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June 2 2023 8.16pm

Blackburn Rovers 2 - 0 Palace

Saturday August 12 2000 - League

PALACE got off to a terrible start to the season as Blackburn ran out 2-0 winners at Ewood Park, underlining their own credentials as promotion favourites.

New Palace boss Alan Smith admitted five minutes of madness before half-time cost Palace dear. Nathan Blake grabbed the first (41) and former Palace hero Matt Jansen came back to haunt his teammates with the second three minutes later.

It was a game where Palace rarely threatened and were lucky to escape a thrashing. Rovers hit the woodwork twice, had a goal disallowed and forced many saves out of Stuart Taylor in the Palace goal - making his debut on loan from Arsenal.

The Eagles could be forgiven for not knowing who each person was as six players made their debuts, with three of them having joined just two days before.

Midfielder Jamie Pollock, signed from Manchester City for 750,000, left-back Craig Harrison on loan from Middlesbrough. Taylor from Arsenal - added to youngsters Julian Gray, Tommy Black and hard man Neil Ruddock.

Post match comments

After the game, Smith said: "We suffered five minutes of madness and conceded two goals out of nothing to be honest. But after losing 5-1 to Crawley and 6-0 to Millwall, to come here and lose by only 2-0 borders on a miracle.

"We have a very young team, many of them have to be in bed by 9pm and considering all the circumstances there were some encouraging signs. The new signings did well but conceding two goals in three minutes finished us off."

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Match Stats

Ground: Ewood Park (Attendance: 18733)

Blackburn Rovers: Kelly, Curtis, Dailly, McAteer, Bjornebye, Short, Flitcroft, Dunn (Gillespie 76), Duff, Blake, Jansen.

Subs not used: Ward, Johnson, M. Taylor, Filan.

Booked: Duff

Goals: Blake 41, Jansen 44.

Palace: Taylor, Smith (Black 80), Fullarton, Austin, Zhiyi, Ruddock, Mullins, Morrison (Carlisle 75), Forssell, Pollock (Gray 78), Harrison.

Subs not used: Thomson, Hankin

Booked: Harrison, Pollock, Smith.

Goals: -

Referee: C Wilkes (Gloucester)

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