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May 17 2021 2.15pm

Palace out of jail

May 6 2001

Crystal Palace

Crystal Palace

A very late Dougie Freedman goal secured First Division Football for Palace as The Eagles won 0-1 at Stockport County. Thanks to a 2-1 win by Birmingham at Huddersfield Palace are staying up. Huddersfield are relegated.

Dougie Freedman was Palace's hero scoring the winner in the 87th minute at Edgely Park.

The striker scored his third goal of a crucial week and secured First Division safety for the Eagles.

Palace caretaker-manager Steve Kember fielded the same side that beat Portsmouth in midweek in search of a win to secure Division One status.

Palace started well and Freedman came close but Ally Gibb cleared the ball from the line.

With the scores elswhere going against them Palace needed a win, one point was not enough.

Clinton Morrison and Mikael Forsell had chances to put The eagles ahead, but they found keeper Lee Jones on their path or shot wide.

Just before the interval Stockport could have gone one up through Shefqi Kuqi, but he squandered his chance.

After the break there were chances for Stockport through Hurst and Palace through Aki Riihilathi, ut the score stayed 0-0.

Portsmouth went 3-0 up against Barnsley and Palace knew they needed a goal and poured forward. At the other side it was Aaron Wilbraham who hit the side netting from close range.

Then three minutes before the final whistle the 3000 Eagles fans were in extasy when Dougie Freedman ran off and gave Palace a priceless lead.

Help came from Birmingham City who beat Huddersfield 2-1 at the McAlpine Stadium which meant that The Terriers and not Palace were condemned to the Second Division.

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