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Palace Fury!!

By: Bill Osborne
Date: 25/10/2000

In their report of the Grimsby Town Vs Crystal Palace game Ananova said that Crystal Palace fans called for the resignation of boss Alan Smith as the Eagles slumped to their sixth successive defeat against Grimsby in a scrappy affair at Selhurst Park.

The Mariners notched up their first away win of the season after an awful error from Latvian international keeper Alexanders Kolinko presented Bradley Allen with his fifth goal of the season, which proved to be enough to claim the points. It was Grimsby who made all the running early on as on-loan Danish striker David Nielsen, Steve Livingstone and Allen all went close before the visitors eventually opened the scoring on 18 minutes. Danny Coyne's long punt resulted in confusion between Andy Morrison and Kolinko on the edge of Palace's penalty box and Allen was handed the simple task of continuing his run and planting the ball into the empty net. The hosts' best chance fell to Dougie Freedman, back at Selhurst Park following his £600,000 move from Nottingham Forest on Monday. The Palace striker was put clean through, but Coyne reacted quickly and made a good stop on the edge of the box. After the break, Palace showed plenty of effort as they huffed and puffed to get back on level terms, but confidence was clearly low as skipper Jamie Pollock and Hayden Mullins struggled to hold the midfield. Nevertheless, the Eagles had chances with Freedman heading over and substitute Clinton Morrison forcing an incredible double save from Coyne. The Grimsby keeper was having an inspired night and capped a fine performance with another good stop, sticking out a boot to clear Tommy Black's last-minute effort off the line. Crystal Palace boss Alan Smith kept his side locked in the changing room and administered a dressing down after the 1-0 home defeat to Grimsby. The latest loss at Selhurst Park - Bradley Allen netting Town's winner - leaves Palace in the bottom three of Division One and Smith blasted his players' grip on reality." "I think the players really need to look at themselves. After being in the dressing room for one-and-a-half hours only four players had something to say - and two of them are on loan, that says it all," Smith said." "Instead of worrying what car they're driving they need to concentrate on the game. We were beaten by good honest professional players." "I think our players live in cloud cuckoo land. In training my best two are my coaches Glenn Cockerill and Ray Houghton." "I brought in Steve Staunton so the players could learn from him but they don't seem to respect seasoned players." "The reality of professional football is like Grimsby, playing week in week out to a small crowd and giving everything they've got." "The bottom line is 'have we got any balls?' and the answer is 'no we haven't'". "There are some players who don't know the meaning of professionalism, they think the trainers are too hard on them but I think they're not hard enough. The attitude of all the players is not good, it's sloppy." Grimsby manager Lennie Lawrence said: "We played bold tonight and we had some good opportunities in the first 25 minutes. The goal obviously helped." "To be fair to Crystal Palace they came back at us but missed the chances."

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