Freedman penalty sees Palace home

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The Independent Online

A controversial penalty 13 minutes from time put Crystal Palace on their way to a third successive First Division win as they beat Sheffield United 3-1 win at Bramall Lane last night.

Dougie Freedman fired home from the spot following what had appeared to be an innocuous challenge by the Blades goalkeeper, Simon Tracey. Only two minutes earlier Shane Nicholson had pulled the home side back into the match at 1-1 with a deflected free-kick. David Hopkin sealed the result for Palace with a quality 18-yard strike in the final minute.

Jamie Smith had put Palace in front after 11 minutes when he fired a right-foot shot through a crowd of players and into the bottom corner.

The most surprising First Division score of the night was Stockport County's 4-2 win over Bradford City. Stockport gained their first League win of the season with a rousing performance at Valley Parade. Two goals each for Glynn Hurst and the substitute Scott Taylor did the damage, with Benito Carbone and Andy Myers scoring for Bradford.

Andy Kilner's side looked dangerous every time they attacked and were well worth the win. They went in front in the 12th minute through Hurst, who lifted the ball over the advancing Gary Walsh for his first-ever County goal and his first in England for six years.

Bradford equalised through Carbone in the 40th minute and should have gone in ahead at half-time, but Eoin Jess and Robbie Blake both scorned good chances. After the interval there was generally only one team in it as Stockport produced a stirring display that belied their lowly place in the table.

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