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April 21 2014 3.19am

Palace survival hopes boosted

March 30 2010

Stern John

Stern John

Crystal Palace's chances of avoiding the drop were given a major lift with a 3-1 win at relegation rivals Watford.

Stern John scored his first Palace goal while Sean Scannell and Neil Danns added further strikes.

Watford started the stronger of the two sides as Julian Speroni superbly saved Martin Taylor's point-blank header, then Tom Cleverley's 20-yard drive cannoned off the crossbar.

But Palace, who lost Shaun Derry through injury on 20 minutes, stole the lead 11 minutes later when Johannes Ertl's cross to the far post was headed home by John.

The woodwork came to the rescue again for Palace as Henri Lansbury's header from Cleverley's corner smacked against the upright.

Six minutes after the break, Scannell doubled Palace's lead. The young Irish winger nodded Darren Ambrose's cross onto the post then reacted quickly to slot past Scott Loach.

Heidar Helguson had two good attempts before the Eagles added a third goal in the 66th minute. Scannell's shot was parried by Loach but only as far as Danns who smashed the ball into the back of the net.

Cleverley hit the post again with a curling 20-yard shot before Watford substitute Danny Graham netted a consolation.

Lee Hills, who had earlier collected a booking for bringing down Lansbury in the first half, was sent off with three minutes left for a second yellow but Palace had done enough.

The victory keeps Palace in the relegation zone but to within a point of fourth-bottom Watford.

Watford: Loach, Mariappa, DeMerit, Taylor (Hoskins 84), Doyley, Lansbury, Cowie (Graham 68), Cleverley, Eustace, Helguson, Buckley.

Not Used: Lee, McGinn, Harley, Noble, Hodson.

Palace: Speroni, Ertl, McCarthy, Davis, Hills, Derry (Lawrence 20), Ambrose, Danns, Scannell (Carle 80), John (N'Diaye 90), Andrew.

Not Used: Manns, Lee, Comley, Zaha.

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