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October 21 2020 1.42pm

Preston North End 1 - 2 Palace

Sat Aug 10 2002 - League

Steve Kabba came off the subs' bench to give Palace the winning goal in a 2-1 win at Preston and the Eagles a great start to the new season.

It was Palace's first victory at Deepdale for 24 years and a big improvement in the performance from the last two visits.

Match Stats

Ground: Deepdale (Attendance: 14663)

Preston North End: Moilanen, Alexander, Jackson, McKenna (Etuhu 59), Edwards (Anderson 89), Lucketti, Rankine, Skora, Fuller, Cresswell, Murdock.

Subs not used: Lucas, Broomes.

Booking: Skora. Sent off: Skora 47.

Goal: Fuller 68.

Palace: Clarke, Fleming, Granville, Popovic, Mullins, Johnson (Black 45), Freedman (Thomson 90), Derry, Butterfield, Riihilahti (Kabba 61), Powell.

Subs not used: Austin, Kolinko.

Bookings: Freedman, Powell.

Goals: Powell 69, Kabba 86.

Referee: M Clattenburg (Co Durham).

In the opening stages, Eric Skora forced Matt Clarke into a save but Preston spent most of the afternoon hoofing the ball up to their two strikers Richard Cresswell and former Palace man Ricardo Fuller.

Palace were playing it along the floor and Andy Johnson could have won a penalty when his shot hit a Preston defender's arm in the box. Tony Popovic had a shot and then had a header wide of the post.

The Eagles suffered a blow when Johnson had to be stretchered off just before half-time after lengthy treatment following a head injury.

Two minutes after half-time, Skora was sent off for Preston after he held back substitute Tommy Black who was clean through on goal.

Fuller gave Preston the lead in the 69th minute when he ran on to a long ball and looped the ball over Matt Clarke's head.

But just a minute later, Darren Powell on his debut stabbed home the equaliser from close range following Danny Granville's corner.

Preston nearly got a second when Cresswell twice and Chris Lucketti brought great saves from Clarke.

But with just four minutes remaining, Kabba unleashed a firece left-foot drive from 16 yards to seal the game for Palace.

A great day for the Eagles, made even sweeter as Millwall lost 6-0 to Rotherham!

Post match comments:

Trevor Francis said: "Kabba scored four times for our reserves against Grimsby, after which their manager Paul Groves asked if he could take him on loan.

I would have let Kabba go and he would have been playing for Grimsby. It's a strange quirk really.
Trevor Francis

"At the time I was talking terms with Adebola, who has been training with us, and had we reached an agreement for him to sign I would have let Kabba go and he would have been playing for Grimsby. It's a strange quirk really.

"His shot was unstoppable and I was glad to see that he is maintaining his pre-season form.

"I am very satisfied to start the season with a win against a team of Preston's quality. They are one of the finest teams in the First Division."

Francis added: "As often happens, teams galvanise themselves when they go down in numbers.

"We had the advantage for a while but then we became ragged and they took advantage of this through their goal. We needed an immediate response and that's what we produced.

"We are indebted to Matt (Clarke) for keeping us in the game with a couple of good saves. They were nothing spectacular but he did his job in keeping the ball out of the net."

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