Bolton 0 Crystal Palace 1: Murray penalty keeps up fine Eagles run
17:13 GMT, 29 September 2012
Crystal Palace stretched their unbeaten run to five games as Glenn Murray continued his fine goalscoring form to convert the penalty which proved the difference against Bolton at the Reebok Stadium.
Both teams came into the game with 10 points, sat just below mid-table in the npower Championship, and in a close match short on quality it was the Eagles who recorded their fourth win in five matches.
Murray had scored two penalties as part of a hat-trick a week earlier as Palace came from two down to beat Cardiff 3-2 and the former Brighton striker held his nerve 10 minutes from time to give the visitors their first ever league win away to Bolton, whose own unbeaten home run in the league came to an end.
Good run: Glenn Murray celebrates scoring from the spot
Bolton: Bogdan, Mears, Mills, Knight, Warnock, Mark Davies, Andrews (Petrov 70), Spearing, Eagles (Lee 80), Kevin Davies, Ngog (Sordell 76).
Subs Not Used: Lonergan, Ream, Ricketts, Pratley.
Crystal Palace: Speroni, Ward, Parr (Moxey 64), Blake, Delaney, Garvan, Dikgacoi, Jedinak, Murray, Bolasie (Williams 75), Zaha.
Subs Not Used: Price, Martin, Goodwillie, Wilbraham, Moritz.
Goals: Murray 80 pen.
Ref: Geoff Eltringham (Tyne & Wear).
Palace made the better start and
within a minute the impressive Wilfried Zaha burst into the area on the
right before seeing his angled, first-time shot parried away by
goalkeeper Adam Bogdan.
Palace were looking a threat on the
counter-attack and went close once more as Owen Garvan sent in a looping
cross but Murray was not able to get enough power on his header and
sent his attempt straight at Bogdan.
The hosts then had a penalty shout
for a possible handball from a Mark Davies header, before Damien Delaney
made a superb block to deny home striker David Ngog, who looked well
placed to score from close range.
Zaha again went close for Palace on
35 minutes as he turned well in the area to fire a low shot that was
well saved by the feet of Bogdan, before the visitors were forced to put
their bodies on the line to block efforts from both Kevin Davies and
Chris Eagles as Bolton threatened inside the six-yard area at the other
But it was Palace who ended the half
on a high when Murray glanced a header inches wide of the right post
from Garvan's left-wing cross.
After the break, Bolton had their
best chance of the game on the hour when Mark Davies beat one man in the
area and drilled a low shot that was bundled away from the danger-zone
by Palace goalkeeper Julian Speroni.
The home side seemed buoyed by this
chance and moments later Kevin Davies, making his 700th career
appearance, also found Speroni when well placed six yards out, following
Eagles' free-kick that was flicked on by Matt Mills.
Palace had struggled to rediscover
their first-half form, but Zaha almost created something from nothing
when he surged forward and despite numbers in support, he kept on going
himself and saw his shot well saved by Bogdan.
It was the tricky Zaha whose skills ended up helping the visitors score what would prove to be the only goal of the game.
Zaha's trickery drew a foul from Zat
Knight and referee Geoff Eltringham pointed to the penalty spot, with
Murray stepping up to slot home past Bogdan to give Palace the lead.
The dangerous Zaha then produced a
dangerous cross across the face of goal that was close to being
connected to by two Palace players.
The hosts went close to equalising
when substitute Chung-Yong Lee sent a fizzing shot whistling just over
the upright, but Bolton were unable to create anything better than this
as Dougie Freedman's men held on for victory.