Crystal Palace 0 Barnsley 0: Eagles stumble again, while Tykes wear home side's shirts
17:05 GMT, 6 April 2013
11:02 GMT, 7 April 2013
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, who had to wear Palace's change strip because referee Keith Stroud felt the kits clashed, 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.
Who's who Barnsley are forced to wear Palace's away strip (yellow) as the referee felt the kits clashed
Crystal Palace: Speroni, Ward, Ramage, Delaney, Parr, Zaha, Jedinak, Williams, Bolasie (Dobbie 77), Moritz (Phillips 64), Murray (Wilbraham 80).
Subs Not Used: Price, Richards, Marrow, Gabbidon.
Booked: Jedinak, Williams.
Barnsley: Steele, Hassell, Wiseman, Foster, Kennedy, Perkins, Mellis (Cywka 90), Etuhu (O'Brien 62), Dawson, O'Grady, Scotland (Dagnall 68).
Subs Not Used: Alnwick, Harewood, Jones, Rose.
Booked: Dawson, Hassell, Steele, Perkins, O'Brien.
Ref: Keith Stroud (Hampshire).
The latest Championship table, results and fixtures
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 Tykes 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.
Frustrated: Wilfried Zaha (right) fails to unlock the Barnsley defence
Faltering: Palace are now without a win in five
CHAMPIONSHIP – AS IT STANDS
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.
PALACE'S REMAINING FIXTURES
Ipswich (a), 16 April
Leicester (h), 20 April
Blackburn (a), 27 April
Millwall (a), 30 April
Peterborough (h), 4 May
BARNSLEY'S REMAINING FIXTURES
Cardiff (a), 9 April
Charlton (h), 13 April
Derby (h), 16 April
Nottingham Forest (a), 20 April
Hull (h), 27 April
Huddersfield (a), 4 May