Palace out of bot­tom three

Sunday Independent (Ireland) - Sport - - SOCCER - MARK WALKER

JAMES Tomkins and Luka Milivo­je­vic struck in ei­ther half as Crys­tal Palace se­cured their first vic­tory in over two months, beat­ing rel­e­ga­tion ri­vals Hud­der­s­field. Tomkins struck from close-range mid­way through the first pe­riod and Milivo­je­vic con­verted a sec­ond-half penalty as Palace halted a four-game los­ing run to climb out of the bot­tom three.

The Lon­don­ers’ first win in eight league games lifted them up to 16th in the ta­ble, one point and a place be­hind Hud­der­s­field, who slipped to an­other dam­ag­ing home league de­feat — their sixth of the sea­son.

The Lon­don­ers, buoyed by the re­turn of Wil­fried Zaha and Ma­madou Sakho to their start­ing line-up, be­gan full of pur­pose and took a 23rd-minute lead fol­low­ing Milivo­je­vic’s cor­ner. Town failed to clear and af­ter Tomkins’ ini­tial shot had been saved by Jonas Lossl, the Palace cen­tre-half prod­ded home the re­bound.

De­spite tak­ing the game to the vis­i­tors, Town did not muster one shot on tar­get in the first half.

Palace went close to in­creas­ing their lead from an­other cor­ner in the 61st minute, when Tomkins’ ef­fort was cleared off the goal line by Ter­ri­ers striker Steve Mounie.

The vis­i­tors grabbed the all-im­por­tant sec­ond goal in the 68th minute, when Milivo­je­vic slammed home his penalty af­ter Mathias Jor­gensen was ad­judged to have brought down An­dros Townsend on the left edge of the area.

TV re­plays ap­peared to jus­tify ref­eree Mike Dean’s de­ci­sion and Hud­der­s­field were star­ing at a dam­ag­ing de­feat. They served up lit­tle to warm a sold-out home crowd in the swirling snow.

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