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Elementary my dear Watson

March 8 2008

Ben Watson

Ben Watson

Ben Watson grabbed the winner as Crystal Palace won 2-1 at home to Colchester United.

Victory moves Palace to within three points of the play-offs and condemns Colchester to their fourth straight defeat and the brink of relegation.

Palace started the game on fire and should have taken a second minute lead. Victor Moses scampered down the left, turned Phil Ifill and crossed in low for Tom Soares, but the midfielder skied over with the goal at his mercy.

Lee Hills screwed an effort off target before the Eagles were given a scare as Julian Speroni fumbled Dean Hammond's header only for Matt Lawrence cleared the danger.

The hosts were rewarded with a goal after 21 minutes when Danny Butterfield's cross to James Scowcroft appeared to divert in off Ifill and into his own net.

But the celebrations were short-lived as the U's levelled just two minutes later as Kevin Lisbie sped past Lawrence and Butterfield to calmly slot home.

Watson then saw his curling free-kick smash against the crossbar, while there were headed chances for Scowcroft and Morrison.

Colchester just about hang on for half-time as Butterfield's goalbound shot was cleared and keeper Dean Gerken made a top save to keep out Watson's free-kick.

At the beginning of the second period and against the run of play, Colchester almost went in front when Hammond nodded Lisbie's cross wide.

Morrison had a goal ruled out for offside in the 59th minute when he reacted quickest to Clint Hill's header that rebounded off the post.

But the points were safely in the bag for Palace in the 75th minute as youngster Ashley-Paul Robinson delivered a perfect cross for Watson to sweep into the net.

Lisbie got the ball in the net at the end but his effort was disallowed by the lineman's flag.

Palace: Speroni, Butterfield, Lawrence, Hill, Hills (Fonte 79), Moses (Scannell 84), Derry (Robinson 63), Watson, Soares, Scowcroft, Morrison.

Not Used: Fletcher, Hughes.

Colchester: Gerken, Ifil, Coyne, Virgo, White, Duguid, Izzet (Elito 77), Hammond, Jackson, Platt (Vernon 87), Lisbie.

Not Used: Bankole, Watson, Balogh.

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