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Match Reports

Report: Sheffield Wednesday 1-0 Palace

23 February 2013

For the fifth time this season Palace came away from Yorkshire without a win as a Leroy Lita strike 10 minutes from time was enough to see Sheffield Wednesday secure a 1-0 victory at Hillsborough.

In a game of few chances, the on-loan Swansea striker punished the Eagles with the game's only clear-cut opportunity to ensure Ian Holloway's side's misery on their travels continued.

The early pressure came from the home side and within the opening five minutes Lewis Buxton and David Prutton both saw attempts flash over the crossbar, before Miguel Llera headed wide 10 minutes later after Palace failed to completely clear three successive crosses into their area.

Palace were playing some neat football but got no joy whatsoever in front of goal in the opening stages, and they were nearly punished midway through the half when Lita headed a cross towards goal but it lacked power and was safely collected by Julian Speroni.

Palace's best chances of the half came via a pair blocked shots from Stephen Dobbie on 38 minutes, and after the first landed back in his path his sweet connection from rebound clattered off Glenn Murray and away from danger, and the Eagles went into the break without Chris Kirkland getting his gloves dirty.

Whatever Holloway said at the interval seemed have the desired effect as the visitors came out all guns blazing after the restart. Dobbie finally forced Kirkland into a save with his legs on 50 minutes after getting on the end of a Jonny Williams cross, and Kagisho Dikgacoi was inches off target with a drive from 25 yards.

However the bright start gave way to another battle of attrition in the midfield as both sides struggled to create goalscoring opportunities, although Yannick Bolasie had a great chance after 72 minutes to put Palace ahead when he managed to break clear and force Kirkland into a low save.

But it was the home side who snatched the breakthrough when a counter attack saw the ball arrive at Michail Antonio's feet, and he delivered a wicked cross from the right for Lita to power in a header that went in off the bar. 

It could have been worse for Palace when Lita raced clear in injury time but Speroni won the one-on-one battle by saving with his legs. There was to be no comeback though as Lita's one goal proved to be enough for the Owls to secure all three points while extending the Eagles' search for an away win to nine matches.

Sheff Wed: Kirkland, Buxton, Llera, Gardner, Lee (Helan 62), Pugh, Coke, Prutton, Antonio (J. Johnson 81), Wickham (Madine 56), Lita. Subs not used: Davies, Taylor, Semedo, McCabe.

Crystal Palace: Speroni, Richards, Parr (Butterfield 87), Bolasie, Dikgacoi, Dobbie (Wilbraham 87), Jedinak, Murray, Williams (Phillips 67), Delaney, Ramage. Subs not used: Price, Easter, Marrow, Moxey.

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