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Ricoh Arena (ATT 16,883) 8th November 2008 - Kick off 15:00 Ref: C Oliver

Coventry Coventry City vs Crystal Palace C Palace

Palace maintain Ricoh record

Hill and Watson strikes seal win

Last Updated: 08/11/08 5:41pm

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Hill: Scored opener

Hill: Scored opener

Crystal Palace made it four wins on the trot at the Ricoh Arena as they beat Coventry 2-0.

Goals from Clint Hill and Ben Watson earned the Eagles a first league win in five and ended the Sky Blues' three-match unbeaten run.

The result helped Palace to leapfrog Coventry in the Championship on goal difference.

Chris Coleman named the same side that won 1-0 at Midlands' rivals Birmingham on Monday but his team never got going.

After scoring the winning goal against his former club at St Andrew's, Clinton Morrison kept his place up front against another of his old employers but could make no impact.

Sean Scannell's two goals for the reserves in midweek earned him a place in Palace's starting line-up.

The 18-year-old's inclusion at the expense of Shefki Kuqi was the only change made by Eagles manager Neil Warnock.

Hill goal

Hill's first goal of 2008 gave the visitors the lead at the break.

The defender, who last scored when the Eagles beat Plymouth 2-1 at Selhurst Park on December 22, pounced after nine minutes following Watson's free-kick from the left channel.

Jose Fonte's header struck the post and rolled across the goalline, and Hill steered the ball home at the far post from an acute angle. It was the only clear-cut opportunity of the first half.

Scannell and Phil Ifil both had goalbound efforts blocked by Coventry defenders, while Leon Best stung the palms of Julian Speroni with a 20-yard shot midway through the first half as the hosts threatened for the first time.

Scott Dann threw himself in front of Watson's driven shot in the 27th minute as City's back line continued to defend stoutly, before Watson then shot wide when well positioned inside the area just before the break.

Palace made the most of one of few second-half chances when they doubled their lead in the 53rd minute.

A surging left-wing run by Craig Beattie was abruptly halted when the on-loan West Brom striker was dumped on the ground by Elliott Ward 20 yards out.

Nestled

Watson's low free-kick went through the Coventry wall, and the ball nestled in the bottom corner.

Beattie then fired an angled shot wide from inside the area just before the hour.

Coleman responded by introducing Robbie Simpson and Freddy Eastwood from the bench, Jay Tabb and Best were the players to make way.

But the two strikers were made to feed off scraps as the Sky Blues struggled to break down a stoic Palace defence.

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Sky Bet Championship

Sky Bet Championship
Pos Team P Pts
1 Bournemouth 23 45
2 Ipswich Town 23 44
3 Derby County 23 42
4 Middlesbrough 23 42
5 Brentford 23 40
6 Watford 23 38
7 Norwich City 23 37
8 Blackburn Rovers 23 34
9 Wolverhampton Wanderers 23 34
10 Nottingham Forest 23 31
11 Cardiff City 23 31
12 Charlton Athletic 23 31
13 Sheffield Wednesday 23 31
14 Bolton Wanderers 23 29
15 Fulham 23 28
16 Birmingham City 23 28
17 Reading 23 26
18 Rotherham United 23 25
19 Huddersfield Town 23 25
20 Leeds United 23 24
21 Millwall 23 23
22 Wigan Athletic 23 20
23 Brighton and Hove Albion 23 20
24 Blackpool 23 13

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