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July 10 2020 12.40am

Four-goal Palace blast Coventry

January 13 2007

Carl Fletcher

Carl Fletcher

A devastating four-goal burst by Palace in the first half brought all three points at Coventry, reports Peter Gillman.

Coventry clawed two goals back to put the Palace fans on edge, but Palace held on for the 4-2 win.

Palace soaked up early Coventry pressure and took the lead on 19 minutes. Palace skipper Carl Fletcher took a pass from Jobi McAnuff and lashed a 12-yard shot past keeper Luke Steel – Fletcher’s first goal for Palace.

Kevin Kyle hit the Palace crossbar with a header a minute later, but on 26 minutes Palace went 2-0 up.

Kennedy hit a free kick from the right which was deflected goalward by Coventry defender Virgo. Steel made a point blank save only for Shefti Kuqi to pick up the rebound and loop a header back over Steel’s head.

Two minutes later Palace McAnuff beat his man and fired in a cross which Leon Cort headed home from six yards. On 40 minutes Palace were in dreamland as a McAnuff header from a Fletcher cross made it four.

Ex-Palace Leon McKenzie got one back for Coventry on 45 minutes, turning neatly in the box and shooting past Scott Flinders.

Palace were denied a penalty moments before the break when Kennedy was brought down on the edge of the box, only for referee Graham Laws to signal a foul outside the area. Darren Ward headed narrowly wide from the free kick.

Coventry got a second goal back with a header by Kyle on 56 minutes. Then Flinders had to make a courageous save at the feet of McKenzie.

Palace were still attacking, but on 65 minutes Taylor brought on Paul Ifill for Dougie. Ifill stayed deep, leaving only Kuqi upfront.

Coventry pressed hard and Flinders made several good saves in a crowded area. Then Ifill won the ball in a tackle and found McAnuff with a precision pass, but Jobi shot a foot wide of the far post.

The 1360 travelling fans gave Palace a rapturous ovation at the final whistle. The win gives Palace 37 points and pushes them up to fourteenth place.

Palace: Flinders; Hudson, Cort, Ward, Lawrence; Green (Soares 75), Fletcher, Kennedy, McAnuff; Freedman (Ifill 65), Kuqi.

Subs not used: Wilkinson, Morrison, Butterfield.

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