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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 39 73
2 Watford 39 72
3 Middlesbrough 39 72
4 Norwich City 39 70
5 Derby County 39 67
6 Ipswich Town 39 67
7 Brentford 39 66
8 Wolverhampton Wanderers 39 65
9 Nottingham Forest 39 57
10 Blackburn Rovers 39 54
11 Charlton Athletic 39 54
12 Sheffield Wednesday 39 53
13 Leeds United 39 52
14 Cardiff City 39 51
15 Birmingham City 38 47
16 Brighton and Hove Albion 39 45
17 Bolton Wanderers 39 45
18 Huddersfield Town 39 44
19 Reading 38 44
20 Fulham 39 43
21 Rotherham United 39 40
22 Wigan Athletic 39 35
23 Millwall 39 33
24 Blackpool 39 23

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