Crystal Palace 0 West Bromwich Albion 2
By Graham Winbury
Diomansy Kamara scored his fifth goal in three games to set West Bromwich Albion up for their third successive victory.
The Baggies might have been in a state of flux - Nigel Pearson standing down before the game with Tony Mowbray yet to take over - but they still managed to put Crystal Palace to the sword with a polished and confident display.
Led for the evening by reserve team manager Craig Shakespeare, Albion dominated against a sorry Palace side and should have wrapped the game up long before Zoltan Gera opened the scoring just before the interval.
Kamara secured all three points when he latched on star man Jason Koumas' second-half ball but not before the Baggies had missed a host of chances either side of the break.
Palace simply lacked ideas, energy and confidence in front of their furious home supporters, who jeered at half-time and at the final whistle.
Gera almost scored one of the goals of the season on five minutes when he collected a chipped crossfield ball in his stride, spotted Gabor Kiraly off his line and executed the perfect volley. Only his Hungarian international team-mate's reactions denied Gera from a certain goal.
The Baggies continued to dominate early on but all too often their confident swagger was ruined by a misplaced final ball. Even so the energy in Albion's play was causing Palace's back line too many problems during the early exchanges.
Their frustrations boiled over in the 19th minute when Mark Hudson brought Jason Koumas crashing down as the Welshman tried to instigate a quick counter attack. Hudson's team-mate James Scowcroft soon followed into Brentwood official Ray Lee's book following poor challenge on Darren Carter.
But it wasn't all Albion with Chris Perry coming to Albion's rescue at the other end when he headed clear Borrowdale's 25th minute cross as he came under pressure himself from Scowcroft.
Order was restored two minutes later when Kiraly was again at full stretch to deny Curtis Davies from Martin Albrechtsen's cross. From the resulting corner Kamara's goal-bound header was cleared off the line by Ben Watson.
Palace's defence were again dozing when both Robinson and Ellington missed great opportunities from headers just after the half-hour mark.
Shakespeare's men only had themselves to blame for not being at least three or four goals up by the break.
Instead they had to settle for just the one. Koumas picked out Gera's tremendous run from midfield to send in a low cross from the right-wing to give the former Ferencvaros midfielder the simplest of chances from close range.
Koumas was again the architect for Albion's second when he slid in the perfect pass for Kamara. The Senegal international was perhaps a little surprised to find himself given a free run on goal with Palace's Kiraly making the wrong choice to stick to his goal and not narrow the angle allowing the Albion forward to slot in his fifth goal in three games.
Koumas himself should have scored the third but skied his shot wide from long range. And Ellington should have punished Palace further in the 53rd minute when he failed to capitalise on Kiraly's hesitancy following a poor defensive back-pass, the Palace goalkeeper doing just enough to keep hold of the ball.
The home side should have pulled one back in the 55th minute when Leon Cort sent his header wide.
Palace showed brief flickers of life as Stuart Green's late snap-shot which struck the post, but in reality Albion won at a canter.