Eagles celebrate rare away win
Crystal Palace held on to win 1-0 at Hull for their third successive Championship victory and their first away from home since October. Hull defender James Chester's first-half own goal settled Saturday's Championship encounter at the KC Stadium. Chester clipped the ball past his goalkeeper Adriano Basso from six yards while under pressure from Palace striker Jermaine Easter in the 15th minute and the Tigers, unable to breach the visitors' resolute defence, crashed to their third league defeat of the season. Palace, boosted by their midweek success over Coventry when two late goals saw them snatch all three points, were pushed on to the back foot in the opening exchanges and for long periods following Chester's gaffe, but Hull lacked a cutting edge and only seriously threatened in the closing stages. Hull made two changes following their heavy midweek defeat at Leeds, with goalkeeper Basso making his first league start and Tom Cairney replacing Andy Dawson. Australia international midfielder Mile Jedinak and striker Wilfried Zaha also made their full debuts for the Londoners. Palace took the lead with their first meaningful attack in the 15th minute after Hull had made all the early running. Norwegian midfielder Jonathan Parr whipped in a cross from the right side of the penalty area and Hull defender Chester, challenged by Easter on the six-yard box, deflected the ball beyond Basso into the bottom corner. Palace striker Sean Scannell and Hull's on-loan Manchester United teenager Robbie Brady traded long-range efforts and Basso was then forced into action by both Easter and Parr, who also tried their luck from outside the area. Visiting goalkeeper Julian Speroni held efforts from Cairney and Robert Koren as Hull stepped up the pressure towards the end of the first half. And he did even better when diving full length to deny Matty Fryatt's angled drive, while Koren's follow-up effort was blocked by Palace defender Peter Ramage. Hull winger Brady fired a fine 25-yard shot just over the crossbar soon after the restart and Cairney pulled a volley from similar distance wide. Palace manager Dougie Freedman sent on substitute Andy Dorman for Zaha in the 63rd minute and Hull counterpart Nigel Pearson replaced Brady with veteran Nick Barmby soon after, but chances dried up at either end. Jedinak was forced off injured as the game entered the closing stages and Darren Ambrose stepped off the bench, while Pearson sent on striker Dele Adebola for Cairney in a bid to salvage a point. Hull stepped up the tempo in the final quarter and with eight minutes left Aaron Mclean saw his goalbound header saved by Speroni, while Hull defender Corry Evans' 25-yard shot forced a smart sprawling save from the visiting goalkeeper soon after, but Palace held on for a rare away win.
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