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March 7 2021 4.56am

Grabban gets the Blues

February 9 2005

Premiership Reserve League South

Premiership Reserve League South

Lewis Grabban's goal was enough to give the reserves a 1-0 win over Chelsea at Selhurst Park.

Chelsea started off brightly and Palace were grateful to Julian Speroni who spread himself well to deny Jimmy Smith from six yards after three minutes.

Neil Shipperley, pictured below, went close to putting away Danny Butterfield’s cross seven minutes later, but Palace were unlucky not to go ahead on 26 minutes.

Butterfield fed Wayne Andrews with a slide-rule pass into the box but the former Colchester striker’s shot crashed against the post.

Butterfield set up Shipperley with two inch-perfect crosses - the first was a looping header just over, then the second forced keeper Yves Ma-Kalamby to tip over the bar.

The Blues’ best chance of the half was a 25-yard effort from captain Danny Hollands which Speroni was equal to.

But a minute before the break, Palace got the breakthrough. Andrews was fouled on the edge of the box and took a quick free-kick to Butterfield who delivered a cross along the six-yard box.

Ma-Kalamby managed to claw the ball away but only into the path of Grabban and he fired home.

In the second half, Palace piled on the pressure with a number of corners but Speroni kept Palace in the game with another save from Smith just past the hour mark.

On 64 minutes, Speroni blocked Sebastian Kneissl’s strike after he jinked his way into the box.

But Palace created further opportunities to extend their lead going into the final 12 minutes. Substitute Tom Welch fed Ryan Hall on the left wing and he crossed to Andrews who lofted the ball just over.

Ma-Kalamby parried Shipperley’s 12-yard strike from Ryan Hall’s centre and in stoppage time Hall was inches away from scoring with a 20-yarder.

But the win means Palace remain second in the Premiership Reserve League South table.

Palace: Speroni, Butterfield, Hudson, Wilson, Starkey, Grabban (Smith 89), Togwell, Dolan (Welch 67), R Hall, Andrews, Shipperley. Not used: Wilkinson, Smith, Marshall, Hickie.

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