herita ilunga goes past wilfred zaha
herita ilunga goes past wilfred zaha
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DONCASTER Rovers earned a draw at Selhurst Park but it wasn’t enough to prevent them from falling to the foot of the Championship.

Chris Brown came off the subs bench to level for Rovers after Jermaine Easter had given Crystal Palace a 57th minute lead.

But with Portsmouth beating Hull City at home it meant that Rovers will have to cosole themselves with gaining a point on their other fellow strugglers.

Dean Saunders made two changes to the Rovers team from their defeat at Southampton on Saturday. Out went James Coppinger and Giles Barnes and in came Fabien Robert and Paul Keegan, who made his first start of the season.

Rovers were first to threaten with Robert forcing Julian Speroni into a smart save.

And Palace had to bring on Anthony Gardner for Paul McShane after six minutes as the home team struggled to make an impact.

Frederic Piquoionne nearly broke the deadlock for Doncaster on 19 minutes but his right foot shot came back off the post.

Palace’s bad luck continued minutes later when substitute Gardner had to come off for Glenn Murray.

And, with not much to talk about on the pitch, it was Pascal Chimbonda being taken off for George Friend that was the next noteworthy moment.

Friend was called into action five minutes before half time to block a Wilfried Zaha shot.

Just before the interval Carl Ikeme had to be sharp to save from Murray.

An early chance in the second half for Friend went over the bar and Rovers were made to pay when Jermaine Easter opened the scoring on 57 minutes. Easter scored from close range after good work by young prospect Zaha.

It looked as though Rovers were slipping to their fourth consecutive defeat but a double substitution by Saunders on 72 minutes changed their fortunes. Off went Robert and Keegan and on came Barnes and Chris Brown.

It was Brown who scored the equaliser four minutes later as he got on the end of a cross by Beye inside the six-yard box.

Both sides pushed for a winner in a frantic last 15 minutes. Beye had a shot saved by Speroni while El-Hadji Diouf had an effort charged down by Kagisho Dikgacoi.

Palace too could have snatched it with Ilunga doing well to prevent Zaha from scoring in injury time.

PALACE: Speroni, Clyne, McCarthy, Moxey, McShane, Dikgacoi, Zaha, Williams, O’Keefe, Easter, C Martin. Subs: Price, Gardner, Ambrose, Murray, Pedroza.

ROVERS: Ikeme, Lockwood, Ilunga, Chimbonda, Beye, Oster, Gillett, Robert, Keegan, Diouf, Piquionne. Subs: Friend, Barnes, Coppinger, Brown, Bennett.

Referee: Darren Deadman (Cambridgeshire)