Football: Palace in profit from bit of luck

Crystal Palace 3 Queen's Park Rangers 0

Crystal Palace made it five League wins out of the last six as Dave Bassett's team moved up a place to second in the Nationwide First Division after winning this London derby in some style yesterday.

But it took two fortunate strikes to send gallant Queen's Park Rangers tumbling to only their second away defeat in the League this season.

After surviving an early 15- minute spell of pressure from Rangers which saw Chris Day saving well from Steve Slade, Palace gradually took a grip of a tense struggle.

It took a piece of luck for Palace to open the scoring on 39 minutes when Kevin Muscat's shot from the edge of the box looked to be going straight at Jurgen Sommer before it took a wicked deflection off the chest of the clearly jet-lagged Bruce Dyer and past the American international keeper.

Both Day and Dyer were in Georgia 24 hours earlier with the England Under- 21 party and were not back in London until late on Saturday night.

Rangers threatened with efforts from Andy Impey and Slade before Palace increased their lead after 71 minutes.

Good fortune came Palace's way once again with Dougie Freedman shooting straight at Sommer, but the loose ball fell kindly to Neil Shipperley who scored to maintain his fine form for his new club since his pounds 1m move from Southampton.

Palace were now looking a yard quicker than their opponents and they rounded off a fine win with David Hopkin scoring his 11th of the season from the edge of the penalty area moments from the end.

Goals: Dyer (40) 1-0; Hopkin (90) 2-0; Shipperley (71) 3-0.

Crystal Palace: Day; Edworthy, Muscat, Roberts, Tuttle, Hopkin, Quinn (Gordon, 79), Shipperley, Freedman (Trollope, 90), Dyer (McKenzie, 72), Veart.

Queen's Park Rangers: Sommer; Graham, Brevett, Barker, McDonald, Ready, Impey, Murray, Dichio, Slade (Charles, 69), Sinclair. Substitutes not used: Maddix, Brazier.

Referee: S Mathieson (Stockport).

Bookings: Crystal Palace: Tuttle. Queen's Park Rangers: Brevett.

Man of the match: Shipperley. Attendance: 15,324.