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July 10 2020 8.02pm

Palace Crush Derby Hopes

April 29 2007

Clinton Morrison

Clinton Morrison

Crystal Palace cruised to victory at Selhurst Park, beating promotion-hopefuls Derby 2-0, reports Peter Gillman.

The result means that Roy Keaneís Sunderland and Steve Bruceís Birmingham play in the Premiership next season, but the shirt-sleeved home fans appeared content to revel in Palaceís free-flowing victory.

Derby's brightest period came at the start of the match, as they pressed for the points to keep automatic promotion alive, but it was Palace who went ahead on 29 minutes.

When Carl Fletcher tried an ambitious long-range shot, the ball was intercepted by Clinton Morrison, lurking unmarked on the edge of the area. Morrison side-footed his shot inside keeper Campís left-hand post.

The Derby defence appealed for offside but replays showed that ex-Palace defender Marc Edworthy - cheered by the Palace fans when his name was announced in the Derby team - was playing Morrison onside.

Derby came closest to equalising at the start of the second half, when Mark Hudson sliced a clearance and Julian Speroni made an acrobatic save.

As Derby pushed upfield they left inevitable gaps for Palace to exploit. The second goal came when Hudson collected the ball on the right in the Palace half and hit a crossfield pass to Gary Borrowdale. He sent away Mark Kennedy, who was unmarked, and Kennedy blasted past Campís near post from 15 yards.

The goal left the Derby defence arguing among themselves and it was clear, as they faced the play-offs lottery, that they were totally demoralised. Palace dominated the remainder of play and came closest to a third when Kennedy slid a short-range cross past at least four Palace players waiting to tap the ball home.

The Palace fans were calling for Dougie Freedman to come on as substitute but manager Peter Taylor did not oblige. Dougie did however take part in the team's 'lap of appreciation' after the game and won the loudest cheers.

Crystal Palace: Speroni, Lawrence, Hudson, Cort, Borrowdale, McAnuff, Watson, Fletcher, Kennedy, Morrison (Ifill 77), Kuqi (Scowcroft 74).

Subs Not Used: Kiraly, Freedman, Butterfield.

Goals: Morrison 29, Kennedy 67.

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