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Sky Bet Championship

Selhurst Park (ATT 15,198) 17th September 2011 - Kick off 15:00 Ref: G Sutton

C Palace Crystal Palace vs Middlesbrough M'boro

ft

M'boro 1

M Emnes (65)
J Bennett (S/O 75)

Boro top after Marvin's winner

Last Updated: 17/09/11 5:59pm

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Emnes: Netted the winner

Emnes: Netted the winner

Marvin Emnes scored his eighth goal of the season as 10-man Middlesbrough moved to the Championship summit with a 1-0 win at Crystal Palace.

The in-form striker netted the winner midway through the second-half to ensure Tony Mowbray's side, who had Joe Bennett sent off, maintained their unbeaten start to the season.

After a fine start to the campaign, Palace failed to get on the scoresheet for the first time this season as Jermaine Easter was denied by the crossbar late on.

The Eagles slipped to their second consecutive Championship defeat and their first home loss of the campaign.

The hosts had the opening chances of the match.

Defender Patrick McCarthy, who scored against Leeds last week, headed Darren Ambrose's corner over before Easter, after a surging run, struck a fierce shot from 25 yards that Boro goalkeeper Carl Ikeme had to tip over the crossbar.

Palace continued to attack and Ikeme was tested again, this time Jonathan Parr was denied from 20 yards.

Finally, after plenty of early possession, Boro had their first chances. Barry Robson had a shot blocked before Eagles shot-stopper Julian Speroni was tested for the first time after 25 minutes from an ambitious Joe Bennett 30-yard effort.

Robson had another effort from distance but Speroni gathered with ease.

After hesitant defending from Boro's back-line, the ball fell to Parr but the midfielder drilled his 25-yard strike over the crossbar.

Striker Sean Scannell was a thorn in Middlesbrough's defence, attacking at pace, and was unlucky not to provide the opener when Ikeme almost parried his deflected shot into the path of fellow frontman Easter.

With the final act of the first half, Faris Haroun headed Robson's teasing corner over the crossbar.

Mile Jedinak, five minutes after half time, tested Ikeme but the goalkeeper was equal to the midfielder's 20-yard strike, before Easter's snap shot flew over the crossbar.

Speroni had to tip over a Justin Hoyte cross and, after Palace failed to clear from the resulting corner, the visitors broke the deadlock against the run of play after 65 minutes when Emnes found the net from a tight angle.

Substitute Wilfried Zaha, replacing Ambrose, almost made an immediate impact but failed to find an end product after a mazy run through the Boro defence.

The game sparked into life after 75 minutes when Boro were reduced to 10 men after Bennett was given a second yellow card for bringing down the lively Zaha.

Zaha, after a lucky break, squared the ball to Easter but the striker fired against the bar eight minutes from time.

Despite four minutes of added time, Murray could only head straight at Ikeme, while Emnes should have wrapped up the game with the last kick of the game but he fired wide.

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Matches

Table

Sky Bet Championship

Sky Bet Championship
Pos Team P Pts
1 Bournemouth 22 42
2 Ipswich Town 22 41
3 Brentford 22 40
4 Middlesbrough 22 39
5 Derby County 22 39
6 Watford 22 38
7 Norwich City 22 34
8 Blackburn Rovers 22 34
9 Nottingham Forest 22 31
10 Wolverhampton Wanderers 22 31
11 Cardiff City 22 30
12 Charlton Athletic 22 30
13 Fulham 22 28
14 Sheffield Wednesday 22 28
15 Birmingham City 22 28
16 Bolton Wanderers 22 26
17 Reading 22 25
18 Leeds United 22 24
19 Rotherham United 22 24
20 Huddersfield Town 22 24
21 Millwall 22 23
22 Brighton and Hove Albion 22 19
23 Wigan Athletic 22 17
24 Blackpool 22 13