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2 November 2013
• The Hawthorns, West Bromwich
Referee: N. Swarbrick
• Attendance: 26397
West Bromwich Albion
S. Berahino 44'
G. McAuley 83'
That is it from me Gregory Taylor for this afternoon. Have a great Saturday night.
Steve Clarke will be pleased with his players efforts but Keith Millen will have a lot to think about this week. And so will the Palace board, who, if anyone can keep them up? And who would want the job of doing so?
The full time whistle goes and West Brom grind out a 2-0 victory over a slightly unfortunate Crystal Palace. Undone by a touch of quality at the end of the first half by Berahino only to concede late in the second half to a McAuley header. West Brom deserve the points, but Palace have another long journey back to London with nothing to show for it.
90' + 3'
End to end stuff now. Both sides looking to grab a late goal. Palace have only managed six all season.
Not quite as long as the first half but we're going to have 4 minutes of added time.
CHEEKY! Vydra who has just come on tries an audacious little flick and almost sets up Brunt for a chance on goal. It's intercepted and Palace come away with it.
CLOSE! Proabably Palace's best chance of the second half. Bolasie finds some space in the box and fires in a shot from 15-yards out but Myhill is equal to it and palms it away.
So Palace are heading for a 10th loss in 11 games. Poor Keith Millen, I wonder if he understands now why Holloway got out when he did. On this showing, it looks like Palace are going to have a very tough time of staying up.
Assist Chris Brunt
Goal Gareth McAuley
GOAL! Simple as you like. The corner is whipped in by Christ Brunt and McAuley is there to head it straight past Speroni from 6-yards out. Surely West Brom have secured the 3 points today.
Can Palace find an equaliser? At the moment it doesn't look like they can. West Brom have another corner and continue to be the side on the offensive.
Some good football from Palace as they probe down the left flank. The ball is eventually rolled back to Puncheon, just outside the area, but his attempted shot is deflected behind for a corner.
Palace's summer signing Dwight Gayle is about to come on. Can he grab the equaliser and bring his side level? Traveling Palace fans will hope he can.
Sessegnon makes a great surging run and floats past three Palace players before it goes wide. Palace break up the attack and work it away. Only one thing on Sessegnon's mind, attack.
Morrison is replaced by Argentine holding midfielder Yacob for the closing stages. Steve Clarke clearly looking to add a bit more steel to his midfield with that change to help protect against the break.
Yellow Card Jerome Thomas
CHANCE! Shane Long has the best opportunity of the second half. Berahino dribbles his way past a few Palace defenders and passes it to Long whose shot is blocked by the defence from 6-yards out.
CLOSE! Delaney heads the ball into the box and it hits Chamakh and it deflects across the goal. The smallest of touches would have brought Palace level.
Jedinak is Palace's best performer so far. Everything good is going through him and West Brom know they need to stop him getting on the ball so often.
Palace really have worked their way back into this game and West Brom will know they need another goal to see them off.
Jedinak has a pop from about 30-yards and gets a deflection to earn Palace another corner. It's swung in by Puncheon and it is Jedinak again who meets it with his head but he can't quite guide it on target and Myhill will take the goal-kick.
GREAT SAVE! James Puncheon makes space for himself on the egde of the box and fires a shot toward the near post but Myhill tips it over for a corner. The corner is taken but it's cleared and West Brom still lead.
Palace seem to have ridden out the early second half storm and are edging their way back into the game. Some tidy play in the middle between Jedinak and Dikgacol but Mulumbu nicks the ball and plays it wide to Amalfitano. His cross is cleared and Palace have a free-kick on the edge of their box.
West Brom come down the right again through Amalfitano and switch it wide to Morrison. Having to play in front of the Palace defence at the moment, unable to find a way through.
Free-kick awarded to West Brom after Long is knocked down by Gabbidon. Brunt takes it but its cleared and goes out for a corner.
Jedinak gets on the end of a set piece for Palace, but his header doesn't cause any problems and Myhill can catch it calmly.
CLOSE! Brilliant play by West Brom, Amalfitano gets acres of space down the right and whips in a delicious cross but it evades Long and Berahino is only inches away from getting a touch on it. West Brom getting closer to a second here.
West Brom look the brighter after the re-start, that goal has given them a real spring in their step. Palace need to be careful during these opening minutes.
Myhill is forced to come sprinting out of his box and clear a loose ball moments after kick off, but he gets it to safety.
We are underway again at the Hawthorns.
The players are making their way onto the pitch and we're only moments away before the second half.
A look at the possession suggests a very close game with the home side just edging it with 52 per cent of the ball. Both sides had 3 shots a piece, but West Brom had the one that mattered.
So West Brom make all their possession count and get the breakthrough just before half-time with a wonderful strike by Berahino. Palace can feel a bit hard done by, they gradually improved as the half went on but were undone by a quality goal. Steve Clarke will hope his side can nick an early goal and put this game to bed early in the second half. Palace only looked dangerous on the break and will need to up their game if they're going to trouble Myhill.
45' + 6'
The referee blows the half-time whistle.
45' + 4'
Steve Clarke will be happy with his substitution. He could easily have altered the formation but brought Berahino on and he has been rewarded. Another chance for the U21 England International, but his long range shot is deflected and falls to Speroni.
45' + 1'
Six minutes of added time due to the two injuries we've had in the first half.
Assist Stéphane Sessegnon
Goal Saido Berahino
GOAL! Poor poor Palace. Despite all their efforts West Brom break the deadlock, fantastic work from Sessegnon down the left, he breaks into the box and cuts the ball back for Berahino who rifles a shot into the top left hand corner of the goal. Speroni had no chance.
Moxey again looks long to Chamakh, but West Brom win it back, only for Puncheon to break from deep. However, it comes to nothng as he runs straight into Olsson.
Good atmosphere so far, the home fans really behind their team. But they'll probably be a little concerned about their sides inability to create a meaningful chance against a team who are bottom of the league.
The home side work the ball through the centre to Morrison, who fires a strike from 25 yards, but it is well over and Speroni can take a sigh of relief.
Nice play from Jedinak, he plays it wide to Moxey who whips in a cross from the left towards Chamakh. It just alludes the Moroccan, but this is by far Palace's best period of the game.
Speroni has been a spectator since the opening minutes. All the play has been in front of him, with West Brom unable to breach the Palace defence. Brunt takes another corner and again it's cleared away.
Former Brom player Jerome Thomas will want to prove a point today against his former club, but so far he has been very quiet. Delaney clears another long ball to safety.
West Brom's dominance is reflected in the possession statistics, with them having had 61 per cent of the total. Palace are definitely the side on the back foot, but are looking good on the counter.
Another injury and this time for West Brom. Billy Jones hasn't missed a minute of Premier League football so far this season, but is going to have to come off now after pulling a muscle.
Still no clear cut chance for West Brom despite all their pressure. Theyget another corner, but it's cleared away to the half-way line.
West Brom work it out wide to Jones who puts in a good cross, but Moxey covers at the back post and puts it out for another corner. Brunt to take it.
The game can finally continue following the change for the visitors, but normal service is resumed with West Brom forcing them back into their own half. The hosts have dominated in terms of territory but are yet to really test Speroni.
The stretcher is on to carry Guedioura off the pitch, with Puncheon waiting in the wings to come on. Hopefully it isn't anything too serious for the Palace forward.
Guedioura chases a high ball into the area and collides with Myhill as the keeper comes to claim possession. The Palace man is down and looks hurt, though it seemed a fairly innocuous challenge.
Palace are one of two teams, along with Sunderland, who are yet to keep a clean sheet this season and on today's evidence, that looks likely to continue.
Long does look sharp today. Just strayed offside there but looks a real handful for the Palace defence.
West Brom have been attacking down the right wing a lot. Clearly wanting to use Mulumbu's pace and Long's movement.
CHANCE! Palace have their first meaningful opportunity on the West Brom goal, Chamakh flicks the ball on to Guedioura who hits it first time but straight at Myhill. Palace can take some positives from that.
Palace look like a team bottom of the league. Unable to retain possession and giving the ball away cheaply. West Brom are definitely on top in the opening exchanges.
Shane Long almost gets in on a long ball over the top, but Speroni comes out quickly and it goes out for a goal kick. Long will chase everything today.
Another corner for West Brom and it whizzes across the 6-yard box. Palace again get it clear but they're already under a bit of pressure.
Mulumbu whips a cross in from the right but it's headed away by Gabbidon. West Brom have a corner, taken by Christ Brunt, but it is cleared away.
We are underway at The Hawthorns.
The teams are making their way out onto the pitch now, so kick off is nearly upon us.
STAT: Three of the last four league meetings between these sides have ended in 1-1 draws. Crystal Palace are unbeaten in five games against West Brom.
Crystal Palace Subs: Price, Mariappa, O'Keefe, Puncheon, Bolasie, Gayle, Phillips
Crystal Palace starting XI: Speroni, Ward, Delaney, Gabbidon, Moxey, Jedinak, Dikgacoi, Bannan, Thomas, Guedioura, Chamakh
West Brom Subs: Daniels, Rosenberg, Yacob, Berahino, Vydra, Lugano, Popov
West Brom starting XI: Myhill; Billy Jones, McAuley, Olsson, Ridgewell, Mulumbu, Morrison, Amalfitano, Sessegnon, Brunt, Long
So is this a good or a bad time to play West Brom? Albion's defeat by Liverpool last time out was their heaviest of the season so far. But, it was also their only league defeat in the past two months and with Palace struggling to score, and with a home advantage, they'll be confident of taking all three points today.
Despite losing 2-0 to Arsenal last week, Palace will be hoping to build on their promising performance against the league leaders. West Brom meanwhile didn't have the best of times last Saturday after being on the receiving end of the Luis Suarez show, losing 4-1 to Liverpool at Anfield.
Hello and good afternoon! Welcome to our play-by-play text commentary of Crystal Palace's Premier League trip to The Hawthorns. Today sees bottom of the league Palace play their second game without an official manager since Ian Holloway's departure, meaning Keith Millen is still the man in the dug out.
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