May 29 2004
Neil Shipperley scored the only goal of the game to haul Palace to the Premiership as they beat West Ham 1-0 in the Division One Play-off Final.
The Eagles captain bundled home from close range on 62 minutes after West Ham keeper Stephen Bywater could only parry Andy Johnson's fierce shot into his path.
It was enough to send Palace to the Promised Land of the Premiership following a six-year absence and a £30m windfall.
But five minutes later, West Ham's Michael Carrick sent Bobby Zamora through on goal with a wonderful ball down the middle. The former Spurs striker looked odss-on to score but keeper Nico Vaesen managed to make a superb stop with his legs.
Nine minutes before the break, the Eagles nearly snatched the lead. Bywater got down to smother Michael Hughes's shot but the ball squirmed over him and Tomas Repka had to clear off the line.
The Hammers came out stronger in the second half and Vaesen produced a stunning one-handed save to deny a 25-yard Steve Lomas volley.
Shipperley netted the only goal of the game two minutes past the hour after Johnson went on a decent run down the left, cut in and his low strike was pushed out by Bywater to Shipperley who made no mistake.
David Connolly and Zamora both had goals ruled out for offside, while West Ham had a penalty appeal for a foul on Carrick turned down.
West Ham boss Alan Pardew sent on Brian Deane and Nigel Reo-Coker for Zamora and Marlon Harewood as they looked to pull a goal back.
But Palace defended well and held out for a momentous victory. Bring on the Premiership!
West Ham: Bywater, Repka, Dailly, Melville, Mullins, Harewood (Reo-Coker 69), Carrick, Lomas, Etherington, Zamora (Deane 70), Connolly (Hutchison 74).
Subs not used: Srnicek, Brevett.
Bookings: Etherington, Mullins, Repka.
Palace: Vaesen, Butterfield (Powell 69), Popovic, Leigertwood, Granville, Routledge, Riihilahti, Derry, Hughes, Shipperley, Johnson.
Subs not used: Freedman, Berthelin, Black, Watson.
Bookings: Derry, Hughes, Routledge.
Referee: G Poll (Tring).
In Depth 2004 Division One Play-offs
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