Preston North End 1 - 2 Crystal Palace

Substitute Steve Kabba smashed home an unstoppable 15 yard drive to earn Palace all three points at Deepdale this afternoon. Palace started brightly and forced 2 corners in the first five minutes, before Tony Popovic went close with a drive that flashed just wide of the upright. At the other end, Palace were indebted to Matt Clarke for a couple of good early saves. Both teams were playing some neat and attractive football, with some very good passing segments, but the finishing was not living up to the standard of approach play.

As half time approached, Palace new boy Andy Johnson tangled with Preston's Michael Jackson, and had to be stretchered from the field after treatment from George Cooper, with what appeared to be a neck injury.

Shortly after half time, Preston's Eric Skora was sent off for a second yellow card when he pulled Tommy Black's shirt, after the Palace winger had broken through. Despite being a player down, it was Preston who took the lead, when a long free kick was flicked on for ex Palace trialist Ricardo Fuller to beat Clarke with a cross shot come lob from 10 yards.

Palace hit back almost immediately when Darren Powell stabbed the ball home from close range following a corner, and 20 minutes later Palace made the home side pay, when Kabba unleashed a tremendous shot into the roof of the net to ensure victory.

Manager Trevor Francis was thrilled with his team's victory against what he considers to be one of the best teams in the division.