Phillips strike secures points against Palace

Last updated : 01 April 2013 By The Seasider

IMG_5844a.JPGTen-man Blackpool made sure Ian Holloway's return to Bloomfield Road ended in defeat as they beat Crystal Palace to secure a result that has implications at both ends of the npower Championship table.

With Hull and Watford not playing until tomorrow night, Palace could have moved to within three points of the second-placed Tigers but they were undone by Matt Phillips' 85th-minute strike, despite playing against 10 men for 48 minutes.

Phillips stole the points for the Seasiders as he curled a delightful effort past Julian Speroni as Paul Ince's men earned a win that does their chances of survival the world of good.

It was a lacklustre display from the Eagles, who are now four games without a win, with Glenn Murray and Wilfried Zaha wasting their best efforts and it meant Holloway, who left the Bloomfield Road dugout in November, was denied on his return to the west coast.

Despite Blackpool's win, their first at home under Ince, they remain firmly in the relegation dogfight that engulfs the entire bottom half of the table.

Palace had a point to prove after Good Friday's humbling home defeat to Birmingham, but they were reliant on goalkeeper Speroni to keep them on level terms inside the first 10 minutes when he provided some fine reflexes to keep out Nathan Delfouneso's effort.

IMG_5845a.JPGThe visitors did begin to get a foothold into the game and after forcing several set-pieces they forced two chances, with Blackpool keeper Matt Gilks denying Zaha and then Damien Delaney firing over from the resulting corner.

Blackpool responded, though, and Speroni was forced to make an even better save, again from Delfouneso, as the Argentinian got down superbly to deny the home striker.

But the wind was knocked out of the hosts' sails three minutes before the break as Ferguson saw red for two yellow cards, the second coming after a cynical foul on Yannick Bolasie.

Murray had Palace's first chance of the second half, but he could not make enough contact with his header from Jonathan Parr's cross.

Palace continued to control the game and Zaha drifted a ball in to Murray, but the top scorer shot into the side-netting from a narrow angle.

And then they were hit with the ultimate sucker-punch as Phillips picked up the ball and curled a 20-yard effort home for his first goal since October.

Palace had little time to respond and the hosts held on.