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How the 2004 play-offs were won

May 8 2008

Iain Dowie

Iain Dowie

The last time Crystal Palace made the Championship play-off final was in 2004 as Iain Dowie's side went all the way to the Premier League.

Although the Eagles lost 2-1 away to Coventry City on the last day of the 2003/4 campaign, they sneaked into the play-offs after West Ham's last-minute equaliser against Wigan denied the Latics a place in the top six.

Manager Dowie performed similar miracles to Neil Warnock by steering Palace from the relegation zone to the play-offs on the final game of the season.

Palace 3-2 Sunderland

They met third-placed Sunderland in the play-off semi-final first leg at Selhurst Park and held a narrow 3-2 lead for the return fixture.

With no goals in the first half, Sunderland got their noses in front six minutes after the break thanks to a Marcus Stewart penalty after Tony Popovic tripped Carl Robinson in the area. But Palace equalised seconds later when Neil Shipperley headed Danny Granville's centre past keeper Mart Poom.

The hosts took the lead in the 64th minute after Phil Babb deflected Danny Butterfield's long-range shot past his own keeper.

But the Black Cats brought it back to 2-2 with five minutes remaining with a close-range finish from Kevin Kyle.

And just two minutes later, Andy Johnson gave Palace a huge lifeline when he made it 3-2 with a low finish past Poom.

Sunderland 2-1 Palace AET

In the second leg at the Stadium of Light, Palace found themselves two goals down moments before the half-time whistle.

Kyle controlled Jason McAteer's cross on his chest before shooting past Eagles stopper Nico Vaesen on 42 minutes.

Things got worse as the Black Cats grabbed another goal two minutes into first half stoppage time as Stewart nodded home McAteer's cross from the right.

It looked all over when Palace went down to 10 men in the 86th minute after Julian Gray was sent off for a foul on McAteer.

But deep inside injury time, Shaun Derry whipped in a corner that big defender Darren Powell headed into the roof of the net to make it 2-1 on the night and 4-4 on aggregate.

With the scores goal-less in extra-time, it went to a penalty shoot-out. Palace blew two chances to win it as Sunderland goalkeeper Poom saved spot-kicks from Derry and Wayne Routledge after Jon Oster had hit the post for Sunderland.

The seventh Sunderland penalty was then missed by Jeff Whitley and Palace's Michael Hughes converted his kick to send the Eagles to the final in Cardiff.

Palace 1-0 West Ham United

Palace were up against Alan Pardew's West Ham United in the final at the Millennium Stadium.

And it was Shipperley who etched himself into Palace folklore by scoring the winning goal just past the hour mark.

Johnson's fantastic surging run ended with a powerful shot that keeper Stephen Bywater could only parry into the path of Shipperley and he rammed the ball into the back of the net. It was enough to secure Palace's place in the top flight.

Shipperley scores against West Ham

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