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Ref costs Palace at Bristol

August 15 2009

Freddie Sears

Freddie Sears

Crystal Palace were denied a legitimate 'goal' by referee Rob Shoebridge as the Eagles suffered a last-minute defeat at Bristol City.

Last season's top scorer Nicky Maynard hit the late City winner to give the hosts a victory they hardly deserved.

But the match was over shadowed by a major blunder from referee Shoebridge. He ruled Freddie Sears' strike had not gone in when the striker had fired it into the bottom corner and the ball bounced out off the stanchion.

Palace had the first chance of the match with Alan Lee's header forcing City keeper Dean Gerken into a save.

The Eagles should have been celebrating a goal in the 34th minute when Sears collected the ball just inside the area and shot into the back of the net with the ball hitting the base of the stanchion and rebounding out. But ref Shoebridge, after lengthy discussions with his assistant referee, awarded a goal kick.

Julian Speroni had to be on his guard to make a save from Ivan Sproule but it was Palace who were dominating proceedings.

Lee and Sears had good chances then the on-loan West Ham striker had a decent low drive blocked by Gerken. Darren Ambrose, who scored twice in the midweek win over Torquay, went close with a free-kick.

City had the ball in the net after 51 minutes as sub John Akinde's shot was parried by Speroni and Paul Hartley netted only to be flagged offside.

With the game heading for a stalemate in the last minute, Paddy McCarthy's weak clearance fell to Maynard on the edge of the box and he slammed home an undeserved winner into the bottom corner.

Bristol City: Gerken, McCombe, Nyatanga, Orr, McAllister, Skuse, Hartley (Fontaine 90), Elliott, Sproule,Clarkson (Akinde 46), Maynard.

Not Used: Basso, Johnson, Williams, Blackman, Brian Wilson.

Palace: Speroni, Butterfield (Lawrence 90), McCarthy, Fonte, Hill, N'Diaye, Derry, Danns, Sears, Lee (Scannell 90), Ambrose (Moses 90).

Not Used: Flahavan, Clyne, Carle, Ertl.

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