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June 2 2023 7.30pm

Barnsley 1 - 4 Palace

Tue Feb 26 2002 - League

Ade Akinbiyi scored his first goal for the Red & Blue as Palace beat Barnsley 4-1.

The Eagles goals were scored by Dougie Freedman, Aki Riihilahti, Ade Akinbiyi and Julian Gray. Former Eagle Bruce Dyer netted the only goal for the home side.

Barnsley started the brighter of the two sides as Matt Clarke had to save two Chris Lumsdon efforts. Morrison then had a shot blocked by Chris Barker.

Palace took the lead in the 30th minute when Freedman, on his return to the side after recovering from 'flu, headed home Julian Gray's left-wing cross.

Clarke was on hand again, saving a Lumsdon free-kick and Kevin Donovan had a volley go just wide.

Dyer equalised for Barnsley against his old side a few minutes before half-time.

Riihilahti was making his return to the side after suspension and celebrated with a goal in the 56th minute to put Palace back in front. He finished from close range after a goal-mouth scramble.

Palace began to stamp their mark on the game and Morrison and Steve Thomson tested Kevin Miller in goal.

And the moment the entire football world it seemed had waited for happened, when Akinbiyi scored the third goal coming off the bench with his first touch of the ball with seven minutes to go. He headed Gray's cross from close range.

Then to round off a much-needed victory, on the counter-attack, Gray scored his first goal this season a minute later. Akinbiyi could have added a second from a Morrison through-ball, but Miller made the save.

It was especialy pleasing to get four goals past "Judas" Miller. Palace move up a place to seventh and are unbeaten in the league away from home since losing to Millwall on Boxing Day.

Man of the Match: Gray

Post match comments:

Trevor Francis said: "It's always pleasing to win away from home. I think Barnsley will feel a little hard done by because I don't think they deserved to lose 4-1.

"But some of the finishing was good in the second half. It was a good response from our players after the defeat on Saturday.

"I thought they were the better side in the first half. Matt Clarke made three outstanding saves, the best being right on the stroke of half time when he saved low down with his left hand from Sheron.

"We didn't play as well as we'd have liked, but in the second half we did very well.

"The result has given us renewed hope because many supporters I'm sure felt our play-off chances had probably disappeared after Saturday's result."

The win saw Ade Akinbiyi score his first goal for the club with his first touch after coming on as a second half substitute.

Francis added: "It wasn't the best header you've ever seen but it went in the back of the net and it's a real positive moment for the team.

"His confidence has been dented somewhat, so for him and Crystal Palace it was an important moment."

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Match Stats

Ground: Oakwell (Attendance: 11207)

Barnsley: Miller, Mulligan, Barker, Morgan, Chettle, Donovan (Crooks 71), Gary Jones, Lumsdon, Barnard, Dyer (Rankin 71), Sheron.

Subs not used: Marriott, Ward, Regan.

Bookings: Donovan , Morgan , Mulligan.

Goal: Dyer 41.

Palace: Clarke, Smith, Fleming, Murphy, Austin, Thomson (Rodger 90), Mullins, Riihilahti, Gray (Kirovski 89), Freedman (Akinbiyi 83), Morrison.

Subs not used: Kolinko, Black.

Booking: Murphy.

Goals: Freedman 29, Riihilahti 56, Akinbiyi 83, Gray 85.

Referee: M. Fletcher

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