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Palace 0-0 Barnsley: Eagles may have to settle for play-offs after goalless draw

CRYSTAL Palace were held to a 0-0 draw against relegation-threatened Barnsley this afternoon at Selhurst Park.

Despite throwing the kitchen sink at the visitors in the final quarter of the match, the Eagles couldn't find a way through the Tykes' backline.

In a bizarre situation pre-match, referee Kevin Stroud deemed that both sets of Barnsley kits clashed with Palace, so the visitors were made to wear the Eagles' yellow away shirts - on the same day the club shop has slashed the away strip by 30%.

Jason Scotland had a couple of chances early on which flew wide, while goalkeeper Luke Steele dropped a routine catch into the path of Andre Moritz but the ball was cleared to safety.

Palace's first real chance of the afternoon came on 17 minutes when Moritz curled a delightful free-kick over the wall which looked to be heading for the top corner but Steele got across well to palm the ball away for a corner.

The Eagles' next chance didn't come until the half hour mark when Glenn Murray was played in by Wilfried Zaha down the right and his first touch took him away from a Barnsley player before entering the box, but Steele came out and denied the striker's effort.

Yannick Bolasie was in the thick of the action soon after, first slicing an effort well wide, before Murray missed the winger's cross at the back post.

And then Bolasie saw a low shot saved by Steele, before Moritz had a shot hacked away in the six-yard area 30 seconds later.

It was certainly an improvement from Ian Holloway's men heading into the half-time break.

The Eagles started bright in the second period and they went close to taking the lead on two separate occasions.

From 30-yards out, Moritz curled another free-kick over the wall, but Steele got down low to deny the Brazilian again, while Murray charged down a clearance from the custodian a minute later, only to see the ball go over the bar.

Kevin Phillips came on to replace Moritz after 64 minutes in a bid to freshen things up, and ten minutes later Stephen Dobbie came on for Bolasie.

With hardly any chances on goal for either side, the game lulled heading into the final ten minutes and Murray was taken off for Aaron Wilbraham.

And the forward nearly scored with his first touch but sent an effort wide from just outside the box.

Wilbraham then had two more chances with his head to give Palace the lead before Phillips blasted a first time effort over the bar from the edge of the box.

The Eagles were throwing everything at the Barnsley rearguard, and Jonny Williams was next to scupper a chance over the bar, this time from the edge of the box.

And their best chance fell to Wilbraham from 15-yards out when he blazed a shot way over following Zaha's cut-back on the right.

It was all Palace in the final stages of the contest but they just couldn't find a way to goal as four minutes added time were held high by the fourth official.

Dobbie had the final chance of the game with a free-kick, but he scuffed it high and wide.

Palace's chances of automatic promotion look to be over, especially as Hull City picked up three points at home again.

With no game next weekend, Palace are next in action on Tuesday, April 16, away at Ipswich Town.

Palace: Speroni; Ward, Ramage, Delaney, Parr; Williams, Jedinak; Zaha, Moritz (Phillips 64), Bolasie (Dobbie 76); Murray (Wilbraham 80).
Subs Not Used: Price, Richards, Marrow, Gabbidon.

Attendance: 21,281

By Croydon Advertiser Sports Reporter Mark Ritson

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