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Pre-Season: Palace 0-1 Norwich City

Posted on: Tue 28 Jul 2009

Palace's unbeaten pre-season campaign came to an abrupt end in the first home friendly of the season. Simon Whaley's second half strike proved enough to hand the Canaries the win.

The first half was a wholly forgettable affair with Palace comin closest with 15 minutes to go. A quick break saw Nick Carle carry the ball deep into the City half before playing a neat through ball to Freddie Sears.

The striker took the ball into his stride well but pressure from the covering defender caused him to rush his shot and the ball ended up high and wide.

The home side did manage to put the ball into the net when Shaun Derry's excellent chipped pass was converted by Victor Moses.

But the winger pulled the ball out of the air with his hand before smashing it into the roof of the net and the referee quite rightly blew for the foul.

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Norwich though looked the livelier of the two sides, stringing a series of passing moves together and pushing Palace, but without ever finding the killer touch.

On the quarter of an hour mark Wes Hoolahan picked the ball up on the edge of the box before driving a left footed strike just wide of Julian Speroni's right hand post, before coming close shortly after when his corner smashed off the Palace upright.

But it was Simon Whaley who came closest for the Canaries with a shot from 20 yards out that fizzed past the post with Speroni beaten.

Palace opened the second half with a shot cleared off the line. Carle's corner in the 46th minute found Clint Hill at the back post and the towering defender stole a yard on his marker to aim a looping header at the opposite corner only to see Gary Doherty head it clear.

Minutes later City had a goal of their own disallowed when Doherty converted from a corner, but in the process he used Speroni as leverage and referee Mr D Phillips ruled it out.

On 62 Whaley was again guilty of not taking his chances when he was found free inside the Palace box and wastefully drew his effort wide.

But he quickly made ammends seconds later when he converted from 15 yards out after Grant Holt had done well to turn McCarthy on the byline before playing the ball to his teammate.

At 1-0 down Palace looked to respond immediately through Sears when he had an effort saved well from goalkeeper Michael Theoklitos, before City substitute Simon Lappin came close to adding to his side's lead when he fired wide from 25 yards out.

The game then took a serious turn when Norwich defender Michael Nelson was seemingly knocked unconscious following an inocuous looking challenge with Jose Fonte.

The City defender required lengthy treatment on the pitch and was finally stretchered off to the ovation of the entire crowd.

For Palace, the most dangerous looking player was Sean Scannell. On for Moses at the beginning of the second half, the younster enjoyed taking on his left back at every opportunity.

On 83 minutes he forced Theoklitos into a save low down to his right with a low left footed drive, which turned out to be Palace's final chance of the match.

City almost stole another right at the death when Chris Martin turned over a low cross from the right, but the scores remained 1-0.

Palace now look forward to two away friendlies at East Grinstead on Wednesday night and then Bromley on Thursday before a return to Selhurst Park for a home friendly against Kent side Gillingham on Sunday.

Tickets are now available for that match by clicking here.


Neil has named an unchanged starting line-up from Friday's 3-0 win at the Memorial Ground against Bristol Rovers.

Crystal Palace: 1. Julian Speroni, 2. Nathaniel Clyne (15. Lee Hills, 72), 3. Clint Hill (18. Stephan Cox, 84), 4. Shaun Derry (33. Alessane N'Diaye, 93) (Capt), 5. Patrick McCarthy, 6. Jose Fonte, 8. Neil Danns, 10. Nick Carle (20. Danny Butterfield, 72), 11. Victor Moses (14. Sean Scannell, 45), 16. Freddie Sears, 19. Alan Lee (17. Matt Lawrence, 72)

Subs: 12. Darryl Flahavan, 22. Johnny Ertl,

Norwich: 1. Michael Theoklitos, 2. Michael Spillane, 6.Gary Doherty (Capt), 3. Adam Drury, 4. Matthew Gill, 7. Owain Tudur Jones, 8. Wes Hoolahan, 11. Simon Whaley, 9. Grant Holt (12. Simon Lappin, 69), 19. Chris Martin

Subs: 13. Ben Alnwick, 14. Jamie Cureton, 15. Jon Otsemobor, 16. Paul McVeigh, 18. Dario Dumic, 19. Chris Bright

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