Crystal Palace 1 – 0 Peterborough United
Location: Selhurst Park
Date: 3rd March, 2012
Attendance: 18,559 (1,121 Posh fans)
For the past three out of four seasons, Posh have had outstanding results in March and it was hoped that it would continue for this season. For the first 30 minutes of this match, it looked like Posh would start off March on the right foot as they battered Crystal Palace but as we have seen all too often this season, they failed to make the most of their advantage and failed to turn possession into goals. In the end, Palace just about deserved to take all three points as they turned the contest round in the second half as the Posh threat petered out with a sad wimp!
Posh started strongly with Grant McCann having the first effort of the game but his shot went wide of Speroni`s goal. McCarthy then blocked a goal-bound effort from George Boyd with the rebound falling nicely for McCann but he could only hit his shot wide of the goal again!
Some excellent play by the tricky Paul Taylor then set up a chance for Tyrone Barnett whose curling effort was tipped over the bar by Speroni.
Midfielder Danny Kearns who only started due to an illness to Lee Frecklington looked lively during the first half but he was dispossessed after 15 minutes which resulted in Palace`s top scorer Zaha firing over Paul Jones` goal.
Tommy Rowe was presented with a golden opportunity 12 yards out after good work from Taylor and Barnett, but he miskicked the ball! A good low shot from George Boyd was well held by Speroni with Barnett closing in should he have spilled the effort. Barnett then demonstrated his skills on the floor as he beat three Palace players before firing an effort at goal which was again saved by Speroni.
Towards the end of the first half, Palace finally made in-roads into the Posh half with Zaha creating a chance for Darren Ambrose who could only send his shot over the bar. A short corner routine by Palace provided Paddy McCarthy with a glorious opportunity to head in the opening goal but somehow he headed wide.
Two minutes before half time, stand-in centre back Craig Alcock made a rare mistake to allow Jermaine Easter a chance to break into the box before finding Ambrose whose shot was deflected onto the inside of the post by Zakuani. As the ball rolled along the line, Alcock made amends by clearing the ball.
Half-time: Crystal Palace 0 – 0 Peterborough United
After the performance Posh gave in the first half, it came as no surprise that they didn`t make any changes at half time. However, not many Posh fans were expecting Palace to offer as little in the second half as they did in the first half.
It was only in the latter stages of the first half that Palace started to create problems for Posh and it was Palace that continued where they left off in the first half. An Ambrose free-kick was headed wide by Paddy McCarthy after a clash between Zakuani and Zaha ended in the former receiving a yellow card.
Zaha was definitely causing Posh problems as he was both creating chances for himself and his teammates. Zaha set up a chance for Garvan who hit his shot wide while Zaha had a go himself but he also shot wide.
In between those two efforts, Paul Taylor was replaced by Emile Sinclair after he picked up a slight knock.
Sinclair and Barnett then both combined to set up an effort for Rowe, but yet again, his shot went wide without causing any problems for Speroni.
Palace were now in full flow with the Posh attack lacking any supply from the missing midfield, it was looking like Palace were the only team that would get the win.
Substitute Glenn Murray had a header easily saved by Jones following a deep cross by that man again, Zaha.
With many of the Posh midfield missing and when they did gain possession they seemingly just gave the ball away, it was a silly foul by McCann that gave away a free-kick that resulted in the only goal of the game. The resulting kick was sent deep into the box towards Zakuani and the Aussie Jedinak, but a bad decision by keeper Paul Jones to come and collect the ball saw him drop the ball allowing JEDINAK and easy opportunity to lift the ball into the net despite the best efforts of Alcock. Either a strong punch away or to leave Zakuani to deal with the cross were better decisions than Jones made in trying to catch the ball!
Murray had another effort saved by Jones while Garvan missed the target with a curled effort. Posh then replaced the exhausted Danny Kearns with striker David Ball after 87 minutes but that was about 20 minutes too late!
It was Murray again who fired over as Palace were now creating chance after chance with Posh looking a forlorn team devoid of ideas or even the skill to put their foot on the ball to stop the onslaught by Palace.
The last chance was not surprisingly created by Zaha but a good save by Jones denied Moxey.
Full-time: Crystal Palace 1 – 0 Peterborough United
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UP THE POSH!