Crystal Palace 1, Norwich 1

Norwich City maintained their revival under Glenn Roeder with a hard-earned point against the form side of the Championship.

Norwich City maintained their revival under Glenn Roeder with a hard-earned point against the form side of the Championship.

Darel Russell scored for the second time in three matches to give the Canaries an interval lead at Selhurst Park.

Russell scored from close range after nine minutes from a Dublin pass after Dublin had played a one-two with Cureton.

Three minutes later, Dublin almost made it 2-0 when his header from a centre by Croft was saved by goalkeeper Speroni.


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City had the best of the first period and the closest Palace came to equalising was after 26 minutes when a shot by Danny Butterfield clipped the foot of the post, but Butterfield departed seven minutes later because of injury.

Both sides have been in promotion-winning form since their respective managers took charge midway through the season but Russell's timely finish proved the difference in an opening half which threatens to end Palace's 12-match unbeaten run.

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But Neil Warnock's team started well and carved out a good chance in the second minute.

Tom Soares burst through from the right and played a sharp ball into the feet of Clinton Morrison.

The former Republic of Ireland striker - who has scored eight times in the last 10 matches - showed his confidence by taking the shot first time but Norwich keeper David Marshall smothered it at the second attempt.

Another break down the right saw James Scowcroft tee up Morrison for an easier chance but he skied over before Lee Croft stung the palms of Palace goalkeeper Julian Speroni from the edge of the area in a breathless start.

Roeder's side gradually began to control the majority of possession and went ahead in the ninth minute.

A long throw from the right by Jon Otsemobor was headed on by Dublin to Jamie Cureton who cleverly hooked the ball back over his head into Dublin's path.

The veteran was just onside and despite mis-hitting his volley the ball ran across the six-yard box where Russell was on hand to apply a simple finish.

Dublin then forced Speroni into a save with a powerful header from another good Norwich move before seeing an ambitious lob from 25 yards land on the roof of the net.

Danny Butterfield then clipped the outside of the post with a low drive in a rare foray forward for the hosts before having to leave the field with an injury to be replaced by Jose Fonte.

t Half-time: Crystal Palace 0, Norwich City 1.

Cureton almost stretched Norwich's lead in the first minute of the second half when his header from a Croft centre was tipped over by Speroni.

But Palace equalised five minutes after the break when a free kick by Watson was headed in by Morrison, with the City defence flat-footed.

Gary Doherty gave away a needless free-kick 40 yards from goal by bundling over Scowcroft.

Ben Watson's long ball forward somehow found its way through to the unmarked Morrison and the former Birmingham man cleverly flicked the ball into the bottom corner with the back of his head.

Warnock shifted 17-year-old Sean Scannell inside to make a front three and the visitors struggled to adapt, with Morrison again going close with a snap-shot which was turned over his own crossbar by Jason Shackell.

Roeder responded by dropping Cureton back to the left to match up with Palace and the move almost paid dividends when a fine move involving Cureton, Russell and Matty Pattison ended when Dublin turned a low cross over.

Tom Soares then wasted a good counter-attack by shooting aimlessly wide from 25 yards with Morrison well-placed to his right before Roeder replaced the excellent Croft with Darren Huckerby for the final 15 minutes.

Scowcroft headed straight at David Marshall from a fine Soares cross before substitute Carl Fletcher horribly shanked his volley into the turf as the hosts piled forward in vain search of a winner.

The Canaries came under more pressure in the second period, but almost snatched a winner three minutes from time when substitute Evans fired narrowly past the post.

t Final result: Crystal Palace 1, Norwich City 1.

t Norwich City: Marshall, Otsemobor, Doherty, Shackell, Camara, Croft, Russell, Fotheringham, Pattison, Cureton, Dublin. Subs: Arnold, Lappin, Huckerby, Evans, Brown.

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