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Crystal Palace go down to Barnsley

April 21 2007

Julian Speroni

Julian Speroni

Crystal Palace lost 2-0 to lowly Barnsley, reports Peter Gillman.

It was yet another disappointing performance by Palace, failing to score against the worst defence in the Championship.

Palace went behind on 16 minutes when Hudson miskicked a clearance and the ball fell to Barnsley's Nardiello. He beat Fletcher then shot past Speroni from the edge of the area.

Kuqi was clear in the Barnsley area moments later but he lost control of the ball. When he did fire in a cross, Morrison's close-range shot was blocked.

Palace's best opening the first half came on 33 minutes when Cort made a typical run into the area at a corner, but he headed over from a good position.

Palace piled on the pressure on the second half, winning a string of corners, without result. Then Morrison crossed for Watson but his six-yard shot was blocked.

Cort met another corner with a header, but was off target again. Then McAnuff broke into the area but shot inches wide.

On 67 minutes Palace went 2-0 down in a blaze of controversy. There was no dispute when Lawrence brought down Nardiello in the area and ref Marriner awarded a penalty.

But Speroni saved Nardiello's kick only for the lino to signal that he moved too early. Nardiello scored at the second time of asking, driving the ball down the middle. Kiraly got up from the subs' bench to confront the lino and was booked.

Palace tried to get back into the game and Hudson missed when unmarked from six yards. Barnsley fell back on defence but Palace had little to offer.

On 85 minutes Grabban made a run and fired against the post, Palace's last chance to get back into the game.

Palace: Speroni, Lawrence, Hudson, Cort, Borrowdale, Soares, Fletcher, Watson (Martin 58), McAnuff, Morrison (Grabban 77), Kuqi (Scowcroft 72).

Subs not used: Butterfield, Kiraly.

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