Crystal Palace 0-0 Barnsley: Match Report
Crystal Palace 0-0 Barnsley: Match Report - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game as it happened.
Stalemate at Selhurst Park
Crystal Palace continue to stumble in their pursuit of promotion from the npower Championship as they were held to a goalless draw against relegation-threatened Barnsley at Selhurst Park.
The away side saw a dogged display rewarded with an important point in their attempts to avoid the drop but never looked like stealing victory as Palace dominated a one-sided encounter.
Glenn Murray and substitute Aaron Wilbraham both missed good opportunities as Ian Holloway's men failed to score for a fourth consecutive game meaning their play-off place is not yet guaranteed.
On the back of three consecutive league defeats, Holloway made three changes to his starting line-up with Jonathan Williams and Andre Moritz coming in for Stephen Dobbie and Kagisho Dikgacoi, who was ruled out through injury.
Right-back Joel Ward made his first start since December at Ashley Richards' expense but it was the visitors, who were without injured defender Martin Cranie, who started brightest.
Jason Scotland tried his luck with two long-range shots inside the opening three minutes as David Flitcroft's men, wearing Palace's away kit due to a colour clash, began in confident mood.
The Reds had won three of their past four games ahead of their trip but soon found themselves on the back foot as the hosts began to dictate, Wilfried Zaha's 13th-minute header an early warning signal.
Only goalkeeper Luke Steele's acrobatics denied Brazilian midfielder Moritz's curling free-kick three minutes later before Murray was presented with the clearest opening of the first half.
Zaha slid in the division's leading goal scorer but Steele stood tall to keep out Murray's clipped effort after 30 minutes.
Yannick Bolasie tested the former Manchester United youngster once more eight minutes later with a precise side-footed effort but Flitcroft's side resolutely held on to their clean sheet going into the interval.
Another Moritz free-kick brought Steele into action in the 53rd minute as the Eagles continued to threaten in front of their biggest home attendance of the season.
Zaha saw his low cross cut out as he tried to pick out Moritz 10 minutes later while Murray failed to head the subsequent corner on target.
Dobbie and Wilbraham then came off the bench as the hosts began to lose momentum and the pair almost engineered a breakthrough with Wilbraham shooting just wide from the edge of the area following Dobbie's through-ball with just nine minutes remaining.
Wilbraham went even closer to clinching three points four minutes later when Jonathan Parr delivered an inviting cross but the former MK Dons striker saw his header flash past the right-hand post.
A perfect cross from Zaha gave Wilbraham a third opportunity to break the deadlock moments later but the final chance of a frustrating game for the home side was blazed over the bar.
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