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Palace 3-2 Peterborough United: Last-gasp Jedinak secures play-off place for Eagles

CRYSTAL Palace will play Brighton & Hove Albion in the Championship play-offs after they narrowly beat Peterborough United 3-2 at Selhurst Park this afternoon.

In a gripping final day in English football's second tier, all eyes were on both ends of the table.

In a topsy-turvy game in SE25, Palace came out on top thanks to Mile Jedinak's winner in the last minute when he headed in substitute Stephen Dobbie's free-kick.

The result relegated Peterborough back to League One, but they certainly put up a fight to stun Selhurst on two separate occasions throughout the contest.

Palace were so unlucky not to take the lead after 12 minutes when a fantastic delivery from Yannick Bolasie found Damien Delaney unmarked six-yards out but his powerful header was superbly saved point-blank.

The ball rolled back out to striker Glenn Murray, whose goal-bound shot took a last-gasp deflection from Grant McCann and onto the crossbar for a corner.

Minutes later they went close again when Bolasie's whipped-in corner found Murray at the near post but his header went inches over.

However, Peterborough, known for their attacking style of play, carved an opening for themselves midway through the half when Nathaniel Mendez-Laing played a nice one-two on the edge of the box before firing inches wide of the post.

Back came the Eagles, though, and Dean Moxey's drive across goal caused havoc for the Peterborough defence, taking a deflection towards goal which goalkeeper Bobby Olejnik spilled before a defender managed to clear.

But then came a shocking blow to Palace's play-off bid as the Posh took the lead after 28 minutes.

Lee Tomlin cut in from the left, cut across the 18-yard area and drilled a powerful shot past Julian Speroni to send the away support crazy.

And they very nearly made it 2-0 soon after when Mendez-Laing played a fantastic ball across the Palace six-yard area but both Dwight Gayle and Alex Pritchard were millimetres away from converting.

However, Ian Holloway's men were given a lifeline just before the break when Danny Gabbidon was brought down the area following two separate shouts for handball.

Murray stepped up and emphatically placed the ball past Olejnik to send Selhurst crazy. That play-off position was back on.

And the hitman was very close to scoring his second early in the second period. Zaha did well to beat his man on the left before cutting the ball back to Murray, who spun away from his marker and saw his goal-bound effort cleared off the line.

Then, out of nowhere, Peterborough regained the lead just after the half-hour mark when Mendez-Laing cut in from the right and curled a left-foot shot past Speroni from the edge of the box.

Selhurst was stunned, and at that moment of time, Palace were clinging onto a play-off spot with both Bolton and Nottingham Forest being held.

Kevin Phillips, Jonny Williams and Stephen Dobbie all came on for the Eagles as Holloway had no choice but to go for it, but Peterborough continued to stay firm.

But veteran forward Phillips had other ideas as he sent Selhurst crazy once again on after 83 minutes when he found the top corner after showing quick feet inside the box to find space.

And up popped Jedinak in the final minute inside the box to grab the winner following Dobbie's fantastic free-kick.

It was Palace's first win in nine games, and what a time to get it as they will need as much momentum as possible heading into next Friday's first leg clash with arch-rivals Brighton at Selhurst Park.

The rollercoaster is about to hit fifth gear. Are you ready?

Palace: Speroni, Ward, Delaney, Gabbidon, Moxey, Dikgacoi (Dobbie 75), Jedinak, Zaha, Bolasie (Phillips 67), Garvan (Williams 67), Murray.

Subs Not Used: Price, Ramage, Wilbraham, Moritz.

Attendance: 22,154

By Croydon Advertiser Sports Reporter Mark Ritson

Palace 3-2 Peterborough United: Last-gasp Jedinak secures play-off place for Eagles

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