Reich on time for Palace
By Alex Livie. Last Updated: 03/10/05 9:30pm
Crystal Palace secured their first away win for almost a year with a 3-1 victory over Queens Park Rangers at Loftus Road.
Palace's last away win came at Birmingham 11 months ago, but a brace of goals from Marco Reich and late effort from Tom Soares ensured they could head back to Selhurst Park with a welcome three points.
Gareth Ainsworth's effort kept Rangers in the game throughout, but Soares put the contest beyond them with a close-range finish in the last minute.
Palace did not start the game like a team without a win on the road for almost a year, as Dougie Freedman squandered a fine chance before Reich opened the scoring on 14 minutes.
Clinton Morrison escaped down the left and delivered a fine ball which presented Reich with a chance to volley on target and the German did not disappoint as he produced a sumptuous effort which flashed into the top corner.
The former Derby man did not rest on his laurels, as he doubled his and the team's tally with a curling free kick - although R's manager Ian Holloway is likely to ask Lloyd Dyer why he broke away from the wall to present Reich with a sight on goal.
Dyer atoned for his lapse barely 60 seconds later, as his cross from the left allowed Ainsworth to stoop low and head home.
Chances were traded at either end in an entertaining first half, with Stefan Moore testing Gabor Kiraly's handling and Morrison stabbing wide from a tight angle.
Marc Bircham attempted to drive Rangers on and had a shot saved just after the break, while at the other end Morrison and Ben Watson wasted good chances to kill off the contest.
Ainsworth was presented with a chance to pinch a point five minutes from time, but his header lacked the quality of his first half effort and Rangers' hopes disappeared when his effort looped just wide of the target.
There was still time for Soares to put some gloss on the scoreline, as he smashed home from close range after Simon Royce could only parry Gary Borrowdale's effort.
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