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Match Reports

Academy Report: Crystal Palace 1-0 Birmingham

21 March 2016

Palace recorded their third straight win to keep their hopes of clinching a play-off place at the end of the season intact after they beat Birmingham City 1-0 in Beckenham.

It was a fine performance from a side playing their third game in the space of a week, who restricted a previously free-scoring Blues to no attempts on goal during the 90 minutes.

Michael Phillips had the hosts' first attempt when he saw a shot from 20 yards comfortably saved, and then 12 minutes later Corie Andrews got in behind the Birmingham backline but shot wide.

But five minutes before half-time Palace got their noses ahead when after a 16-pass move, Andre Coker's speculative cross into the area was fumbled into his own net by the visiting goalkeeper to literally hand the home side the advantage.

In the second half Phillips saw a shot cleared off the line following a corner from the excellent Kian Flanagan, and then the Irish youth international provided a perfect cross for Andrews to latch onto but the striker trod on the ball when well-placed to double the lead.

There was further good news for Ken Gillard as Aaron Bissaka returned from injury and went close when picked out by Levi Lumeka, but the Blues shot-stopper atoned for his earlier error by saving well from Bissaka and then also blocking Andrews' follow-up.

However the own goal proved pivital and now the Eagles head into a crucial game against second-place Watford on Tuesday afternoon, with the Hornets just three points above Palace in the final play-off spot.

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