Norwich City 1, Crystal Palace 2

Norwich City slipped to their third home defeat of the season as struggling Crystal Palace struck twice in the space of seven second-half minutes.

The Canaries led at the interval thanks to skipper Grant Holt's fifth goal of the season, which came two minutes before the break when he tucked home Simon Lappin's cross.

But Palace levelled after 56 minutes when Julian Bennett headed home from an Owen Garvan cross, and it was 2-1 after 63 minutes when defender Antony Gardner headed home from a corner at the near post.

After a reasonable first-half display, when Simeon Jackson also struck the bar and Simon Lappin had a shot cleared off the line, City were a shadow of their usual selves after the break and but for two fine saves from goalkeeper John Ruddy, the damage could have been worse.

City showed two changes from the team that started Saturday's goalless draw at leaders Queens Park Rangers.

With centre-back Elliott Ward suspended for one match, Danish defender Jens Berthel Askou started a league match for the first time this season.

And Steven Smith started a home match for the first time at left-back with Adam Drury ruled out by a calf injury.

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Youth team captain Matt Ball was named among the seven substitutes, the 17-year-old getting his first involvement in a competitive senior match.

Palace, second from bottom without a win in five matches, included former Dutch international midfielder Edgar Davids in their line-up, and welcomed back on-loan Everton striker James Vaughan after a three-match ban.

Vaughan had the first shot at goal for Palace after four minutes but his long-range effort was well over the top.

City were desperately close to taking the lead in the seventh minute when excellent work by Hoolahan put Jackson into a shooting position on the left side of the penalty area and his left-foot shot struck the crossbar with Speroni beaten.

Speroni had to dash out moments later to hammer clear before Jackson could pounce on Gardner's poor backpass.

As Palace pushed forward, Davids' cross was cleared as far as Garvan, who whistled a left-foot shot just past the post.

Barnett headed over from a Lappin corner, won by Holt's persistence.

A foul by McCarthy on Jackson gave City a free-kick midway into the Palace half, Barnett getting his head to Lappin's kick but Speroni collecting comfortably.

Zaha very nearly put Palace ahead in the 20th minute when Dorman's pass sent him clear but he fired across the face of the goal.

Korey Smith managed to squeeze a shot in from the edge of the area after some neat passing along the edge of the Palace area, but it lacked power and Speroni was right behind it.

Six minutes before the break, Lappin almost scored his first goal for more than three years. His corner found the head of Barnett but the ball drifted back to Lappin, who struck a swerving left-foot shot that was cleared off the line by Davids.

The breakthrough came two minutes before the break when skipper Holt scored his fifth goal of the season.

Lappin's cross from the left took a slight deflection and Holt arrived at the near post to sidefoot home.

Ruddy made a fine save from Zaha one minute before the interval to preserve City's advantage.

• HALF-TIME: Norwich City 1, Crystal Palace 0

Three minutes after the restart, Dorman blazed over the top from a useful shooting chance.

Davids was withdrawn by Palace boss Burley eight minutes after the break, to be replaced by Djilali.

Palace drew level in the 56th minute when Garvan's cross beyond the far post was headed across goal by Bennett and inside the far post.

Two minutes later, it was almost 2-1 when a determined run by Clyne took him into the Norwich area, where Dorman struck a shot on the turn that Ruddy had to claw away.

With 63 minutes gone, Palace did take the lead when Gardner headed home. Garvan's inswinging corner to the near post reached Gardner, who managed to get between Askou and Russell Martin to head past Ruddy.

Ruddy had to race out to clear from the feet of Vaughan and the chasing Askou as Palace threatened a third.

With 20 minutes left, there was a flicker of a chance for City when Holt nodded back Korey Smith's cross but Jackson, following up, headed wide.

Chris Martin replaced Lappin and flicked on a Hoolahan corner at the near post, but Palace were able to clear.

Holt then created space for a shot when he cut in from the right but fired left-footed over the top.

McNamee replaced Hoolahan and, with just over 10 minutes left, curled a long-range effort just over the top. It was as close as City had come in the second half.

Johnson replaced Askou with three minutes left.

Ruddy made another fine save from Vaughan as the seconds ticked away to prevent further damage.

Palace sent Counago on for Vaughan in stoppage time.

• RESULT: Norwich City 1, Crystal Palace 2

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