Luton Town 1 - 1 Palace
Sat Jul 26 2003 - Friendly
Neil Shipperley scored his second pre-season goal against LUTON Town, but Palace ended up with a 1-1 draw.
Ground: Kenilworth Road (Attendance: 2968)
Luton Town: Unknown
Palace: Clarke, Butterfield, Popovic, Freedman, Derry, Shipperley, Riihilahti, Black, Borrowdale, Powell, Hughes.
The game against LUTON Town on Saturday was the Eagles' third pre-season friendly, and Steve Kember
picked a side almost identical to one that started against Whyteleafe on Wednesday night - the only change was Darren Powell
, replacing Kit Symons
New LUTON Town boss Mike Newell, would have been pleased with the start that his side made, after they forced Matt Clarke
into action early on.
Matthew Spring had a shot on four minutes which was saved well by Clarke, and he had a another chance later on which went wide of the mark.
Palace's first chance of the game came on 21 minutes when Tony Popovic
received the ball from a Tommy Black
corner, but saw his chance blocked.
Black had a chance himself, after linking up well with Dougie Freedman
, but his shot went over the bar. On 38 minutes, Black had another chance. He received the ball from Danny Butterfield
and released a stinging shot which was well saved by LUTON's keeper Nathan Abbey.
On the stroke of half-time Clarke was called into action again, this time saving well from Paul Hughes.
Kember made a few changes at the break to give more of the squad a run-out. Wayne Routledge
replaced Black, Andy Johnson
came on for Freedman, Symons for Riihilahti and Cedric Berthelin
Berthelin, who will act as unstudy for Clarke for the coming season, was involved early on in the second half, saving well from Tony Thorpe and Kevin Nicholls.
On 58 minutes, Shipperley had a good effort after he met a cross from Johnson, but Abbey saved.
On the hour mark, Ben Watson
replaced Michael Hughes
in midfield, like he did on Wednesday night. Shortly after, Shaun Derry
had a shot which went just wide and then Johnson hit the post. But just as Palace were being frustrated in front of goal, the breakthrough happened.
Black returned to the field of play, after Gary Borrowdale
was injured, and floated a freekick into the opposition's box which was met by Shipperley with a neat header to give Palace the lead.
However Palace could not hold on the lead for long - Steven Howard forced Berthelin into a fingertip save which forced a corner for the Hatters. Howard was there again from the resulting corner to score in the 77th minute.
Palace failed to muster anymore chances for the rest of the game, and it ended all square. The Eagles now have two more pre-season friendlies against PSV and Chelsea before the new season, and they must step up several gears if they stand any chance against what will be quality opposition.
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