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18:09 1st January 2013

No Happy New Year For Wolves

Crystal Palace 3 (Moritz 31, 52, Bolasie 39)

Wolves 1 (Ebanks-Blake 75)

There was no happy New Year for the 1,000 hardy souls that travelled down from the West Midlands to Selhurst Park as Wolves slumped to a third successive defeat, this time to a rampant Crystal Palace side

With Björn Sigurdarson out having picked up a knock in the game with Ipswich, Kevin Foley moved into midfield and Richard Stearman came in at right-back.

An early Palace attack saw Glenn Murray heading wide from Andre Moritz’s free-kick. In Wolves’ first attack of note, in the eighth minute, David Davis was inches away from giving his side the lead as he rattled the crossbar with a shot on the run from 22-yards.

Roger Johnson had to turn behind a cross from Mile Jedinak and, from Moritz’s corner, Yannick Bolasie was only just off target with a first-time effort.

Bolasie was close again in the 20th minute when he connected with Jonathan Parr’s deep cross, the ball just clearing the bar, and then he was fouled by Bakary Sako on the edge of the area. Moritrz floated over the free-kick which was headed clear by Kevin Doyle who had dropped back.

Johnson cleared off the line from Wilfried Zaha but the Palace pressure told as they moved ahead in the 31st minute following a Sako foul on the highly rated youngster. Moritz used his Brazilian flair to curl the free-kick over the wall and beyond the dive of Carl Ikeme.

Stearman beat two men on a sprint down the right flank before passing inside to Sylvan Ebanks-Blake whose angled shot was taken by Julian Speroni.

The Palace keeper had enjoyed a quiet afternoon with most of the play taking place at the opposite end and it came as no surprise when his side increased their lead in the 39th minute. Zaha pushed the ball into the path of Bolasie who poked it under the advancing Ikeme.

A minute later Jedinak was just a couple of feet away from a third after he latched on to a half clearance on the edge of the box.

Just before the break Murray was wide with a far post header after Moritz had lifted a deep free-kick into the box.

Half-Time: Palace 2 Wolves 0

The pressure on the visiting defence continued after the resumption and a third Palace goal arrived in the 52nd with Moritz once more beating Ikeme with a perfectly placed free-kick from 22-yards after he had been fouled by Stephen Ward.

On the hour mark Stale Solbakken made a double switch with Jamie O’Hara taking the place of Davis and Anthony Forde going on for Sako.

Johnson and Murray were both shown the yellow card after a brief altercation on the touchline. 

Wolves finally ended their Christmas goal drought in the 75th minute as Ebanks-Blake controlled O’Hara’s free-kick into the area and rifled the ball past Speroni (pictured).

But Palace were soon back on the attack and it took a fine save by Ikeme to turn aside a deflected effort from Jedinak before he dived on the loose ball.

Jermaine Pennant replaced Foley for the final ten minutes during which play became scrappy and fractious with O’Hara, Stearman and Ebanks-Blake, along with Palace’s Kagisho Dikgacoi, all going into the book as the game neared its conclusion.

Palace: Speroni, Parr, Bolasie (O’Keefe 90+5), Dikgacoi, Jedinak (capt), Zaha, Murray, Moxey, Ramage, Moritz (Williams 80), Gabbidon (Martin 45).

Unused subs: Price, Wright, Easter, Appiah. 

Bookings: Murray (60 – unsporting behaviour), Dikgacoi (83 – foul).

Wolves: Ikeme, Stearman, Ward, Davis (O’Hara 60), Johnson, Berra, Foley (Pennant 80), Henry (capt), Ebanks-Blake, Doyle, Sako (Forde 60).

Unused subs: De Vries,  Jonsson, Batth, Margreitter.

Bookings: Johnson (60 – unsporting behaviour), O’Hara (87 – foul), Stearman (89 – foul), Ebanks-Blake (90+6 - dissent).

Referee: D. Phillips.

Attendance:  17,453 (1,033 away supporters).


    For the first 50 years of their existence, England played their home matches all around the country.