Doc fails to find the cure for City despite rare strike

Chris Lakey Gary Doherty produced a collector's item of a goal yesterday - but found it difficult to shake off the memory of the two set-piece goals which City conceded.

Chris Lakey

Gary Doherty produced a collector's item of a goal yesterday - but found it difficult to shake off the memory of the two set-piece goals which City conceded.

Palace went ahead on five minutes when two central defenders got headers inside the area to a free-kick - Paddy McCarthy flicking it on and Jose Fonte scoring.

Then City were caught sleeping for a quick free-kick and when Sean Scanell's header was blocked, Fonte followed up to power home his second.

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They sandwiched a rare effort from Doherty - and while it might just kick-start a defensive input in the goals for column, the striker-turned-defender is becoming agitated at the manner they are being conceded.

"It's getting annoying," said Doherty, now partnered by right back Elliott Omozusi in John Kennedy's absence.

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"We are conceding silly goals at set pieces and stuff like that and it's getting annoying because we are playing so well.

"But physically we are a small team and if you've small players you've got to be stronger. It is something we have definitely got to look at in set-pieces, it's costing us. We're getting away with it at home, but I think away from home we are conceding silly goals that we shouldn't be and it is costing us.

"There was certainly a lack of concentration for the second goal and probably the first goal as well. We have lost a man and let them have a free header from five or six yards.

"You can be small, but you can still be strong and that's what you have got to be, and we have been of late, but two bad goals and it is always going to be hard coming here if you are giving away cheap goals like that."

Palace's tactic is, and always has been, to get the ball in the box as often as possible- and on those two occasions City faltered.

"90pc of the teams in this league are going to be doing that," added Doherty. "At home I think we are comfortable against that, but away from home we have got to be stronger and once we start doing that we are definitely going to start picking up more points."

If there was a consolation then it was clearly in Doherty's 19th-minute contribution, when he got round the back of the Palace defence to head home David Bell's free-kick from close range.

"Funnily enough we scored from a set-piece and I don't think they concede many from set plays," he said.

It was Doherty's first goal since the equaliser in the FA Cup third round tie at home to Bury in January - but it was his first in the league since September 27, 2005 when he scored the winner in a 2-1 home win over Hull City - whose goal was scored by Leon Cort, brother of Canary striker Carl.

"It was definitely strange for me to get one and hopefully that can start a little run," he said. "Obviously I haven't scored for what seems like an eternity so it's nice to get of the mark.

"So I can take some happiness from the fact I have scored a goal and it might give me confidence to get some more."

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