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September 25 2023 3.31am

Reserves find it easy Bees-y

January 22 2003

Dougie Freedman

Dougie Freedman

Dougie Freedman and Curtis Fleming returned from long injury spells to help the reserves demolish Barnet away 3-0.

The pair could now feature in the FA Cup clash against Liverpool on Saturday after coming through the whole game unscathed.

Freedman and David Hunt went close with efforts in the opening stages. Then Freedman thought he had put Palace in front but his header from Danny Granville's cross was ruled out for offside in the 11th minute.

The Scot had another effort which was easy for keeper Ricky Millard before Gareth Williams forced a fine save the keeper again, who tipped his shot over the bar.

Palace continued to pile on the pressure - Akinbiyi and Freedman with a shot and free-kick along with Williams who all should have scored.

Seven minutes before the break, Palace deservedly broke the deadlock when Robert Smith volleyed in a Wayne Routledge cross from the right.

Within seconds of the re-start, the Eagles' second-string made it 2-0 as Williams latched onto the end of Freedman's through-ball and slotted under the keeper to score.

It was like the alamo as Hunt, Routledge, Freedman and Williams, twice, had good opportunities to score.

Akinbiyi got on the scoresheet for goal number three, firing home Williams' cross from close range after 73 minutes.

Along with Freedman and Gavin Heeroo they could have added more to the scoreline, but it ended 3-0 and Palace remain top of the Avon Insurance Combination.

Palace: Cronin, Routledge, Borrowdale, Fleming, Antwi (Heeroo 66), Granville, Hunt, Smith (Watson 53), Akinbiyi, Freedman, Williams (Nabil 82).

Subs not used: Togwell, Gibson.

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