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Palace Preview

By: Paul Holmes
Date: 22/11/2002

AS recent weeks go, it has been fairly quiet at Blundell Park. Still it's business as usual for Town and a trip to Selhurst Park and Crystal Palace await.

Home > 2002-2003 Season > Previews > Crystal Palace (a)

The Bottom Line

Considering that Palace, as of late, have been free-scoring and coupled with Town's inability to keep clean sheets - A draw would be a good result for Paul Groves men but who's to rule out a win?

The Opposition - Any Good?

Palace are unbelievably inconsistent, the fans are not great fans of manager Trevor Francis but they still posses quality. Andy Johnson and Dele Adebolaare a very capable strike partnership. Down the right wing is a certain Mr Buterfield. Despite been the target of much abuse, both from the terraces and on the message boards, whilst at Blundell Park, Danny was actually a very good player. Most Town's fans (me included) only realised his contribution to the team when he'd already gone. Defender Hayden Mullins has attracted attention of Premiership mangers, OK ex-Palace manager Steve Bruce but it still counts. The youngster seems destined for a career away from the Nationwide League.

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Players To Watch



Darren Mansaram

Andy Johnson

Doncaster born striker who was signed by Town as a YT. Having impressed for the youth team, Flash was promoted to the reserve team just over a year ago. Last season saw Mansaram top the scoring charts for the reserves and the lack of goals for the first team saw him get a professional contract and a first team place in September. Had to wait over 2 months for his first goal but what a goal it was. With his confidence brimming he looks likely to keep scoring. Deadly left-foot and uncontrollable style of play......Think Paulo Wanchope but good.

Signed in the summer as part of the deal that saw Ireland international Clinton Morisson move to Birmingham. Touted as one to watch with the Blues, he never really lived up to the billing at St Andrews and after lengthy negotiations opted to re-join Trevor Francis in South London. Most Town fans memory of Johnson will be him nut-megging Zhang Enhua with a back-heel before scoring in the 1-1 draw between Town and Birmingham in early 2001. Recently hit the scoring charts with successive hat-tricks.

Top Scorers



Kabba (now at Sheff Utd) 6
Campbell 3
Barnard 2
Livingstone 2
Ford 2

Johnson 11
Freedman 7
Mullins 3
Popovic 3
Adebola 3
Gray 3

Team News



Skipper John McDermott is touch and go to make his 600th appearance for the club, Wes Parker is on standby following last week's solid performance. Tony Gallimore picked up a worrying ankle injury in last week's draw with Preston but is likely to be fit for the game. Stacy Colidcott is almost certain to miss out. Manager Paul Groves has the option of playing himself or dropping Stuart Campbell into midfield and recalling either Darren Barnard or Terry Cooke to the starting line-up.

Palace are still without long term injury victims Ade Akinbyi, Jamie Smith, Craig Harrison and Matt Clarke.

Probable Starting XI's

Danny Coyne
John McDermott
Simon Ford
Jason Gavin
Steve Livingstone
John OsterAlan Pouton
Stacy Caldicott
Paul Groves
Stuart Campbell
Darren Mansaram

Last Time Out

With Lennie Lawrence's Town riding high in the table they travelled to Selhurst Park midweek and it became a case of the beginning of the end for Lennie. Stuart Campbell's free-kick that hit the bar before Palace turned over the Mariners 5-0 and started an awful losing streak in the league which cost Lawrence's his job. But we did him a favour remember! Looking back the game 'what if' questions are raised about Campbell's free-kick. Was that the moment when Town's good luck run out? Most likely answer is yes.

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