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Palace 2-0 Ipswich

February 5 2007

Leon Cort celebrates with team-mates after scoring against Ipswich

Leon Cort celebrates with team-mates after scoring against Ipswich

Crystal Palace were reduced to 10 men but managed to hold on to a 2-0 win over Ipswich Town, writes Simon Pophale.

After the beating we took in the FA Cup by Preston last weekend, amends were made on Tuesday night as a 0-0 draw at Sunderland saw us come back home to play Ipswich.

Taylor made one change, bringing in Danny Butterfield and TOM SOARES for the injured Jobi McAnuff and Stuart Green.

It was a typical mid-table battle as the early exchanges proved that this was not going to have much finesse, but a lot of battling. Leon Cort had our first chance on five minutes, when his header was saved by Lewis Price.

Gary Roberts forced Gabor Kiraly, who was making his 99th Palace appearance, into a save on 13 minutes as his shot was pushed behind for a corner.

Clear-cut chances were at a premium and while Alan Lee nearly got his head on a number of dangerous crosses, Ipswich did not really forced Kiraly into a save for the rest of the half.

Jaime Peters and Roberts were giving Matt Lawrence and Danny Butterfield a torrid time, but could not find the final ball of any real threat.

While we were full of running, Shefki Kuqi in particular, our best chances came from set pieces and this led to the first goal on 32 minutes. After a Mark Kennedy piledriver was turned away for a corner, Kennedy took it short to Butterfield, whose cross was met by Leon Cort at the far post to open the scoring.

Carl Fletcher had a shot from the edge of the area saved by Price on 37 minutes, but that was all the action the first half had to offer.

The match was over as a contest five minutes after the restart as Paul Ifill got his first goal in our colours and saw our lead doubled. Set up by Fletcher and Kuqi, Ifill burst through to be one-on-one with Price and his shot into the far corner meant that we were 2-0 up and with Ipswich offering precious little up front, cruising to three points.

Fletcher had another 25-yard screamer turned around the post by Price on 64 minutes, while TOM SOARES picked up a needless booking, as did substitute George O’Callaghan after a hefty challenge led to a brawl of handbags on 71 minutes.

If his first challenge was hefty, his second was downright reckless as he attempted to cut Dan Harding in two with a challenge off the pitch that was high and dangerous. Referee Atkinson could only send him off, so we had to play the last 15 minutes with 10 men.

Yet Ipswich could not make anything of the man advantage as they did not trouble Kiraly and we looked like we might nick a third, but as the match wound down, the outcome was only ever going in one direction and we moved into the top half of the table for the first time in 2007.

Palace: Kiraly, Butterfield, Cort, Hudson, Lawrence, SOARES, Fletcher, Kennedy (Watson 72), Ifill, Freedman (Borrowdale 81), Kuqi (Scowcroft 86).

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