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Only a point as Eagles freeze in front of goal

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PALACE manager Ian Holloway says his side are creating chances but unable to finish them off, after the Eagles were held to a goalless draw against Bolton Wanderers last Saturday.

On a bitterly cold day where the groundsmen did a great job to get the game on, Dougie Freedman was not given too much of a frosty reception as some may have expected on his return to SE25.

And in a game that failed to impress in spells, Holloway felt his side deserved all three points with substitute Alex Marrow denied late on by a great save from Bolton keeper Adam Bogdan.

"All that was needed was one good shot and I thought we started a bit slow, like a diesel in the cold weather like my car was in the morning," said Holloway.

"I think that was two new lads (Jacob Butterfield and Alex Nimely) just getting used to it, but the longer the first half went on, the more we got into our rhythm.

"The second half, I thought we got better and looked more competent – I find it hard to believe we didn't win the game, but that's the way things are going.

"As balls were flying across the box, we're almost on the end of it and that's the difference really between winning and losing."

Chris Eagles had the first chance of the game after just 15 seconds when he burst through the middle and shot inches wide with Julian Speroni scrambling.

It took until the midway point of the half for the next chance of a slow match, and it was through Eagles again, who was allowed time and space to curl an effort towards the bottom corner, but Speroni got across to parry.

Eagles then fed the overlapping Tyrone Mears down the right and the full-back delivered a great cross for Darren Pratley, but the unmarked midfielder glanced a header well wide.

Dean Moxey went into the referee's book for cutting Eagles down to size shortly after, and the Bolton playmaker was furious and squared up to the left-back.

However, Keith Andrews received a booking when he pulled back Wilfried Zaha down the left. Glenn Murray found the back of the net before the break, only to be flagged offside after Yannick Bolasie's fierce shot was parried by Bogdan.

Eagles continued to be the visitors' main threat in the second half and he sent a fierce drive wide from the left side of the box, while up the other end, Bolasie sent a low ball into the danger area, but Murray couldn't quite convert from 12 yards.

Palace were unlucky not to take the lead midway through the half when Zaha hit the foot of the post from just inside the box, and from the follow-up, Andre Moritz sent a shot inches wide of the far post.

Andrews was lucky not to receive a second booking soon after when it looked like he had pushed Zaha in the face off the ball, but he got a talking-to from the man in the middle instead.

Kevin Davies then powered a header straight at Speroni, and from the build-up, Zaha raced down the right and beat Marcos Alonso before cutting the ball back to Murray, who hit a first time shot inches wide.

Zaha continued to be a constant thorn in Alonso's side.

He nearly won it for Palace when he cut inside from the left and curled an effort inches past the far post in front of the Holmesdale, while Marrow had a goal-bound effort well saved by Bogdan late on.

But, it proved to be the final piece of action with both sides settling for a point.

Only a point as Eagles freeze in front of goal


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