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Match Reports

Match Report : 19/02/2013

19 February 2013

Glenn Murray's 28th goal of the season and a first Palace strike for Stephen Dobbie proved to be enough for an improving Palace to secure a 2-1 win over Bristol City as their promotion push gains serious momentum.

With the goals coming either side of the break, victory was rarely threatened as Ian Holloway's side chalked up their third win out of the last four games to further cement themselves within the play-off places whilst closing the gap on Championship leaders Cardiff City.

The game started in a lackluster fashion with Palace only creating a couple of half chances in the opening exchanges. Damien Delaney fired straight at Tom Heaton after a Jonny Williams chipped pass fell into his path and Wilfried Zaha blazed over from a tight angle, with Albert Adomah posing the only threat to Julian Speroni's goal in the whole of the first half with an off-target free-kick.

However the Eagles burst into life on 20 minutes when Murray held the ball up and played a perfect through-ball for Jazz Richards who coolly slotted past Heaton but was thwarted by the linesman's flag, with replays showing he looked level at worst with the Robins defence.

Palace didn't let the injustice get them down and moments later Yannick Bolasie was almost celebrating a goal of the season contender against his former club. With the ball bouncing around the box, the winger took the ball on his chest before unleashing a rocket of a bicycle kick that clattered off the crossbar with Heaton well beaten.

A goal looked destined and on 34 minutes it came. Palace won a free-kick on the halfway line and Mile Jedinak took it quickly and sprayed an inch-perfect ball over the heads of the City defence into the path of Murray who prodded the ball home first-time to score his fifth goal in his last four games and give Ian Holloway's side a deserved half-time lead.

Just as the first half had begun slowly the second started in the same vein and a wild effort from Jonathan Stead was the only shot of note in the opening quarter of an hour. 

In an attempt to get his side back up to their first-half standards Holloway brought on Dobbie and Kevin Phillips and immediately the former teed up Jonny Parr for a shot on goal from just outside the area which whistled narrowly over the bar.

However the Scot was celebrating his first Eagles goal five minutes after entering the fray when he stepped up to curl a sublime free-kick past Heaton into the top corner of the net to double the advantage as Holloway's bench came up trumps for the fourth game in succession.

Having only kept one clean sheet in their last 12 games the home side looked determined not to concede and Speroni got down quickly to prevent Stead from netting with a diving header, but they continued to push forward and the Eagles faithful were once again prevented from celebrating another stunning goal by the woodwork when Phillips swiveled and hit the ball on the volley from 25 yards with Heaton left helpless.  

The 39 year old stung the palms the Robins shot-stopper from long-range with five minutes to go, but in stoppage time Parr attempted to nod the ball back to Speroni but saw it inadvertently fly past the keeper to hand City a consolation, however the final whistle came seconds later to ensure the mishap didn't cost the Eagles too dearly.

Palace: Speroni; Richards, Ramage, Delaney, Parr; Jedinak (c), Dikgacoi; Zaha (Phillips 60), Williams (Dobbie 60), Bolasie (Butterfield 77); Murray. Subs not used: Price, Marrow, Wilbraham, Moxey

Bristol City: Heaton, Fontaine, Nyatanga, Stead, Kelly, Pearson (Davies 72), Cunningham, Moloney (Foster 46), Anderson, Elliott (c), Adomah (Burns 80). Subs not used: Gerken, Kilkenny, Howard, Wilson

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