Crystal Palace v Doncaster Rovers 13/12/08

First published in Football by , Sports Reporter

CRYSTAL PALACE 2 v 1 DONCASTER ROVERS

Welcome to Selhurst Park for this afternoon's Championship game against Doncaster Rovers.

Neil Warnock makes three changes to the side that beat Southampton on Monday, with Shaun Derry replacing the injured Ben Watson, Paul Ifill coming in for the departed Craig Beattie and Leandre Griffit is given his chance to impress ahead of the rested Sean Scannell, who is on the bench.

Palace: Speroni, Clyne, Fonte, McCarthy, Hill, Derry, Carle, Oster, Ifill, Kuqi, Griffit. Subs: Lawrence, Lee, Scannell, Andrew, Butterfield.

Doncaster: Sullivan, O'Connor, Mills, Chambers, Lockwood, Heffernan, Woods, Wellens, Spicer, Hird, Elliott. Subs: Roberts, Van Nieuwstadt. Guy, Taylor, Smith.

6 min: Not much action of note yet, Heffernan should have done better with a free header in the box and has also flashed one just wide from 20 yards, while Oster hit a quickly taken free kick straight at Sullivan in the Doncaster goal.

9 min: A great save from Sullivan denies Kuqi. The big Finn met John Oster's corner with a firm header five yards out but Sullivan did well to palm it away.

14 min: GOAL. Palace go behind. Woods takes a free kick quickly and Heffernan glances it in from six yards. Poor marking from Palace.

20 min: PENALTY AND RED CARD. Kuqi is clipped from behind by Mills as he runs on to Oster's throughball and goes down. He was the last man Mills and has to go.

21 min: GOAL. Kuqi takes responsibility and smashes it home off the cross bar.

26 min: Kuqi is struggling with an injury and he looks like he is going off.

27 min: SUB: Indeed Kuqi limps off and is replaced by Lee.

27 min: Sullivan keeps the scores level as Griffit flicks the ball on to Ifill who takes one touch on his chest then volleys goalwards but Sullivan gets his big frame in the way to block it.

28 min: Mix-up at the back for Palace between Fonte, McCarthy and Speroni sees Elliott shoot across an open goal from an acute angle.

31 min: Carle finds space 25 yards out but his shot hits Lee and bobbles to safety.

35 min: Oster's free-kick is headed back across goal by Lee, then again by Fonte and as Lee prepares to shoot Hird seems to clip his leg but the ref says he got the ball. Was a good shout for another penalty from up here though.

40 min: The Palace fans are getting a bit aggrieved at what they see as time wasting by the Doncaster players now as two go down under innocuous challenges in quick succession. Chambers is the latest getting treatment but naturally he comes straight back on without any problem at all.

44 min: Clyne does brilliantly as he twists and turns Chambers in the box but his cross can only find a Doncaster player. Palace struggling to break down the ten men right now who are all just sitting behind the ball.

45 min: Ifill has a goal disallowd for a push in the box as he twists his man and slot cooly home. Was probably right.

45 min: Carle wins a free kick 25 yards out which he back heels for Ifill but his shot goes high and wide.

HALF TIME: Palace should win this but haven't looked quite as penetrating since Kuqi went off. They'll have to find a way to break down the ten men too. It could be a frustrating second half.

46 min: And we're off again. No changes at the break.

50 min: Ifill gets a head to Carle's corner but it goes wide. Palace being patient with their build up so far and are trying to use the space out wide.

53 min: Carle wins a free kick and hits it to the back post for Hill but he can't direct it goalwards.

55 min: Palace just don't want to shoot. Oster, Carle, Ifill and Derry all have chances but elect to pass instead.

57 min: McCarthy listens to the Palace crowd and takes aim from 40 yards again but unlike at Derby it flies high and very very wide.

60 min: SUB: Griffit goes off and is replaced by Scannell. Not sure if Griffit did enough to earn a deal past January then.

62 min: Palace have another injury as McCarthy goes down. Looks like it mgiht be his shoulder again and if so he could face a lengthy lay off. Stretcher has been called.

65 min: SUB: McCarthy is stretchered off after a lengthy stop and is replaced by Butterfield. He goes right back, Clyne left back and Hill in the centre. The doctors were being very careful with McCarthy and it looked really serious.

68 min: Carle shoots from distance and Sullivan is forced to beat it away with his feet.

69 min: SUB: Wellens off, Van Nieuwstadt on.

70 min: YELLOW CARD: Elliott booked for a late studs up tackle on Butterfield.

72 min: That free kick was cleared but Palace earn another one nearer in. This time Oster woefully over hits it. Everyone is starting to get a bit frustrated.

75 min: SUB: Elliott off, Taylor on.

78 min: Lee has been brilliant in the air for Palace, winning all the long balls but noonw ever reads his flick ons.

80 min: 13,811 is the attendance. Not great.

80 min: SUB: Heffernan off, Guy on.

81 min: Good work from Clyne sets up Ifill but his low cross shot goes a foot wide of the post.

83 min: More frustration for Palace as Scannell's shot is blocked then Ifill's is headed off the line. Doncaster have defended brilliantly and I'm not sure the goal is going to come.

83 min: YELLOW CARD. Woods booked for time wasting.

86 min: GOAL! Finally it comes. Oster's free kick is beaten out by Sullivan's feet. Eventually Ifill produces a superb cross to the back post and Alan Lee is there to side foot home his first Eagles goal.

88 min: Just a reminder for Palace that they haven't won this yet as Fonte is forced to block Woods' volley.

90 min: Six minutes added on as Doncaster continue to press.

95 min: Palace holding firm so far, with Clyne particularly impressive.

FULL TIME: Palace come from behind after a shaky start to take another three points. That's four wins out of five now and the Eagles are looking good. Next up is a televised game against Sheffield United next Saturday, kick off 5.15pm. See you then.

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