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Owls miss out

PUBLISHED

17:09 1st September 2012


Wednesday’s unbeaten run under Dave Jones came to an end at Crystal Palace on Saturday as the Londoners won a fiery encounter by the odd goal in three.

A Glenn Murray double – one at the start and another near the end – defeated the Owls, who levelled through Michail Antonio before Palace secured victory.

The Eagles had a penalty awarded in the second half but referee Lewis changed his mind after consulting his assistant and a dramatic clash appeared to be heading for a stalemate.

But Murray had other ideas and the striker pounced on 83 minutes to give the hosts their first win of the season.

The Owls went into the capital contest looking to build on their impressive opening to the new campaign but it was the hosts that got off to an incredible start.

With less than a minute on the clock, Damien Delaney broke down the left side of the penalty area and drilled in a low cross that Murray diverted home from close range to stun Wednesday.

But in an explosive first few minutes, the Owls came within a whisker of drawing level.

Antonio outpaced Jonathan Parr on the right flank before cutting inside to thump a fierce shot that had Julian Speroni at his best diverting over the crossbar.

The Owls continued to press and Chris O’Grady went close on 14 minutes from a Daniel Jones pullback before Rodri turned his marker and sent a daisycutter goalwards that beat the diving Speroni but also the far post.

The game then settled into something of a lull as neither side created any chances of note with possession shared and Wednesday steadily recovering from Palace’s early advantage.

And with half time approaching, again the Owls came close to restoring parity.

Antonio fired a trademark long throw into the six yard box and Miguel Llera’s back header beat Speroni only to strike the top of the bar and bounce back into play.

But the pressure paid off as Wednesday began the second half as they ended the first.

The visitors won a corner on 49 minutes and from Llera’s dangerous flag kick, Antonio was on hand at the back stick to force the ball over the line.

The equaliser was no more than the Owls deserved and moments later, Speroni had to be alert to smother a long range free kick from Llera.

Gary Madine was introduced on the hour and Wednesday, buoyed by the leveller, had the upper hand as the second period unfolded.

Palace attacked in bursts without troubling Chris Kirkland, while the Owls enjoyed more sustained pressure.

Then with 15 minutes to go came the game’s controversial moment when the Eagles were awarded a penalty before the referee reversed his decision.

Mark Beevers appeared to take the ball when challenging Murray but the man in the middle pointed to the spot – only to change his mind on the advice of the linesman.

Confusion reigned before the game restarted and it appeared the game was heading for a draw.

But with seven minutes to go, Palace pinched the points when Murray ghosted into the area to poke past Kirkland following good work down the right from Wilfried Zaha.

Crystal Palace: Speroni, Parr, Bolasie (Williams 81), Garvan, Blake (Moxey 46), Jedinak, Zaha, Murray, Ramage, Moritz (Goodwillie 63), Delaney

Unused substitutes: Price, Ward, Dikgacoi, Wilbraham

Owls: Kirkland, Buxton, Llera, Beevers, Jones, Antonio, Semedo, McCabe, J Johnson (Pecnik 77), O’Grady (Madine 61), Rodri (Mayor 83)

Unused substitutes: Bywater, Mattock, Taylor, Corry