Crystal Palace 3 - 2 Peterborough United

Match info: Championship at Selhurst Park

Date: 04/05/2013 KO: 12:45 Ref: C Pawson Att: 22,154

Home team/scorers Scores Away team/scorers

C Palace

Glenn Murray 45+2 (pen)
Kevin Phillips 83
Mile Jedinak 89



Lee Tomlin 28
Nathaniel Mendez-Laing 63

FT (ht: 1-1)

Peterborough are relegated

  • Last Updated: May 4 2013, 17:43 BST

Post-match reaction to Crystal Palace's 3-2 victory over Peterborough.

Darren Ferguson: Left stunned following relegation
Darren Ferguson: Left stunned following relegation

A stunned Darren Ferguson admitted he was struggling to come to terms with Peterborough United's relegation with a record number of points after Mile Jedinak's last-minute header at Selhurst Park consigned them to League One next season.

Palace trailed 2-1 with seven minutes remaining and were in real danger of missing out on a play-off spot before an equaliser from substitute Kevin Phillips and Jedinak's header from Stephen Dobbie's freekick saved them and broke Posh hearts.

The late double strike gave Palace a 3-2 win and means they will now face bitter rivals Brighton in the two-legged play-off semi-final.

For Ferguson, it was a bitter pill to swallow as Barnsley's point at Huddersfield saw Posh drop into the third tier after two seasons in the Championship despite finishing with 54 points.

"It's difficult to explain how we feel as a group," said Ferguson.

"It couldn't have gone any closer.

"The only person you don't want the ball to fall to is Kevin Phillips because he's a born goalscorer.

"At 2-1 there only looked like one winner. To lose the goal we did - you need luck in this game and we just haven't had the luck today.

"Someone has to suffer and unfortunately it's us today. I'm just devastated for my chairman and for my players."

On an afternoon that was always going to be a nerve-wracking experience for both sets of players, Palace should have taken the lead in the 12th minute when Damien Delaney's header was saved by Bobby Olejnik and Glenn Murray's rebound was deflected just over.

Posh made them pay for that profligacy in the 28th minute when Lee Tomlin's solo run ended with the striker slamming past Julian Speroni from the edge of the box.

Palace were handed a lifeline on the stroke of half-time when Gabriel Zakuani brought down Delaney in the box and Murray stroked home his 30th league goal of the season and first in two months.

The hosts looked the more likely to score after the break but it Posh who got their noses in front in the 63rd minute as Nathaniel Mendez-Laing beat Speroni from distance.

With Palace needing a point to make sure of a top six finish, manager Ian Holloway threw on 39-year-old Kevin Phillips and the gamble paid off as he finished superbly with seven minutes remaining to equalise.

At that stage, a point would have been enough to save Posh but Jedinak's header ended a nine-match run without a win for Palace as they prepare to meet bitter rivals Brighton in the first leg of the play-off semi-final on Friday night.

"The way that game went is about as ridiculous as the last few weeks have been," said Holloway.

"What I'm finding out really quickly about this group is the confidence they have.

"We got back into the game twice when we needed to after we had got ourselves into a pickle and it worked.

"Kevin Phillips has been doing that all his career and hopefully he can help us. We've come through it now and I think we'll be stronger for that against Brighton.

"I'm not celebrating because now we have to come up with a good performance to get past our arch-rivals."

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