QPR 1 Crystal Palace 2: Morrison ushers in Palace festive spirit

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A long hard winter is beckoning for Queens Park Rangers. Luigi de Canio's team have taken only two points from their last six matches and defeat last night left them bottom of the Championship table.

Having dominated the early stages and taken a 10th minute lead, Rangers let Palace back in the game and were punished by two goals midway through the second half. Palace's football never flowed, but they are now unbeaten in seven matches, Neil Warnock's arrival having added steel and determination.

The only blemish on the Palace manager's evening came when he was banished to the stand in injury time. With Lee Camp, the Rangers goalkeeper, out of position after charging out of his penalty area, Warnock attempted to control the ball as it came towards him at the dug-out. Warnock said he had been trying to get the ball back into play as quickly as possible, but was sent off after the fourth official accused him of wasting time.

Rangers had gone in front inside 10 minutes, Damion Stewart powering a header into the roof of the net from Akos Buzsaky's corner. Rowan Vine, Ben Sahar and Scott Sinclair regularly stretched the Palace defence in the first half, but Rangers lacked composure in front of goal and gradually lost their grip.

Palace were invigorated by the arrival in the second half of two teenage substitutes, Lee Hills and Sean Scannell, but Ben Watson's set pieces were their most potent weapon throughout. After 64 minutes the midfielder's free kick picked out the unmarked Clint Hill, who scored with the faintest of touches, and three minutes later Mark Hudson's near-post header from a Watson corner found Clinton Morrison, who stooped to head home his sixth goal in five matches.

Queens Park Rangers (4-4-2): Camp; Malcolm, Stewart, Rehman, Barker; Rowlands (Nygaard, 72), Leigertwood, Buzsaky (Bolder, 86), Sinclair; Vine, Sahar (Balanta, 83). Substitutes not used: Cole (gk), Ainsworth.

Crystal Palace (4-3-2-1): Speroni; Butterfield, Fonte (Hills, h-t), Hudson, Hill; Soares (Fletcher, 72), Derry, Watson; Morrison, Songo'o (Scannell, 59); Scowcroft. Substitutes not used: Freedman, Martin.

Referee: A Wiley (Staffordshire).

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