Palace 4-2 Hull City: Super Kev bags super hat-trick in emphatic Eagles win
CRYSTAL Palace bagged an emphatic 4-2 victory over fellow promotion hopefuls Hull City this evening.
Kevin Phillips was the star of the show with a superb hat-trick, while Wilfried Zaha made sure of the points with a late fourth after Tigers substitute Jay Simpson had pulled a goal back.
Even a late header by Alex Bruce to make 4-2 wasn't enough to put a dampener on a thoroughly deserved victory.
The win lifts Palace onto 64 points, just one behind Hull in third place, while Watford move back into second after a 2-1 win over Sheffield Wednesday.
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The Eagles had the first real chance of the game when Jacob Butterfield delivered a free-kick in from the left, Hull goalkeeper David Stockdale fumbled, and Peter Ramage saw a shot cleared off the line on the turn from 12-yards.
The ball eventually fell into the path of Kevin Phillips but his close range effort was well blocked at the last second.
Hull battled back with a number of corners in quick succession, but failed to trouble goalkeeper Julian Speroni, who made a couple of well-taken claims.
Stockdale then managed to claw away a cross-shot by Wilfried Zaha before the winger's low cross caused confusion in defence with Glenn Murray lurking.
Midway through the first half, a Palace free-kick was only cleared away to Jonny Williams just outside the danger area, before he let fly with a dipping volley which flew yards wide.
And Williams was to have the next say in the match when won Palace a penalty on the half-hour mark.
Moxey played a ball into the youngster on the left side of the box but he dummied the ball past his marker, who bundled him over for a clear spot-kick.
Up stepped penalty king Murray, but he saw his ferocious shot superbly saved by Stockdale down to his right.
Murray had a good chance before the break when he got around the back of his marker inside the box, but his first touch ten yards out let him down unfortunately.
But on the stroke of half-time, Palace took a deserved lead thanks to another chance from the penalty spot.
Murray's shot inside the box seemed to hit the hand of a Hull defender, and after consultating his assistant, the referee awarded another spot-kick.
This time, Phillips stepped up and Stockdale got a hand to his effort down the middle, but luckily the ball bounced down and into the corner.
However, it got even better for the 39-year-old in the second-half when he grabbed a further two goals in quick succession to complete a stunning hat-trick in front of the Holmesdale Stand.
The second goal came when Zaha cut the ball across the danger area, Murray let the ball roll past him and Phillips scuffed a shot into the bottom corner.
But the third was stunning. Picking the ball up from 25-yards out, he steadied himself and angled a looping shot via a slight deflection over Stockdale to send Selhurst Park crazy.
What a player. And what a signing. Can he play on for a few more years please?
Zaha nearly created a fourth soon after when he bamboozled Robbie Brady on the right side of the box and it looked as if the defender had tripped the winger, but the referee decided to give a goal kick instead.
Hull pulled a goal back on 73 minutes when substitute Jay Simpson sent a looping header over Speroni from Ahmed Elmohamady's cross, before Yannick Bolasie replaced goal hero Phillips.
However, Zaha made sure of the three points when he made it 4-1 minutes later after racing onto a ball down the right before cutting inside and angling a shot past Stockdale.
Alex Bruce got another goal back in added-on time when he headed in, while further slack defending nearly made it 4-3 at the death, but Palace held on when they went up the pitch and won a free-kick by the corner flag.
And then the referee blew the full-time whistle.
Palace: Speroni, Dikgacoi, Ramage, Delaney, Moxey, Jedinak, Butterfield (Dobbie 78), Zaha, Phillips (Bolasie 74), Williams (Parr 65), Murray.
Subs Not Used: Price, Dobbie, Marrow, Wilbraham, Moritz.
By Croydon Advertiser Sports Reporter Mark Ritson