Town level at Palace at the interval

Crystal Palace 0 Ipswich Town 0

IPSWICH Town struck the bar and had the better of the few chances as they went in level with Crystal Palace in their Championship fixture at Selhurst Park on Saturday.

Leadbitter was a surprise name on the Ipswich team sheet after hobbling away from Portman Road seven days ago with what appeared to be a chipped bone in his ankle.

The key midfielder was written off by manager Keane on Friday, but was able to keep his place beside skipper Norris in midfield.

Edwards return on the right of midfield after recovering from a groin problem while O’Dea (wearing 48) made his Blues debut four days after joining the club from Celtic on loan until January at left back.

Stead, who appears set to join Bristol City next week, kept his place in the starting line-up with Priskin starting on the bench where he was joined by O’Connor, who was also omitted from the side that drew 1-1 against Burnley last weekend.

Palace were missing Wright, who damaged a calf in training on Friday, and Ambrose who was also left out also thought to be because of injury.

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Counago, another Town player also on the Eagles’ books, was not eligible to play on the terms of his season-long loan deal completed on Friday night.

Lee and Garvan – also ex-Ipswich players – did start while keeper Price was on the bench for a side managed by George Burley.

Davids, the former Dutch star and signed on Friday on a play and pay basis, did not feature, but O’Keefe, Marrow and Obika who were both also signed this week were named as Palace substitutes.

Within 20 seconds, Edwards lost out in a midfield challenge and Garvan missed the target by inches with a right foot 25 yard shot.

It had been an open start with Stead testing Speroni with a low 20 yard effort that skimmed off the surface and was heading for the far corner.

Three minutes later – in the 11th minute – Leadbitter put Stead clear down the left. He reached the by-line and his low cross was met by a stretching Edwards at the far post. The number seven made contact but the ball hit the ground and bounced over the bar.

Dorman rounded Fulop to place the ball into the empty net in the 24th minute and while the home fans behind the goal rose as one to signal a goal, an offside flag had been correctly raised for a good five seconds.

Palace were knocking the ball about well with Garvan at the heart of matters, but Ipswich struck the bar in the 32nd minute when Stead’s cross from the right caused Speroni all sorts of problems as the ball ran along the bar to be put over the top as it bounced high at the far post by Townsend. Half-time:

Crystal Palace 0 Ipswich Town 0


Crystal Palace: Speroni; Clyne, Davis, McCarthy, Bennett; Cadogan, Danns, Garvan, Dorman; Lee, Zaha.

Ipswich Town: Fulop; Peters, McAuley, Smith, O’Dea; Hyam; Edwards, Leadbitter, Norris; Townsend; Stead.

Referee: Mr J Moss (West Yorkshire)