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Match Reports

Match Report : 01/04/2013

1 April 2013

Matty Phillips' fine strike six minutes from time condemned Palace to their third straight defeat as Blackpool spoiled Ian Holloway's return to Bloomfield Road by securing a 1-0 win which dents the Eagles' promotion chances.

The Eagles drew a blank for the third game in succession despite playing against 10 men for over an hour following the dismissal of Barry Ferguson, and their inability to find a way through the Tangerines' defence was punished against the run of play late on as Paul Ince's side took all three points to boost their survival chances.

In the ninth minute a long ball over the top allowed the pacey Nathan Delfouneso to beat the offside line and burst through on goal, but Julian Speroni made himself big to produce a good block to thwart the Seasiders striker.

Palace's first attempts didn't arrive until the 18th minute when Yannick Bolasie picked the ball up on the halfway line and managed to negotiate his way through the Blackpool defence and the divot-laden surface to find Wilfried Zaha but the winger's blast was well pushed away by Matt Gilks, with the resulting corner being fired over the bar from close range by Damien Delaney.

The game swung from end to end without either side managing to carve out a decent chance until the 35th minute when Speroni had to be at his absolute best to keep out Delfouneso once again. The England under 21s' striker picked the ball up inside the box and swivelled to drive a first-time effort towards the Eagles goal from six yards, but the veteran Palace shot-stopper managed to dive low to keep the ball out. 

However the Seasiders were reduced to 10 men four minutes before the break when Barry Ferguson was dismissed. Having picked up a yellow for a poor tackle on Kagisho Dikgacoi 10 minutes earlier, the former Scotland captain barged a goalbound Bolasie over 25 yards from goal and was given his marching orders.

Despite the numerical disadvantage though Blackpool were inches away from taking the lead into half time. Newly-crowned Championship Young Player of the Year Tom Ince jinked his way into the area and flashed the ball across the area for his opposite winger Phillips, but he was a stud's length away from poking the ball into the net.

Following the interval Palace tried to make the extra space on the pitch count by playing much wider, and could have opened the scoring when Zaha found the overlapping Jonny Parr whose cross was met by the head of Glenn Murray but it was comfortably saved by Gilks.

The visitors dominated the second half but just couldn't find the crucial breakthrough. Zaha saw a tame effort find Gilks, Bolasie had a volley from a cleared corner blocked in the area and Murray somehow failed to direct a brilliant cross from Zaha goalwards as the Eagles cranked up the pressure.

However they failed to find the all important goal and the hammer blow arrived on the 84th minute. Ince picked the ball up on the right and cut inside before playing the ball to Phillips who was in acres of space, and he swept the ball first-time into the top corner from 20 yards past Speroni to complete a miserable Easter for the Eagles..

Blackpool: Gilks, Crainey, Cathcart, Broadfoot, Baptiste, Basham, Ferguson, Sylvestre (Osbourne 85), Ince (Eardley 89), Phillips, Delfouneso (Derbyshire 89). Subs: Halstead, Angel, Grandin, Futacs.

Crystal Palace: Speroni, Richards (Wilbraham 88), Parr, Bolasie, Dikgacoi (Moritz 71), Dobbie (Williams 71), Jedinak, Zaha, Murray, Delaney, Ramage. Subs: Price, Ward, Marrow, Gabbidon. 

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