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October 27 2020 9.57am

Grimsby Town 1 - 4 Palace

Sat Apr 12 2003 - League

The Eagles returned to winning form with a comprehensive 4-1 beating of struggling Grimsby Town.

Match Stats

Ground: Blundell Park (Attendance: 4707)

Grimsby Town: Coyne, McDermott, Ford, Chettle, Gallimore (Parker, 45), Campbell (Cooke, 87), Bolder, Groves, Keane (Livingstone, 67), Boulding, Mansaram

Subs not used: Thompson, Soames

Bookings: Keane

Goal: Chettle 48

Palace: Kolinko, Butterfield, Powell, Popovic (Watson, 61), Borrowdale, Routledge, Mullins, Thomson, Gray, Whelan (Freedman, 49), Adebola

Subs not used: Berthelin, Black, Hunt

Bookings: Mullins, Powell

Goals: Routledge 18, Whelan 34, Gray 35, Freedman 89

Referee: G Laws (Whitley Bay)

Grimsby started well and could have taken the lead in the opening minutes had Stuart Campbell not scuffed his close range shot wide from Michael Boulding's cross.

Palace got back into the game against the run of play in the 18th minute thanks to a strike into the bottom corner of the net from Wayne Routledge - his fourth goal of the season.

From then on, it was all Palace and inevitably another goal would come. Julian Gray's flick-on found Noel Whelan in space and the on-loan striker headed past Town goalkeeper Danny Coyne.

Just 60 seconds later, Gray made it three-nil with a shot from the left hand side of the six-yard box.

Grimsby pulled a goal back in the 47th minute when Steve Chettle headed home Stuart Campbell's inswinging corner from the left into the bottom corner.

With 90 seconds left on the clock, substitute Dougie Freedman got Palace's fourth goal when he netted Danny Butterfield's right wing cross from the centre of the penalty area.

Post match comments:

Trevor Francis said: "We didn't let it turn into a battle as we were so clinical with our finishing that we put ourselves in a very commanding position.

"Goals change games and this one was no different, we got into a very good position at half-time thanks to the fact that we took our chances.

We didn't let it turn into a battle as we were so clinical with our finishing
Trevor Francis

"I made five changes to the team and also played a different system in 4-4-2. We worked on this at the training ground on Friday with particular emphasis on getting Wayne Routledge into the match as much as possible.

"We managed this and he proved a constant threat to them as the stats show.

"He scored the first and made another in a very good individual performance in the first half although in the second he was called upon to defend more, as the team were as a group.

"If they had scored a second it would have become concerning, but Freedman produced a super strike, after missing a couple, to tie the game up."

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