Barnsley v Crystal Palace 17/03/09

First published in Football by , Sports Reporter

BARNSLEY 3 v 1 CRYSTAL PALACE

Hello and welcome to this evening's game against Barnsley at Oakwell where Palace aim to record back-to-back victories for the first time in 2009.

To that end Neil Warnock names exactly the same 16 that helped beat Swansea on Saturday, with a fit again Alan Lee not even travelling with the squad.

Palace: Speroni, Clyne, Hill, J Fonte, Hills, Derry, Carle, Danns, Moses, Stokes, Kuqi. Subs: Ertl, Ifill, Oster, R Fonte, Comley.

Barnsley: Muller, Hassell, Moore, Foster, Kozluk, Campbell-Ryce, Colace, de Silva, Hammill, Macken, Mifsud. Subs: Steele, El Haimour, Bogdanovic, Van Homoet, Devaney.

If you are a regular reader of this live commentary or saw my bit in the Preston programme then you will remember how I had a little bit of a rant about the press facilities at Plymouth in January - let's just say here isn't much better and the laptop is on my lap again. Oh joy.

1 min: Enough moaning, let's play some football. Barnsley get us under way in a very subdued atmosphere and immediately Danns wins a free kick in a good position that Stokes curls towards goal and Muller is forced to tip over. Good early effort.

2 min: The first corner is cleared at the near post and the second is also dealt with.

6 min: Mifsud causes Fonte some problems down the left but the cross is dealt with.

8 min: GOAL! Kuqi gets his third in three to put Palace ahead. Stokes did brilliantly to beat Campbell-Ryce by the right touchline and though it looked like the chance was lost when he chose to pass to Moses instead of the unmarked Carle, the ball ricocheted to Kuqi eight yards out who had time to steady himself and smash home.

9 min: Superb save by Speroni from the unmarked Macken's header. The ex-Eagle is given offside any way.

14 min: Not a bad game this but the atmosphere is dreadful, very very quiet about from the Palace fans singing away to the right.

17 min: There are a lot of stray passes from Barnsley at the minute and the crowd aare restless. Hammill gets in a great position running at the back four but gets his throughball hopelessly wrong.

18 min: Oh Victor Victor Victor. With Stokes in a great position outside him the youngster goes it alone and sees his shot blocked. Poor choice frmo the youngster.

20 min: Palace well and truly on top as Muller acrobatically tips Kuqi's header from Carle's free kick around the post. One for the cameras that. Carle's corner curls straight out.

23 min: GOAL! Seconds after Mifsud forces an easy save out of Speroni Campbell-Ryce races through on goal from the half way line and slots beyond Speroni.

25 min: Suddenly Barnsley have got their dander up and the crowd are making some noise. I'm not sure what happened in the lead up to that goal I am afraid as some bloke decided to walk right in front of me at that exact moment. How nice of him.

28 min: Kuqi gets put through on goal but takes too long to shoot and Kozluk and Moore get back at him but he wins the corner. Moore's in some distress in the box, would be a shame if he went off as the tussle between him and Kuqi has been a good one. I don't think either would mind me saying they are well-built men.

31 min: Moore is back into the action and Carle gets two bites of the cherry from the corner but both crosses are dreadful and cleared by the first man.

40 min: Sorry for the lack action, I lost my connection briefly. You didn't miss anything any way.

42 min: Palace will want to get in the break level at this rate as Anderson puts a free header straight at Speroni who 30 seconds later has to smother at the feet of Mifsud.

44 min: In a rare attack Muller is forced into a flying save from Stokes' 30 yard drive. Carle takes the corner and this time it is far too heavy and sails over everyone.

45 min: YELLOW CARD: Kuqi booked as he closes down a Muller clearance with his hand. Bit harsh, two minutes added on.

45 min: Corner to Barnsley that Hammill takes and again Anderson gets a free header....again it goes to Speroni. Let off for Palace.

HALF TIME: Bit of a strange half that. Palace were well on top until the Barnsley equaliser and then the Tykes took control. Both sides had chances for more so hopefully we will get something similar in the second half. Barnsley are watering the pitch incidentally. I'm off to get warm, it's freezing up here.

46 min: SUB: Ertl replaces Jose who must be injured as he was doing quite well against Macken and Mifsud before. It's hardly Palace's first choice defence out there now with Ertl and Hill in the centre.

50 min: Anderson de Silva has been very impressive for Barnsley so far and has posed Palace problems twice already this half, stinging Speroni's palms with one low shot.

52 min: GOAL. Hills puts through his own net as Kozluk weaves passed countless challenges in the box and then crosses to the back post where Hills lunges for it ahead of Hammill but can only divery it beyond Speroni. Poor goal to conceded but it has been coming.

56 min: Attendance 10,885

58 min: The Palace players look like strangers out there right now and the front three haven't got involved at all apart from one speculative Stokes shot that was far too far out.

62 min: Moore almost heads Hills' long ball past Muller but the keeper just catces it and the two collide. Moore is down for a while again but the old campaigner is back on his feet. He's been very good for the Tykes today as John Oster is told to strip off by Warnock.

65 min: Another mix up at the back for Barnsley as Hassell heads it past Muller but Moore is there again to clear ahead of Moses.

66 min: SUB: Danns off, Oster on. Danns had been getting more and more annoyed out there and he kicks the dug out in frustration, getting a rather stern look from Keith Curle for his troubles.

67 min: Hill misjudges a long ball and Mifsud goes through with Ertl back tracking before Clyne comes from nowhere to get a vital touch. Good defending.

71 min: Palace should be level as Derry instigates a flowing move that ends with Oster crossing to Kuqi at the back post. He heads towards an open goal but from nowhere Hassell's head gets in the way and diverts it over. Super chance.

73 min: GOAL. Surely all over now as Mifsud makes it three. Ertl and Macken jumped for a long punt and it skimmed off the Austrian's head straight into the path of Mifsud who held of Hill to drill the ball low and hard and in to the bottom corner.

75 min: SUB: Macken off, Bogdanovic on.

78 min: Carle gets some space outside the box but his shot is woeful. James Comley getting ready for his debut which we might as well give all the kids as the play offs are well and truly impossible now.

78 min: SUB: Carle off, Comley on.

79 min: SUB: Hammill off, Devaney on.

82 min: YELLOW CARD. Kozluk booked for a lunge on Comley.

87 min: Very little happening now. Kuqi needs to calm down or he will get sent off and Barnsley are looking for a fourth.

90 min: Four minutes added on and they cannot be over quick enough.

FULL TIME. The ref finally blows and ends Palace's play-off dreams. It's going to be a long old trip down the M1. See you Saturday for Reading.

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