DEADLOCKED: Crystal Palace 1 Doncaster Rovers 1

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SUBSTITUTE Chris Brown rescued a point for Rovers on a frustrating night against Crystal Palace but it was not enough to prevent them from slumping to the foot of the table.

Dean Saunders’ side had much the better of the chances throughout but failed to convert.

And they found themselves behind to Jermaine Easter’s 57th minute strike.

The lively Wilfried Zaha pounced as John Oster dawdled in possession on the edge of the area, robbing the ball, charging to the byline and squaring to Easter who tapped home at the second attempt.

Four minutes after coming off the bench Brown lashed home from close range at the near post after El Hadji Diouf’s cross was tossed around the area, setting up a tense last 14 minutes.

But try as they might, Rovers could not get the ball in the back of the net again, echoing the frustrating pattern of the game.

Frederic Piquionne missed two excellent chances for Rovers in the first half, powering a header wide from a Simon Gillett cross and poking a shot which rebounded off the post.

It was a confident performance from Rovers with Fabien Robert making an impressively lively full debut and causing plenty of headaches for Palace.

Robert should have put Rovers ahead in the first half but could not turn Piquionne’s well-placed cut back on target.

Towards the end, Giles Barnes, Diouf and Piquionne all went close with long range efforts but Julian Speroni was never troubled too much.

Victory for Portsmouth over Hull ensured Rovers slipped to the foot of the Championship, four points from safety with seven games remaining.

Palace: Speroni, Clyne, McCarthy, Dikgacoi, Zaha, Easter, Williams, Moxey, O’Keefe, McShane (Gardner 6, Murray 24), Martin.

Subs: Price, Ambrose, Pedroza.

Rovers: Ikeme, Chimbonda (Friend 36), Beye, Lockwood, Ilunga, Diouf, Gillett, Keegan (Barnes 77), Oster, Robert (Brown 77), Piquionne.

Subs: Bennett, Coppinger.

Referee: Darren Deadman

Att: 13,401 (268)