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Match Report: Crystal Palace 1-0 Barnsley (Palace Fan's Perspective)

Thursday 22nd March 2012
Anticipation was high as mid-table giants Crystal Palace and Barnsley came up against each other. Palace had drawn their three previous games, whilst the visitors hadn't scored in as many, so a thriller was on the cards as Dougie Freedman's side looked for revenge following their defeat at Oakwell back in December.

Supporters of both sides had paid good money for their seats, and they were encouraged to use the edge of them as this game kicked into life, with a mere 30 minutes played before either side registered a shot on target.

Matt Done's ambitious effort from the edge of the box was well held by Julian Speroni, and moments later Andy Gray directed a cross on target, only to be similarly denied by the Argentinian.

A spell of hit and hope, long ball tactics adopted by both sides did it's best to send the spectators into a premature sleep, however referee Mr Kettle brought an end to the mass torture by blowing his whistle for half-time with the scores tied at 0-0.

Rejuvenated by Freedman's words of wisdom, Palace came out for the second half the brighter of the two sides. In a delightfully welcome contrast to the previous 45 minutes, they actually looked as though they may test Barnsley goalkeeper David Button.

Sean Scannell seemed the most obvious threat with his pace causing problems down the right side, and twice he got into the box only to see his efforts well dealt with by the defence.

Goals have been hard to come by for Barnsley since the departure of key man Ricardo Vaz Te in January and their drought didn't look to be ending any time soon, despite their dominance in possession. Craig Davies almost took his chance to take the lead but there was no beating Speroni, who kept a clean sheet for his fourth consecutive home game.

As the match plunged deep into the realms of stoppage time and the ref keeping a close eye on his watch, Crystal Palace finally got the breakthrough that they so desperately needed. Sean Scannell, who has recently been subject to rumours about a loan move to Sheffield Wednesday, was conveniently placed to divert a Kagisho Dikgacoi cross past the despairing Button.

In his post match press conference, Dougie Freedman praised his sides determination and ‘never say die attitude' which leaves them just seven points short of the play offs, with nine games remaining until the end of the current season.

Palace: Speroni; Clyne, McCarthy, Gardner, Parr; Jedinak, Dikgacoi, Ambrose (Williams), Scannell, Martin (Appiah), Murray (Easter).

Barnsley: Button; Foster, Wiseman, Golbourne, McNulty; Doyle, Dawson, Done, Nouble (Tonge); Davies (Collins), Gray.
Harry Howes

Total articles: 8

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