Palace hammered at home

A review of Friday's action in the npower Championship, where Birmingham thrashed Crystal Palace.

Last Updated: 29/03/13 at 22:19 Post Comment

Sam Vokes' late goal salvaged a draw for Burnley

Sam Vokes' late goal salvaged a draw for Burnley

Crystal Palace's promotion hopes took a major blow as Birmingham ran riot at Selhurst Park.

Palace knew they could move second in the npower Championship with three points. However, Ian Holloway's side were a shadow of their normal selves and suffered an embarrassing 4-0 home defeat as rejuvenated Birmingham won a third successive match.

Nathan Redmond's fine solo effort got City off the mark in the 24th minute, with the teenager showing great skill to ghost past the Palace defence before firing home.

Damien Delaney's own goal six minutes later doubled the visitors' advantage, although it looked like a comeback could be on after Palace began the second half impressively.

The hosts, though, soon faded and a Ravel Morrison strike followed by Shane Ferguson's exquisite free-kick saw Palace's 18-match unbeaten league record at Selhurst Park come to a crashing end.

Sam Vokes hit a last-gasp equaliser to secure a 3-3 draw for Burnley and deny Watford the chance to go second in the npower Championship.

The Burnley striker, on as a 79th-minute substitute, struck three minutes into stoppage time as Sean Dyche enjoyed a happy return to Vicarage Road.

Dyche insisted there were no hard feelings despite being replaced by Gianfranco Zola as Hornets boss in the summer, but he did his best to derail his old club's bid to reach the Premier League.

In fact, the warm reception he received from the home fans had barely died down when his Burnley side took the lead after just 39 seconds.

Charlie Austin got that one, and went on to make it 28 for the season from the penalty spot after Troy Deeney had equalised.

But Fernando Forestier levelled again at the end of a crazy first half hour and then fired Watford ahead after the break.

However, Vokes had the final say with his dramatic leveller as Burnley snatched a point.

Alan Dunne grabbed a late winner as Millwall banished any lingering relegation fears with a 1-0 win over 10-man Leicester at the King Power Stadium.

The home side were rocked by captain Wes Morgan's early dismissal, but held firm for 87 minutes before seeing their promotion hopes suffer another blow as their winless run extended to six matches.

Jordan Rhodes rescued a 1-1 draw for managerless Blackburn, who extended their winless run to nine matches against Lancashire neighbours Blackpool.

Michael Appleton - who led the Seasiders to a 2-0 victory over Rovers in December before taking up the reins at Ewood Park a month later - was sacked last week to leave Gary Bowyer in caretaker charge, as he was following Henning Berg's similarly brief tenure earlier in the campaign.

Such chaos behind the scenes under controversial owners Venky's has been reflected by dismal performances on the field and on-loan MK Dons centre-back Gary MacKenzie gave Blackpool a 64th minute lead as Rovers once again failed to convince.

They looked set to rue earlier missed chances by David Jones and Josh King but Scotland international striker Rhodes secured a share of the spoils with his 24th npower Championship goal of the season.

Tom Ince and substitute Elliot Grandin came close to sealing the points for Paul Ince's men, but both teams edged five points clear of the npower Championship relegation zone having shared very different ambitions at the start of the season.

Bristol City's dire away form continues to be a severe hindrance in their battle against the drop after a 3-0 defeat at Derby.

Goals either side of half-time from Jeff Hendrick and Jamie Ward, who saw a third-minute penalty saved by Tom Heaton, and an injury-time strike from substitute Ben Davies, leaves the Robins rooted to the bottom of the table.

The margin of defeat would have been greater had it not been for Heaton, the woodwork, and a contender for miss of the season from Derby striker Conor Sammon.


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