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Saints march past Palace

April 13 2009

Clint Hill

Clint Hill

Crystal Palace suffered a 1-0 defeat away to relegation-threatened Southampton.

Before the match, Saints were four points off safety and in desperate need of a victory - so it was not surprising to see them roar out of the blocks.

Defender Jan-Paul Saeijs hit a rasping shot just wide of the goal, Bradley Wright-Phillips drew a good save out of Julian Speroni and Andrew Surman saw an effort fly off target.

Speroni had to leave the field for stitches on his eye after he beat out Wright-Phillips' shot but felt the force of Surman's studs in his face as he dived down to save the rebound.

It mean that left-back Clint Hill had to temporarily put on the gloves and go in goal with the Eagles reduced to 10 men.

Hill made a super save to keep out David McGoldrick's strike as the Saints tried to test the makeshift keeper.

When Speroni returned to the fray, he thwarted Wright-Phillips again, then repelled Adam Lallana's curling shot.

Southampton continued their dominance in the second half as Jason Euell volleyed Lloyd James' centre over the bar and McGoldrick wasted another chance.

Saeijs nodded Paul Wotton's free-kick over before the deadlock was broken on 67 minutes when McGoldrick arrowed a 25-yard rocket past the helpless Speroni.

Hill and substitute Anthony Stokes almost snatched an equaliser for the Londoners and Shefki Kuqi had a goal-bound shot saved by Kelvin Davis in stoppage time but the Saints nervously held on.

The result means Palace have played six matches without a win and have been unable to score in three of their last four matches.

Southampton: Davis, James, Perry, Saeijs, Skacel, Lallana, Wotton, McGoldrick (Liptak 90), Surman, Euell (Saganowski 66), Wright-Phillips (Schneiderlin 77).

Not Used: Forecast, Smith.

Palace: Speroni, Clyne, Lawrence, McCarthy, Hill, Comley, Jose Fonte (Hills 76), Carle, Rui Fonte (Stokes 63), Kuqi, Moses (Cadogan 63).

Not Used: Scowcroft, Ertl.

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