* Newcastle beat Crystal Palace 1-0 at St James’s Park
* Mikel Merino headed in 86th-minute winner
* Palace still only Premier League side yet to keep a clean sheet
* Former Newcastle forward Townsend was lucky not to be sent off
* Palace next at home to West Ham; Newcastle at Burnley
Oct 21 (Reuters) - A late header by substitute Mikel Merino gave Newcastle a 1-0 home win over bottom team Crystal Palace in a scrappy Premier League clash at St James’s Park on Saturday.
Merino made a run into the box and powered home an inviting Matt Ritchie corner to settle a scrappy game littered with fouls and there were few chances at either end.
Palace were left the only Premier League side yet to keep a clean sheet this season and lost by the same score when the two sides last met in the top flight in 2016, when their forward Andros Townsend scored for his former club.
This time round, Townsend was jeered Newcastle fans in an ill-tempered match and was lucky to escape with only a yellow card for a reckless tackle on Newcastle’s DeAndre Yeldin. (Writing by Zoran Milosavljevic,; Editing by Ed Osmond)