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October 21 2020 1.58pm

Palace 1 - 1 Coventry City

Wed Jan 1 2003 - League

Palace had to settle for a point from the New Year's Day clash against Coventry when they should have had all three.

Tommy Black nearly scored in the opening minutes but his header was well saved by the keeper and put out for a corner.

Match Stats

Ground: Selhurst Park (Attendance: 17362)

Palace: Kolinko, Granville, Symons, Popovic, Mullins, Butterfield, Derry, Gray (Routledge, 59), Riihilahti, Adebola (Akinbiyi, 59), Black

Subs not used: Antwi, Berthelin, Borrowdale

Goal: Akinbiyi 72

Coventry City: Hyldgaard, Caldwell, Konjic, Shaw, Gordon, Bothroyd (McSheffrey, 65), Pead, McAllister, Partridge, Holdsworth, Mills

Subs not used: Montgomery, Eustace, Betts, Davenport

Booking: McSheffrey

Goal: McSheffrey 69

Referee: C R Wilkes (Gloucester)

Palace continued to press and Julian Gray blazed over when it would have been easier to score after a great dummy from Black.

The first Alex Kolinko howler for a while allowed Coventry substitute Gary McSheffrey to easily score the opening goal in the 69th minute.

Kolinko failed to hold a deep cross from Gary Caldwell and McSheffrey found it easy to slot home into an empty net.

Ade Akinbiyi was brought on by Trevor Francis for his second game of the season since coming back from long-term injury and marked it with the equaliser three minutes later.

Tommy Black put an inch-perfect cross from the right hand side and Akinbiyi made it easy to head in from close range.

It was the first goal Coventry had conceded in five games. Akinbiyi could have got a second, but the on-rushing Morten Hyldgaard saved his shot with his legs.

Wayne Routledge and Aki Rihiilahti went close with efforts narrowly wide and Palace will be angry they didn't get the victory they deserved.

Post match comments:

Trevor Francis said: "Akinbiyi is a goalscorer and if you get crosses into the box he'll be there to finish off. His header was unstoppable but his positional sense was even better.

Akinbiyi is a goalscorer and if you get crosses into the box he'll be there to finish off
Trevor Francis

"He's been out for eight months so he's not ready yet for a full game. Ade has made a few appearances as a substitute lasting less than 60 minutes so he needs match fitness.

"And with no reserve game for a month, he's relying on his match fitness as a substitute. His general fitness is good but he needs to get a few more games before being considered for a full game.

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