Football: Morrison fires Palace revival

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The Independent Online
Crystal Palace 3 Ipswich Town 2

ON THE day when the Budget was announced, one of the First Division most needy teams reaped the rewards of recent financial purse-tightening as Crystal Palace, pounds 20m in debt and in the hands of administrators, secured their second consecutive home win in enthralling fashion. Moreover, two of their crucial goals were scored by Clinton Morrison, only 19 and a player at the club since he was rejected by Tottenham and came to Selhurst Park as a trainee.

Palace ended up running rampant against the division's most implacable and meanest defence. As the Palace manager, Steve Coppell, said afterwards: "There has not been one match since I've been in charge where I could question the players' commitment. Administration concentrates the mind and leads to everyone trying harder."

However, Palace's goalkeeper Kevin Miller did not appear to be fully concentrating when he probably made his biggest blunder of the season. With nine minutes gone, the Ipswich defender Tony Mowbray hit a hopeful punt down the middle and Miller advanced only for the ball to bounce over his head and David Johnson was on hand to tap the ball in and give Ipswich the lead.

Palace, who had won only twice in their previous 12 League games gave themselves a glimmer of hope on the stroke of half-time as Hayden Mullins glanced a header past Richard Wright.

They carried that momentum into the second half, and 35 seconds after the restart, Morrison grabbed his first from a yard out after Wright could only parry Fan Zhiyi's close-range shot.

Mullins should have sealed the game when he was unmarked, but Jamie Clapham put the visitors level. With 63 minutes gone, Johnson worked his way into the penalty area and his cross was met by the onrushing defender.

Morrison pounced nine minutes later from Lee Bradbury's knock-down to give Palace three points and, as Coppell said, "a psychological boost".

Crystal Palace (3-5-2): Miller; Petric, Moore, Linighan; Thomson, Mullins, Zhiyi, Smith, Jihai (Tuttle, 68); Morrison (McKenzie, 89), Bradbury. Substitute not used: Evans.

Ipswich (3-5-2): Wright; Clapham, Mowbray, Venus; Holland, Magilton, Stockwell, Wilnis (Scowcroft, 56), Thetis; Johnson, Naylor (Petta, 86); Substitute not used: Tanner.

Referee: C Foy (St Helens).