MX23RW : Tuesday, October 26 22:09:49| >> :600:101763:101763:
Mar 29, 2013 at 5.30pm UK at Selhurst Park
Crystal Palace
BirminghamBirmingham City
FT(HT: 0-2)
Delaney (32' og.), Ferguson (69'), Morrison (64'), Redmond (24')

Live Commentary: Crystal Palace 0-4 Birmingham City - as it happened

Read how Birmingham City convincingly wiped out Crystal Palace's 18-game unbeaten home run in the Championship.

Crystal Palace had their sights set on the Championship's top two ahead of this evening's match against Birmingham City.

Three points would have seen Ian Holloway's side climb into the automatic promotion places but they were trounced by a clinical performance by the Blues.

Read how the Eagle's 18-game unbeaten run was convincingly wiped out in our minute-by-minute coverage below.

Hello everyone. Looking forward to an entertaining game in South London. Here are the teams...

PALACE XI: Speroni; Richards, Gabbidon, Delaney, Moxey; Dikgacoi, Jedinak; Bolasie, Williams, Phillips; Murray

BIRMINGHAM XI: Butland; Caddis, Davies, Robinson, Hancox; Redmond, Fahey, Morrison, Elliott, Ferguson; Zigic

And the two substitute benches:

Palace: Price, Ward, Parr, Dobbie, Wilbraham, Ramage, Moritz
Birmingham: Doyle, Caldwell, Mullins, Ambrose, Lovenkrands, Thomas, Reilly

A notable absence for the visitors is Scotland international Chris Burke. The club report on their Twitter feed that the winger sustained an ankle injury in training yesterday.

With Burke missing, youngster Nathan Redmond has a chance to impress on the right of midfield. He's a very quick player, think of him as Theo Walcott-esque, but is still very much in the learning stage of his career.

Now to the Palace team. The division's top scorer Glenn Murray leads the line and he'll be supported by Yannick Bolasie, Jonathan Williams and veteran frontman Kevin Phillips.

One big name missing for the Eagles is Manchester United-bound Wilfried Zaha. The young winger is suspended and his absence is the reason for Phillips's inclusion - he's usually deployed as an impact sub.

PREDICTION! With 10 minutes until kickoff, it's time for my doomed prediction. Despite Birmingham's recent form, I can't look past Palace especially as fellow promotion rivals Watford only drew earlier today.

Check out the in-play odds with William Hill

More on that Watford game. It looked as if the Hornets would be moving up to second in the division but for Sam Vokes's late equaliser for Burnley. Read our match report here.

There was also a crucial Lancashire derby in the bottom half of the table that ended all square between Blackburn and Blackpool. More here.

WORDS: This from Palace's Twitter account: "Julian Speroni makes his 300th Crystal Palace appearance today. What an achievement."

That Lancashire draw left the Championship awfully close in the bottom half. Just seven points separates Birmingham, who are at the bottom of the top half, from the relegation zone. Click here to see the latest table.

Both sides out on the pitch at Selhurst Park. Palace are in their tradition red-and-blue stripes while Birmingham don an all-black top with pink detailing.

KICKOFF! We're underway at Selhurst Park.

Good start from the hosts as Bolasie and Dikgacoi exchange passes before the former's cross is poked out for a corner by Robinson. Bolasie swings it in and Jedinak gets a head to it but can't trouble the goal.

Back in December when these two sides met in the reverse fixture there was four goals and the points were shared as Birmingham came from two behind to snatch a point. Unsurprisingly, Murray scored both goals for the Eagles that day.

One man to look out for is Palace's Jonathan Williams on the left wing. The youngster came off the bench for Wales and changed the game in their turnaround victory against Scotland a week ago.

SHOT! First meaningful effort of the game comes from Dikgacoi as a loose ball breaks to the Palace man but he rifles over.

SHOT! Great effort from Redmond as he tricks his way past a couple of Palace defenders on the edge of the area before letting fly on his weaker left foot despite moving away from goal. A really good strike from the teenager but Speroni was confident that it was going over.

The two shots below have been the only efforts on goal so far. Palace begun very well but in the last five minutes or so Birmingham have started to show confidence on the ball.

HA HA! Whoever is running Palace's Twitter feed has just made a funny typo: "9 - Good feet from Nathan Redmond to give himself some space on the edge of the box but he can't keep his sh*t down."

Bolasie uses his nifty feet to set up Williams for a shot but the Welshman delays and delays before being shepherded to the corner and then tackled by Caddis.

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Oh so close to an opening for the deadly Murray. A ball over the top looks perfect for the striker but he hesitates and Butland is able to come out and claim the ball. Moments later Murray tries a volley from long range but drags it wide. Still no shots on target from either side.

Delaney swings over a deep cross for Murray, who peels off cleverly to the back post but can only spoon his header up and onto the roof of the net.

GOAL! Palace 0-1 Birmingham (Redmond)

What a lovely goal by the 19-year-old. Palace want a free kick as the ball hits Robinson's arm but referee Robert Madley correctly says no. The ball finds its way to Redmond and he runs across the Palace defence before firing a left-foot shot back across Speroni and into the far side-netting. Beautiful finish.

Palace did start with much more energy but Birmingham were more than holding their own before that Redmond strike. Everything about the goal was class, especially the first touch that got him away from one challenge and allowed him to drive at the hosts' defence.

Palace have done little to raise the supporters' voices after the goal as Birmingham again go close. Redmond displayed quick feet before sending in a cross from the right that was headed out to Ferguson. He faked a shot to escape one challenge before volleying well over the top under pressure from Murray, who was strangely defending in his own area. Get up the right end, Glenn!

SAVE! Top, top save from Speroni on his 300th Palace appearance. Redmond with a wonderful cross from the right that found an unmarked Morrison. He mistimed his jump slightly but still got a good header towards the corner that Speroni had to beat away for a corner.

GOAL! Palace 0-2 Birmingham (Delaney OG)

Dear oh dear! What's happened here?! Birmingham open up a two-goal lead as Zigic and Delaney go up for the corner and the ball flies into the net. Even replays can't quite discern who got the last touch but Zigic celebrated as if he had scored. I think it's a Delaney own goal, mind.

YELLOW! First booking is for Bolasie and it's a very harsh one. The winger did lunge in on Hancox but the Birmingham man rode the challenge and there wasn't much in it really.

Cracking cross from Moxey trying to pick out Murray at the back post but the number 17 had strayed a tad offside. Robinson didn't know that though and defended superbly even though it didn't matter.

You should now be able to see a picture of Redmond celebrating the opener at the top of this page. If not, just manually refresh.

CHANCE! Birmingham almost shoot themselves in the foot as Fahey plays a great through ball for opposition striker Phillips. You'd expect the veteran to be all sorts of calm in this sort of situation but he flicks it onto himself when trying to round Butland. A corner is wrongly given but nothing comes of it.

Elliott launches a Birmingham free kick into the area and it's met by Davies and he heads just wide of the far post. However, the flag had gone up for offside so it wouldn't have counted anyway.

YELLOW! Another harsh booking from Mr Madley but at least he's being consistent I guess. Elliott is the man to be cautioned as he trips Williams in the centre of the park.

HALF-TIME: Palace 0-2 Birmingham

Well, I doubt many would have predicted this scoreline at the break! Birmingham lead thanks to Redmond's solo effort and Delaney's inadvertent own goal.

If you've only just joined us and want a short summary of the opening 45, read Jack Prescott's half-time report by clicking here.

Palace were out of the blocks quickly but they couldn't fashion a chance before Birmingham came into it and went ahead thanks to Redmond's quick feet and deadly accurate finish. The second was a little unlucky as Zigic's flicked header may have been going wide until it zipped off Delaney's forehead and shot past Speroni.

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Looking at the stats from that first half, it's been a fairly even game. Palace have had a tad more possession with 51% but have failed to get any of their three shots on target while Birmingham's two efforts on target have resulted in goals.

At the moment Redmond is running away with the man-of-the-match award. Can he continue his level of performance in the second?

Looking at the table as it stands, Birmingham are on course to move up a place to 11th while Palace will remain three points adrift of second place. Hull, who currently occupy that position, will have a game in-hand though while runaway leaders Cardiff will have two extra! Looks like the Welsh club are on their way to the Premier League for the first time.

Holloway has made a half-time change and it's a positive one as Stephen Dobbie replaces right-back Richards. That could see Dikgacoi move back in defence.

KICKOFF! We're back underway at Selhurst Park.

Speroni has been known to have mad moments and he's just had a bit of a wobbler. Redmond came to close him down and his feint couldn't shake off the teenager who continued to hassle before forcing Speroni into a poor clearance.

YELLOW! Morrison brings down Williams on the right touchline and is shown a yellow as that's not his first.

SAVE! First time Butland has been called into action and it's a fine save from the young English prospect. Some Palace pressure results in Dobbie hitting a shot similar to Redmond's in the first half but he can't beat the outstretched left hand of Butland. From the resulting corner Jedinak is left free but he can't put a decent head on it.

JUST WIDE! Here come Palace! They're piling on the pressure now and Dobbie has made a real difference. This time he's providing as he curls over a dangerous cross that Phillips gets a toe to but has to watch as the ball trickles wide of the post.

Redmond continues to dazzle when on the ball as he cuts past two red-and-blue shirts before fizzing a pass into Morrison but he can't quite bring it down well enough and is dispossessed.

Nervous about the result? Want to 'Cash in your bet'? See how with William Hill.

Delaney finds himself on the left wing and he lumps over a deep cross that picks out Murray but his vision is blocked as Caddis jumps just in front of him, meaning that he can't get a proper head to the ball.

GOAL! Palace 0-3 Birmingham (Morrison)

Game, set and match! Birmingham make it three as left-back Hancox gets to the byline before cutting back to Morrison. The ball is a little ahead of the youngster but he does brilliantly to keep his shot down on the stretch and it just beats Speroni into the far corner.

BIRMINGHAM SUB: First change of the match from Clark as Fahey goes off for Hayden Mullens who used to be a Palace man and won Eagles player of the year twice, in fact.

GOAL! Palace 0-4 Birmingham (Ferguson)

Goodness me, this is just stunning! Both the scoreline and the fourth goal, that is! It's icing-on-the-cake time as Ferguson scores his first Birmingham goal with a delightful curling free kick that Speroni could do absolutely nothing about.

PALACE SUBS: Holloway makes his final two changes as Aaron Wilbraham replaces Phillips and Andre Moritz takes the place of Williams.

CLOSE! Palace come within inches of getting a consolation as Moritz lashes a volley that swerves just wide of the post.

Redmond really has been fantastic so far today. Yet again he shows that he has a good cross on him as well as tricky feet. His delivery is well read this time by Speroni and the veteran stopper does well to hold onto it down low.

Bolasie won't be outdone on the step-over count by Redmond as he does three or four to earn space for a cross. He whips it over for Murray at the back post but he can't stretch his neck long enough to make meaningful contact. Moments later and the Eagles' top scorer is picked out again but he can't divert home.

More good play from Bolasie as he springs the offside trap down the right and pulls back a perfect cross but there's not a Palace shirt there to tuck it home six yards out.

Neat footwork on the edge of the area from Dobbie but his shot is straight at Butland.

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SHOT! Morrison looks to make it five as he jinxes to his right before lashing at the near post, forcing Speroni to parry out.

BIRMINGHAM SUB: Morrison won't have another chance to double his tally as he is taken off for Reilly.

CHANCE! This game's been over for quite a while now but Palace are still gunning for a goal as Moritz can't get a decent touch on Wilbraham's fizzed low delivery.

BIRMINGHAM SUB: Final change for Clark and it's another former Eagle who's on. Darren Ambrose is the man to enter and it's his first appearance since November as he replaces Ferguson.

Redmond continues to unbalance the Palace defenders as he fakes right, then left before shooting across goal but dragging slightly wide.

Three more minutes of pain for Palace.

Ambrose is given loads of room on the left of the box and he tries to find the far corner but hits it too straight and Speroni, just about, keeps it out.

FULL-TIME: Palace 0-4 Birmingham

All over at last in South London. It's a third-straight win for Birmingham and remarkably a first loss in 19 games at home for Palace.

That moves Birmingham up two places to 10th. They're now seven points short of the playoff places. It's a disappointing day for Palace as Watford couldn't win either in the earlier game. They remain fourth with automatic promotion still definitely on the cards but Holloway will need to cast this one from his players' memory.

Nervous about the result? Want to 'Cash in your bet'? See how with William Hill.

If you're just checking in and don't want to read all the below updates, click here to read Jack Prescott's concise match report.

Thanks for joining Sports Mole and make sure you now head over to join Barney Corkhill for coverage of the Leicester vs. Millwall game. Goodbye.

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Blackpool manager Ian Holloway
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Preview: Crystal Palace vs. Birmingham City

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