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Palace's Penalty Kings

16 February 2016

There’s been a lot of attention on penalties this week following Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez’s audacious spot-kick conversion for Barcelona last weekend, but who have been the deadliest from 12 yards in Palace’s history? 
Here we look back at the top five coolest finishers from the spot in the Eagles’ 110 years.

5. Edwin “Ted” Smith – 1911-1922 – 10 penalties scored

You might think it is unsurprising for Palace’s second highest goalscorers in history to appear on this list, but with penalties much harder to win back in football’s more humble days Smith did well to reach double figures. Indeed, the great Peter Simpson only scored two of his record 165 goals from 12 yards.

Standout spot-kick: 6th September 1913 v Portsmouth – Smith would convert what proved to be the club’s last ever successful penalty at the Crystal Palace.

4. Glenn Murray – 2011-2015 – 13 penalties scored

During the Eagles’ promotion season of 2012/13 they were the beneficiaries of 19 penalties in all competitions with the Palace striker converting nine and also missing three more. His last goal for the club also came from 12 yards out when he netted against Shrewsbury Town in the Capital One Cup earlier this season.

Standout spot-kick: 2nd March 2014 v Swansea City – Having been out of action for nearly a year, Murray slammed home his first Premier League goal to grab Palace a precious point.

=2. Andy Gray – 1984-1988 & 1989-1992 – 15 penalties scored

Despite playing in a team filled with striking talent such as Mark Bright and Ian Wright, it was the winger who was handed the task of penalty taking during this golden age under Steve Coppell. He later relinquished duties to Neil Redfearn and Dave Madden who netted 12 between them, before Gray regained the role at the turn of the decade, meaning his tally could have been much higher.

Standout spot-kick: 6th January 1990 v Portsmouth – Gray scored the first goal of the Eagles’ run to the 1990 FA Cup final when he opened the scoring in a 2-1 win against Pompey.

=2. Dougie Freedman – 1995-1998 & 2000-2008 – 15 penalties scored

All of the Scottish striker’s penalties came during his second spell with the club before he was usurped in the pecking order by the club’s number one marksman from the spot. Freedman though made some crucial contributions during a time where Palace struggled to find the net, adding more pressure to each one of his attempts.

Standout spot-kick: 9th August 2003 v Burnley – a sixth minute conversion by Freedman was the first of three goals for him that afternoon as Palace secured an opening day victory at Turf Moor.

1. Andrew Johnson – 2002-2006 & 2014-2015 – 24 penalties scored

Way out in from is AJ who embarked on a spree of spot-kicks in 2004/05 as he scored 11 out of his 21 Premier League goals in this fashion, winning most of them himself. He also contributed eight more the previous season to help win promotion as he ousted Freedman as the Eagles’ go-to guy when it came to taking penalties.

Standout spot-kick: 26th October 2002 - Johnson’s first ever penalty for the club saw him complete a famous hat-trick in a 5-0 demolition of arch-rivals Brighton on a memorable day at Selhurst.

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