DANNY Granville scored his third goal of the season 11 minutes from time to earn Palace a draw against a stubborn Wigan Athletic side on Saturday.

Both teams played a cagey first half with chances few and far between. In the early stages Wigan's Jimmy Bullard curled an effort which went just past Nico Vaesen's goal.

Neil Shipperley, back from injury, soon went close almost connecting with a header from Andy Johnson's cross. Tony Popovic also had a good chance with a clean header but that went wide of the mark.

Paul Jewell, Wigan's manager, was forced to change his side on the half-hour, when Leighton Baines limped off, Paul Mitchell replacing him.

In injury time at the end of the first half, Wigan punished Palace through Nathan Ellington. He controlled the ball just outside the 18 yard box, turned and hit a shot which took a wicked deflection and looped over Vaesen's head into the net.

Palace came out in the second half determined to put the unlucky goal behind them. Mark Hudson, playing in what will probably be his last game for Palace, came close with a volley after Wigan failed to clear.

Aki Riihilahti was replaced by Shaun Derry on the hour. Soon after, Palace came their closest to equalising. Johnson found space inside the box, and his shot looked destined for the goal, but rebounded off the far post, and along the goal-line to safety.

Iain Dowie took a gamble soon after, and replaced Danny Butterfield with Dougie Freedman, to make up a three-man attack with Shipperley and Johnson.

The switch paid off, and Palace did not have to wait too long before they finally got the goal they were after.

On 79 minutes, Granville scored with a header from close range. The goal spurred Palace on, but they could not conjure up another goal before the final whistle.

In injury time Jason Roberts was sent off after clashing with Popovic, shortly followed by Jason Jarrett who was sent off for a second bookable offence when he clipped Freedman's heels.

The draw means that Palace's game against Sunderland tonight (Wednesday), is really a must-win match to have any chance of making the play-off places come May.

Dowie says he is determined to push all the teams above Palace in search of that all-important play-off place.

He said: "I don't look at other results because I can't do anything about them but we'll keep pushing to make the top six.

"If I could I'd try and affect the other games, but unfortunately it is not one of my powers."

Palace travel to Crewe Alexander on Saturday, kick-off 3pm.