wilson floated in the free-kick, which found its way to Cort who flicked it past the post.

The flurry of cards continued as Murray joined his team-mates on a yellow card for attempting to trip Michael Morrison before Jonny Williams entered the fray for the final quarter of an hour in place of Bolassie, who was treading a disciplinary tightrope after being warned for another foul.

The Welshman soon linked up with Garvan down the left to create a chance for the attacking midfielder who saw his shot deflected wide for a corner, before Stephens saw a first-time shot fail to test Speroni as the game entered the final 10 minutes.

Fuller had a great chance to level the scores in the 83rd minute when the energetic Wilson created an overlap and found the Jamaican unmarked in the box, but he failed to hit the target. He then saw two further attempts clear the crossbar as the home side began to throw bodies forward.

The ploy nearly worked deep into injury time when Fuller saw a shot deflect off a Palace defender that Speroni could only parry away for a Charlton corner. Hamer charged from his goal to add an extra goal threat, and superbly connected with the set piece which looked destined for the net, only for Garvan to once again clear off the line and secure all three points for Palace.

Charlton Athletic: Hamer, Solly, Wiggins (Wilson 22), Morrison, Cort, Pritchard (Green 77), Hollands, Stephens, Jackson (Fuller 59), Kermorgant, Wright-Phillips.
Subs (not used): Button, Dervite, Kerkar, Smith.

Booked: Stephens & Wilson.

Crystal Palace: Speroni, Blake, Parr, Ramage, Delaney, Zaha (Ward 90), Jedinak, Dikgacoi, Garvan, Bolasie (Williams 75), Murray (Wilbrahim 87).

Subs (not used): Price, Moxey, Moritz, Goodwillie.

Booked: Jedinak & Bolasie.

Ref: T Bates    Attendance: 21,730 (3,217 from Palace)

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