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May 31 2023 12.18am

Lee hits late winner

December 13 2008

Crystal Palace

Crystal Palace

Alan Lee notched his first Crystal Palace goal with a late winner as Palace beat 10-man Doncaster 2-1.

The injury-plagued striker jumped off the bench to plunder an 89th minute strike in only his fourth appearance since signing from Ipswich in August.

Doncaster, who had not won away since the first game of the season, were not going roll over easily and got off to a bright start as Paul Heffernan went close with a header.

They had keeper Neil Sullivan to thank after he beat out a Shefki Kuqi header from John Oster's corner before Rovers grabbed the lead in the 14th minute.

Martin Woods took a quickly-taken free-kick and Heffernan powered his header past the reach of Palace stopper Julian Speroni.

But six minutes later, Palace were handed a major boost when they drew level with a goal from in-form forward Kuqi.

The Finland player surged onto a fine Oster throughball but was hauled down in the box by on-loan Manchester City defender Matthew Mills.

Referee Andy Hall awarded a penalty to the hosts and sent off Mills before Kuqi neatly converted the penalty for his third goal in as many games.

Kuqi hobbled off with a hamstring injury on 27 minutes and was replaced by Lee with Palace looking to take advantage of the extra man.

Sullivan pulled off a fine block to thwart Paul Ifill and the former Sheffield United winger then had a goal ruled out for a foul in the build-up.

Meanwhile, Stuart Elliott almost made Palace pay for a defensive uncertainty but shanked his effort off target.

The Eagles were dealt a further injury blow as defender Paddy McCarthy was stretchered off with a neck injury in the 65th minute.

Nick Carle saw a shot saved by Sullivan's feet, Lee should have done better with a close range header and Ifill chipped wide of the goal as Palace searched for the winner against a solid Rovers backline.

But with just over a minute left to play, Lee saved the day with the dramatic last-gasp goal from Ifill's cross.

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