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Charlton 1-0 Palace

January 27 2009

Neil Warnock

Neil Warnock

Crystal Palace continued their poor form in January with a 1-0 defeat to bottom of the table Charlton Athletic at the Valley, writes Simon Pophale.

This might have been a London derby but this had all the hallmarks of 2 teams struggling. One in the relegation zone, in danger of being cut adrift and the other not having won a league match since Boxing Day.

Neil Warnock would probably not have been pleased with the appointment of Stuart Atwell for the match but by the end of the game, he probably would have been more disappointed by the result.

Against the bottom side in the division, Palace offered very little in terms of attacking threat and Rob Elliot would have been relieved to not have been overly stretched in the 90 minutes.

In terms of chances, there were very few to liven up what fast became a scrappy game with neither side making any impression. Charlton had only 1 notable effort on goal in the entire first 45 minutes, which was when Matthew Spring finished from close range on 13 minutes.

Our best effort was when Nick Carle crossed and Paul Ifill just failed to connect to it on 20 minutes.

The second half provided more of the same, Charlton offering little to suggest that they were going to increase the lead, while we looked bereft of any attacking ideas.

Time and again we used the long ball and it had no effect. Even after Warnock brought on Victor Moses and Alan Lee for the heavily marked Sean Scannell and ineffective Paul Ifill, we were still unable to break down the home side.

We did have 2 decent chances but both Moses and Lee headed straight at Rob Elliot.

As the clock ran down Charlton had a couple of decent efforts as Tom Soares forced Speroni into a routine save and in stoppage time, sub Chris Dickson crossed and had Deon Burton managed to connect, it would have been a tap into an empty net.

At the final whistle, Charlton’s win meant very little to them at the bottom of the table. The only losers on the night were ourselves as while we did not lose much ground in the table, the playoffs become more distant every week.

Warnock can no longer be blind to the fact that on the night, many of the players did not perform and changes will need to be made, before we end up in mid-table obscurity.

Crystal Palace: Speroni, Butterfield, Lawrence, Fonte, Hill, Oster, Carle (Danns 82), Derry, Ifill (Lee 55), Scannell (Moses 55), Kuqi.

Subs Not Used: Fletcher, Hills.

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