Swansea City made it three away wins on the bounce following a comfortable 3-0 success at Crystal Palace.
The visitors consolidated their third-placed spot in the Championship standings and prepared for next week's south Wales derby in the best possible way.
Scott Sinclair scored his 11th goal of the season with just six minutes played but Palace did press for a leveller before Darren Pratley added a second 20 minutes from time.
Joe Allen wrapped things up with a third 10 minutes later but a successful afternoon in south London ended with Pratley picking up his fifth booking of the season - ruling him out of the Cardiff game.
wrote himself into the Swansea City history books when he started at Crystal Palace.
The defender clocked up his 106th consecutive league appearance for the club to go level with Andy Legg and Gilbert Beech.
He slotted straight into the team in place of the injured Albert Serran
(grade one thigh tear - back in two weeks) and suspended skipper Garry Monk
Overall there were six changes with Dorus de Vries
, Andrea Orlandi
, Nathan Dyer
, ex-Eagle Scott Sinclair
and Joe Allen
also joining Williams in the starting line-up.
There was also some good news surrounding the fitness of Kemy Agustien
. The midfielder limped out of Tuesday's loss at Wigan with a knee injury, but a scan revealed no serious problem and he will re-start training next week.Palace:
Julian Speroni, Nathaniel Clyne, David Wright, Patrick McCarthy (C)
, Adam Barrett, James Vaughan, Owen Garvan (Jonathan Obika, 33'), Andrew Dorman, Wilfried Zaha, Edgar Davids (Alassane N'Diaye, 81'), Kieran Djilali (Darren Ambrose, 60').Not Used:
Lewis Price (GK), Calvin Andrew, Julian Bennett, Pablo Counago.Swans:Dorus de Vries
; Angel Rangel
, Alan Tate(C)
, Ashley Williams
, Neil Taylor
; Joe Allen
, Andrea Orlandi
, 81'), Darren Pratley
, Nathan Dyer
, Scott Sinclair
; Marvin Emnes (Stephen Dobbie
, 64').Subs:Yves Makabu-Makalambay
(GK), David Cotterill
, Craig Beattie
, Scott Donnelly
, Joe Walsh, Daniel Alfei.Referee:
F Graham (Essex)
Crystal Palace were staging their Family Day on a pleasant afternoon at Selhurst Park but the Swans were in town to make sure that it wouldn't be a day for the Eagles faithful to remember.
The home side were able to call upon Edgar Davids in the centre of the park but it was the Swans wingers either side of the former Dutch star, Nathan Dyer
and Scott Sinclair
, who almost made early headlines in the sunshine.
Dyer was sent racing down the right from Rangel's through ball in the second minutes and played a dangerous ball across the face of Julian Speroni, Sinclair was racing in at the back post but Nathaniel Clyne was at hand to clear.
But with Sinclair
making his return to a former club something was bound to happen - and with just six minutes played he silenced the Palace crowd with the opener.Andrea Orlandi
's quick free-kick picked out the unmarked Rangel down the right, his cross deflected off the hand of Davids - the referee's assistant flagging to award a penalty - but the referee played advantage as Sinclair poked home at the rear stick.
The visitors were looking comfortable and were handed the opportunity to seek out a second as Marvin Emnes was denied a shot in the area, while Palace's first opportunity came 15 minutes when Adam Barrett was just off target from distance.
Young winger Kieran Djiali linked up with David Wright minutes later but fired wide, while Dorus de Vries
was tested for the first time when collecting Winfried Zaha's weak strike just before the half-hour.
One-time Swns target James Vaughan, on loan at Palace from Everton, had an ever greater chance when he had de Vries stretching to collect the striker's well struck free-kick during the Eagles' best spell of the half.
Dyer capped off a run towards goal with a shot which Speroni did well to claim low to his left while Neil Taylor
saw an attempt blocked by fellow Wales international Andy Dorman just before the break.Half-Time:
Crystal Palace 0 Swans 1
The home side were looking to go for it at the start of the second-half and had two great chances to level through Djilali - the first a shot from the edge of the area easily dealt with by de Vries, while barely a minute had passed when the winger played a neat one-two with Vaughan but sliced his shot with the outside of his boot.Joe Allen
had the visitors' first chance of note when he shot just wide on 58 minutes while substitute Darren Ambrose was close to getting on the end of Vaughan's flick minutes later as George Burley's side continued to seek for a leveller.
Palace continued to press but Nathan Dyer
came agonizinly close to making it 2-0 with 20 minutes to go when he forced Julian Speroni into tipping over the bar.
That came after Andrea Orlandi
's corner was cleared to the edge of the area but the midfielder's next delivery was a better one - stand-in captain Alan Tate
getting the slightest of flicks and Darren Pratley
completing the set-piece by finding the net from close-range.
The Swans were in cruise control at this point, and to cap off a fine afternoon for the midfield a third goal was added 10 minutes before the end. This time it was Joe Allen
who found the net with a well struck shot into the bottom corner from Dyer's cross.
But with just a week before the big south Wales derby a massive blow was struck when Pratley picked up his fifth booking of the campaign, ruling him out of the clash at Cardiff City Stadium.
The visitors continued to stride forward to try and find a fourth but 3-0 was the way it finished, keeping the Swans in third place.