Goals from Scott Allen and Greg Halford earned Portsmouth a vital win against Palace as they try to avoid the drop.
For the second season in a row Palace played very well at Fratton park but couldn't convert a host of chances, a second half Darren Ambrose penalty their only successful attempt.
The Eagles lined up in an unfamiliar 4-4-2 with Antonio Pedroza partnering Chris Martin up top, and played some exciting football creating plenty of chances - the first of which was struck from distance by the young Anglo-Mexican on his full league debut, but Jamie Ashdown in the Pompey goal was equal to it.
Pedroza then spurned was was the best Palace chance of the half when he chipped over with his left foot after being put through by Martin.
It was then the home side's turn to go on the attack with Luke Varney clipping the Palace post just before Scott Allan gave them the lead on the half hour mark. Allan struck the ball from outside the box and it looked to be going wide, but a wicked deflection off of Nathaniel Clyne saw the ball sail by the wrong-footed Speroni and into the Eagles' net.
Palace came out fighting after the break and Pedroza's movement was vital in almost securing us an equalising goal, his shot bouncing back off the post from close range and Wilfried Zaha's follow up hitting the side netting.
Portsmouth doubled their lead ten minutes into the second half courtesy of a diving Greg Halford header unmarked at the back post.
Zaha won Palace a penalty late in the game after he was brought down in the box by Varney and Ambrose stepped up to convert. It was too little too late, but the Eagles can be pleased with their performance and the attacking intent behind it.
Eagles boss Dougie Freedman praised Palace's performance post match despite the result. He said:
"We didn't take our chances. I thought our performance was fantastic pretty much from start to finish. I cannot criticise the players' work rate. We had a game plan that was working well but we couldn't quite take our opportunities. Looking forward we have some exciting youngsters who did well tonight and will only get better with experience this game will have given them.
"It was a night where we played some fantastic football, the attacking side of our game was great. We just couldn't quite get the goals I thought we deserved. It was a difficult result to take after looking at our performance.
"I am a manager who doesn't just look at results but I take a lot from the manner of performances and even with players missing through injury I can see that this squad is going in the right direction. With one or two additions in the summer we will not be far away and I am sure we can move this club to the next level. I am not interested in dreamers but trying to get people who are ready to take on board realistic ambitions and we can all go forward together making sure we can fulfill our ambitions. Anyone who has seen us play recently can see there are postives to take from the games and there is plenty for supporters of Crystal Palace to look forward to."
"I have been in this position having points deducted when I was assistant to Paul Hart but he did a great job and saw us through to safety. Portsmouth have a good spirit and a good young manager and I wish them well in remaining games."
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