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Match Report: Crystal Palace 1-0 Peterborough United

Sunday 4th March 2012
Crystal Palace XI: Speroni; McShane, McCarthy, Gardner, Parr; Garvan, Jedinak, Ambrose, Zaha; Martin, Easter

Peterborough United XI: Jones; Little, Zakuani, Alcock, Briggs; McCann, Kearns, Rowe, Boyd; Taylor, Barnett

Mile Jedinak's first goal in Palace colours was enough to see off a Peterborough side that travelled to Selhurst Park looking to increase the distance between them and the relegation zone.

Palace themselves remained unbeaten since their Carling Cup semi final exit at the hands of Cardiff and had recently been approaching games with more attacking intent, with manager Dougie Freedman opting to continue with Jermaine Easter ahead of the in-form Chris Martin. Yet it was Peterborough who looked the most likely to score as Tyrone Barnett, who earned himself a place in the starting line up following his debut goal against Doncaster, forced Julian Speroni into two good saves in the first half to keep the scores level.

Palace almost took the lead as Jermaine Easter found Darren Ambrose, who's placed effort was deflected onto the post and scrambled clear by the Posh defence, but Palace were fortunate to go in at half time with the scores level as Speroni once again denied Peterborough's attacks, this time George Boyd saw his effort blocked.

Palace started the second half brightly with a much improved central midfield partnership dictating ther play. Somewhat anonymous in the first half, playmaker Owen Garvan and Aussie destroyer Mile Jedinak returned looking more like Xavi and Busquets, and they were helped by the inspired looking Wilfried Zaha. Flooded with confidence following his debut for the England Under-21's midweek, the young winger's trickery had the visitor's defence in pieces as he created two opportunities for himself, dragging them both narrowly wide.

Peterborough continued to attack at pace and could have had a goal themselves with Tommy Rowe firing off target, but with the introduction of Glenn Murray for the Eagles only one team looked like scoring.

The deadlock was finally broken in the 76th minute as Darren Ambrose's hopeful looking free kick was fumbled by opposing goalkeeper Paul Jones after good pressure from Jedinak and the midfielder had his reward from a tenacious and battling display, as the ball landed at his feet and he was able to turn and fire into a near empty net.

Palace almost doubled their advantage when Murray put Dean Moxey through, but he was denied by good anticipation from Jones. Despite late pressure from Peterborough, Palace held on to claim a second consecutive home victory and take all three points.

Although unlikely and perhaps a season too early, if Palace can get a good run of games going, who's to say they can't sneak into the play offs? An encouraging display from a lively and confident Peterborough side, they were unlucky today and definitely have enough about them to comfortably avoid relegation this season.

Man of the Match: Mile Jedinak (Crystal Palace) An absolute rock in midfield. He broke up countless Peterborough attacks which often led to a Palace break and deserved his goal after a brave and conducted display.
Harry Howes

Total articles: 8

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