Leicester City v Crystal Palace 03/01/09

First published in Football by , Sports Reporter

LEICESTER CITY 0 v 0 CRYSTAL PALACE

Welcome to this afternoon's FA Cup third round tie as Palace attempt to avoid an upset against Leicester City.

Neil Warnock sticks to his word and names a strong side, with Danny Butterfield and Neil Danns moving into midfield for the injured Ben Watson and the suspended Shaun Derry. Upfront Leandre Griffit gets a last chance to earn a new deal.

Palace: Speroni, Clyne, Fonte, Lawrence, Hill, Butterfield, Danns, Carle, Ifill, Griffit, Lee. Subs: Flahavan, Moses, Scannell, Ertl, Hills, Comley, Andrew.

Leicester: Martin, Gilbert, Tunchev, Hobbs, Mattock, Gradel, Berner, King, Davies, Dyer, Howard. Subs: Campbell, Morrison, Adams, Porter, Chambers, Dickov, Powell.

4 min: Not much action, Ifill and Howard have shot from distance but both went high and wide. Palace might struggle to deal with Howard without McCarthy, he's a big man their forward.

6 min: A long free kick causes a bit of panic in the Palace box but Lawrence clears. Clyne then gives away a corner and though Howard gets a head to Gradel's delivery it goes well wide.

10 min: Tentative start from Palace and they look a little nervous. First Griffit then Danns give away silly free kicks but nothing comes of them.

13 min: It's very defensive from Palace with Butterfield sitting in front of the back four and he's not going to be venturing forward too much I would bet.

14 min: This time it is a Clyne free kick that causes panic in the Leicester box. It eventually comes to Griffit whose low cross finds Ifill but his shot is deflected up and harmlessly away.

18 min: Lawrence climbs all over Howard and concedes a free kick 30 yards out. Gradel floats it in, Howard, inevitably, heads it but it goes over. Looked like he was pretty much holding Fonte fown though so I doubt it would have counted.

24 min: Poor game of football this. Gradel gets half a chance in the Palace box but decides to head the ball harmlessly into the air when it came to him at ankle height.

27 min: Butterfield has to time has tackle perfectly in the box and he does as Davies tries to break clear.

31 min: Best action of the half so far as Mattock blasts a free-kick inches wide from 20 yards. Speroni wouldn't have got it.

33 min: Warnock and Palace in danger of losing their cool, there are a lot of decisions going against them and not much going for them.

39 min: Best bit of skill so far comes from a ball boy as he effortlessly controls a ball out of the sky with one touch.

40 min: Leicester getting up a head of steam before the break as twice Lawrence has to block shots, first from Hobbs, then from King.

44 min: YELLOW CARD. Fonte booked for repeatedly fouling Howard. The big man buys a fair few of those though.

45 min: Two minutes added on and it's two too many.

HALF TIME: It's been a poor game so far and in truth Palace have been awful and created nothing. They haven't used the wings and have just relied on pumping the ball up to a lonely Lee. They are going to have to change things if they want to win this.

46 min: Leicester get us back under way and there are no changes. Surely this half will be better, there were no shots on target from either side in the first half.

50 min: Palace started with a bit more about them second half but Leicester enjoying some pressure now as Fonte clears Gradel's corner at the back post.

53 min: Attendeance: 15,976 with 1,300 travelling fans.

53 min: I think we just had a shot on target, the first. A good run from Clyne sets up Ifill who drills across Martin but he saves well.

57 min: Griffit curls just over from 20 yards. Not a bad effort but was never troubling the net.

58 min: SUB: Berner off, Dickov on. He spent some time at Palace last season and I'm sure will be eager to score today. Also signals a change to a 4-4-2 for the home side.

62 min: Leicester should be ahead. Hill's clearance of the half way line hits Gradel and falls to Dickov who plays Howard through. With just Speroni to beat though he shoots over from 18 yards.

65 min: Ifill attacks down the right and though his cross goes behind for a corner, Carle's delivery curls straight out of play.

70 min: Griffit lobs a high ball in to the box that Martin punches as far as Clyne. The youngster whips the ball back in and Griffit heads it across the six yard box but there is no one there. Palace's best spell.

72 min: Fonte surges forward and tries to curl a left footer from 18 yards but again it's wide.

73 min: SUB: Dyer off, Adams on. Moses looked ready for Palace about 10 minutes ago but has put his tracksuit back on now.

78 min: SUB: Griffit off, Moses on finally.

80 min: Still 10 minutes left of what is the worst game of the season so far.

81 min: Amazing, another shot on target. This time from Gradel as he cuts inside Clyne and shoots low to the near post, Speroni gathers though.

84 min: Two shots on target in four minutes, now we're getting somewhere. Carle bursts into the box and the ball eventually falls to Danns but his goalbound effort is blocked by Tunchev.

90 min: Three minutes added on, and it looks like a replay.

92 mim: As if to sum up the game the ref gives a foul throw against Moses in a great position.

FULL TIME: Dull applause at the final whistle and that was truly awful. The replay will be a week on Tuesday and it will surely be better than that. See you next Saturday for the trip to Plymouth.

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