Chris Iwelumo’s volley was enough to give City a crucial three points at Selhurst Park.
The on-loan Wolves striker fired a clinical 73rd minute volley on the turn to put some daylight between us and the relegation zone.
City made one change from the shambles against Doncaster on Saturday, Paul Hartley was restored at the expense of Danny Haynes to form a three-man midfield.
Bradley Orr, full of confidence from his weekend double against Donny, was the first to try his luck from distance on 7 minutes following good work from Iwelumo.
Louis Carey then survived a dubious claim for penalty before being allowed to maraude forward from the back and fire just wide from distance on 22.
It was a dire game in truth but City were showing up much better than they did against Donny, with Paul Hartley’s experience and leadership in the middle showing the way.
Iwelumo volleyed over whilst former City loanee Calvin Andrew registered Palace’s first shot on target with a defelcted effort that was easily dealt with by Gerken.
City were lucky to escape though moments after the restart as Darren Ambrose picked out Alan Lee who headed inches wide of the upright.
It was still a cagy affair on a cold Croydon night with Clint Hill blocking a Cole Skuse effort from just inside the box and Orr’s cross-shot being plucked out of the air by Julian Speroni in the Palace goal.
With the game looking destined for a goalless draw, the moment of magic the game so craved arrived on 73.
Liam Fontaine’s throw-in confused the Palace rearguard allowing Chris Iwelumo to turn sharply and volley over Speroni and into the back of the net.
Palace offered nothing in return as City wound the clock down to secure a league double over the cocky cockney’s and our first away win of 2010!
PALACE (4-4-2): Speroni, Clyne, Hill, Lawrence, Butterfield, Ambrose (Danns ’67), Derry, Carle (John ’81), Ertl, Andrew, Lee.
CITY (4-3-3): Gerken, Orr, Carey, Nyatanga, Fontaine, Hartley, Skuse, Johnson, Maynard (McAllister ’92), Campbell-Ryce, Iwelumo (Akinde ’86).
REFEREE: Mick Russell (Hertfordshire)
* Player ratings and reviews provided by Will Collins of Thornbury, South Gloucestershire.
Dean Gerken 6
Didn’t have a save to make but there was a marked improvement in his distribution.
Bradley Orr 7
Outstanding at the back for City tonight, made several interceptions and got forward to good effect.
Liam Fontiane 6
Quiet night for the defence but Fonts was more solid than of late.
Lewin Nyatanga 6
Strong in the tackle, and again much improved after Saturday.
Louis Carey 6
Very good performance after his and his fellow defenders` ‘mare on Saturday.
Cole Skuse 7
Him and Hartley linked up well, solid from Skusey.
Lee Johnson 6
Played out on the right and in the middle, retained possession well and made some good forward passes.
Paul Hartley 7
Really good performance from the Scot, played some lovely raking balls forward.
Jamal Campbell-Ryce 7
Beat his man a few times and put some dangerous balls in the box, also worked very hard.
Chris Iwelumo 7
Nicky Maynard 5
Service wasn`t great at times but when he did get the ball he did nothing with it. An off night.
Clearly bursting at the seams to get on but was ultimately brought on to give Iwelumo the ovation he deserved.
Brought on in stoppage time to run the clock down and nothing else.
GARY JOHNSON – 6/10
Swallowed his pride and brought back the talismanic Hartley in midfield and it worked, bolstering us defensively and going forward. Palace weren’t up to much though.
PAUL HART – 3/10
Has his work cut out on this showing. They had no sniff’s on goal really and looked a very poor side low on confidence. Thank God we played them at the right time though!
Win relieves the pressure…
Well, that was a turn up for the books wasn’t it?!
Nobody could’ve predicted City would’ve gone up to London and beaten Palace in their own back yard but that win really has relieved the pressure on us, especially with sides below us winning.
We now go to Reading and Plymouth over the next week and the pressure will be firmly back on them. Earn 2 points from those fixtures and it should guarantee our place in this league for another year.