Crystal Palace 0, Norwich City 0

Norwich City moved into second place in the Championship by taking a point from their rearranged game against struggling Crystal Palace.

It was hardly a classic for nearly 2,700 travelling City fans on a bitterly cold afternoon in South London, but the draw extended their unbeaten run away from home stretching back to the end of October and pushed them into the automatic promotion places.

A curling shot from Wes Hoolahan, tipped over by goalkeeper Julian Speroni in the ninth minute, was as close as the Canaries came to finding the net, though skipper Grant Holt blazed over from a useful opportunity in the closing stages.

City were grateful to goalkeeper John Ruddy in the second half for important saves from Sean Scannell, Neil Danns and substitute Wilfried Zaha.

A point took Palace out of the bottom three and City have still not beaten them on their own ground since 1996.

Paul Lambert's men are still five points behind leaders Queens Park Rangers, who drew 0-0 at Hull.

There was one change to the City starting line-up from the 2-1 win at Sheffield United. Henri Lansbury, whose loan from Arsenal has been extended to the end of the season, replaced Simeon Jackson.

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Jackson was named among the substitutes, who also included Elliott Ward, out with a calf injury since before Christmas.

Michael Nelson and Anthony McNamee were the players omitted from the previous week's 18.

Palace made three changes from the 0-0 draw at home to Bristol City, manager Dougie Freedman including striker James Vaughan, back at Selhurst Park from Everton on loan for the rest of the season, and giving defender Matt Parsons his first start. There was also a recall for Scannell.

Wilfried Zaha, Jermaine Easter and Pablo Counago were relegated to the bench.

Goalkeeper Speroni was making his 200th appearance for Palace.

Parsons was soon into the action, forcing his way into the Norwich area and delivering a cross that Barnett had to head clear.

After two minutes, Lansbury glanced a header just over the bar from Russell Martin's cross, then Crofts was just off target with another header.

A foul by Whitbread on Scannell gave Palace a free-kick midway into the Norwich half, but Ambrose stepped up to send a right-foot shot well wide.

In the ninth minute Hoolahan was close to giving City the lead when Russell Martin's cross was cleared straight to him and he curled in a left-foot shot that Speroni tipped over the top.

There was an escape for City when Scannell got away from Drury on the Palace right but Vaughan, sliding in, was just unable to make contact with his low cross.

Danns then brought Ruddy into action with a shot that took a slight deflection but did not unduly trouble the 'keeper.

With 19 minutes gone, a corner by Hoolahan reached Whitbread at the far post but the defender was adjudged to have fouled Speroni.

Vaughan was unable to make clean contact with a Danns cross as Palace hit back, but there was a delay while Gardner needed treatment after being caught by Lansbury on halfway.

It was generally a scrappy affair but Palace might have gone ahead in the 29th minute when McCarthy planted a free header just wide from Ambrose's free-kick.

The first yellow card of the afternoon went to Vaughan in the 32nd minute and he may have been fortunate as Drury was knocked to the ground by what looked like an elbow. City players protested but referee McDermid settled for a booking.

Vaughan was off target with a curling effort soon afterwards after gathering Scannell's diagonal pass.

Six minutes before the break, Crofts got in a header after Hoolahan's cross posed problems, but there was no power in his effort.

Marrow sliced a shot horribly wide as Palace pushed forward again.

Lansbury was nearly as far off target with a long-range shot at the other end.

• HALF-TIME: Crystal Palace 0, Norwich City 0

Soon after the restart, Barnett got in an important header to clear Scannell's cross after the Palace man got the better of Whitbread.

Lansbury volleyed wide as the Canaries replied, Martin's cross dropping to him on the edge of the area.

Seven minutes after the break, a poor pass by Fox had City in trouble when Vaughan intercepted but Whitbread did well to block the striker's shot. Still the danger was not clear and Ruddy had to dive out to cut out Scannell's cross.

Barnett came to the rescue again when Ruddy was able only to parry a cross by Vaughan but the defender just got his head to the ball to stop Scannell following up.

Scannell brought the contest to life in the 59th minute with a powerful drive that Ruddy was able to parry.

City hit back and a snapshot from Crofts was turned wide for a corner, Holt heading over from Fox's kick.

Lambert made a double change with half an hour left, Tierney making his debut in place of Drury and Jackson replacing Fox.

For Palace, Zaha replaced Scannell midway through the half.

City were caught on the counter-attack from one of their own corners when Ambrose burst clear past Hoolahan and found Danns with a low cross, but Ruddy was right behind the midfielder's shot.

A miskick by Ruddy from a backpass almost landed City in trouble, but when Ambrose retrieved the ball, he hooked a poor shot wide.

Wilbraham was sent on for Chris Martin with 15 minutes left as Lambert made his final change.

A bad tackle by Marrow on Tierney sparked angry exchanges between opposing players, but when things calmed down, the only player booked was Crofts.

Lansbury's shot through a crowd of players brought Speroni into action but there had been few clear-cut chances in the second period for City.

With 10 minutes left, Ruddy made a fine save to keep out Zaha's shot after the substitute got the better of Tierney on the edge of the Norwich area.

Vaughan sliced a shot wide moments later when he might have done better.

Seven minutes from time, a wild effort from Holt that cleared the bar by a distance summed up City's afternoon in front of goal.

Marrow was booked with just over a minute left for kicking the ball away.

Ambrose wasted a free-kick by curling it well wide in the final minute after Jackson had fouled Parsons.

A foul by Gardner on Jackson gave City a free-kick on the edge of the Palace area in the first of three additional minutes, but Lansbury's shot struck team-mate Jackson.

• RESULT: Crystal Palace 0, Norwich City 0

• Crystal Palace: Speroni, Clyne, McCarthy, Gardner, Parsons; Marrow, Wright; Scannel, Danns, Ambrose; Vaughan. Subs: Price, Barrett, Iversen, Garvan, Zaha (for Scannell, 67), Easter, Counago.

• Norwich City: Ruddy; Russell Martin, Barnett, Whitbread, Drury; Fox; Crofts, Hoolahan; Lansbury; Holt, Chris Martin. Subs: Steer, Ward, Tierney (for Drury, 61), Korey Smith, Lappin, Jackson (for Fox, 61), Wilbraham (for Chris Martin, 75).

• Referee: Danny McDermid (Hampshire)

• Attendance: 16,327 (2,696 visitors)

• Bookings: Palace: Vaughan (32), Marrow (89). City: Crofts (77)

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