Football: Mullins boosts sorry Palace

Crystal Palace 1 Barnsley 0

THE POST-MATCH song for Crystal Palace is "Glad All Over" and this time it was being played at a far greater volume than usual, and with some justification, for this was only Palace's second win in their last 17 League games, with Hayden Mullins scoring the crucial goal after 24 minutes.

Even more astonishing was the fact that they kept their first clean sheet in 25 games, a leaky defensive run that started last September.

There were also rumours that a large-scale half-time protest would be staged against the Palace chairman, Mark Goldberg, and the way he has run the club, with the supposed relaunch for promotion to the Premiership becoming an increasingly dogged fight against dropping into the relegation zone. Palace are now in such dire financial straits that the Professional Footballers' Association are about to step in to start paying the players, and many of the back-room staff are still waiting for wages.

As it turned out there was no protest worthy of the name, only a couple of banners and a handful of disgruntled fans holding up tiny pieces of paper saying: "Goldberg out". By the end, they were part of the debris being swept across the pitch by a gusty wind that, along with a bobbly pitch, stopped the game from flowing and made life difficult for both sets of players.

But the beleaguered Palace manager, Steve Coppell, was smiling for a change as Mullins' third goal of the season saw the club move up four places to 14th in the First Division. He said: "It was tremendous to win because we had all the excuses with the wind, pitch and not being paid. It was a horrible, scrappy victory but worth its weight in gold. It was a terrific professional job and a morale boost."

Not that Coppell was letting this win go to his head, adding afterwards: "We won't get carried away. There 's a lot to do before we're clear of relegation."

The goal came from the only shot on target in an untidy first half, as Craig Foster slipped the ball on to Mullins inside the area and the England Under-21 prospect tucked the ball past Tony Bullock, a goal that the Barnsley manager, John Hendrie, felt his goalkeeper could have prevented.

Yet while Palace attempted to play something resembling a decent passing game, their opponents failed utterly to come to terms with the conditions, and their hopes of winning this match were further hit by three injuries during the game, as Adie Moses went off with stitches, Darren Sheridan fractured his jaw while Matt Appleby has a suspected fractured pelvis, an injury Hendrie blamed in part on the state of the pitch. And Hendrie did not spare the rod as he accused several of his players of not working hard enough, singling out his strike pair of Mike Sheron and Bruce Dyer for special criticism.

Goal: Mullins (24) 1-0.

Crystal Palace: (3-5-2): Miller; Petric, Linighan, Moore; Smith, Thomson (Evans, 63), Mullins, Jihai, Foster; Morrison, Zhiyi (McKenzie, 73) Substitute not used: Curcic.

Barnsley (3-5-2): T Bullock; De Zeeuw, Moses (Appleby, 35; M Bullock, 43), Jones; Eaden, Sheridan (Goodman, h-t), Richardson, Hignett, Blackmore; Sheron, Dyer.

Referee: M Halsey (Hertfordshire).

Bookings: Barnsley: Hignett, Eaden.

Man of the match: Fan Zhiyi.

Attendance: 17,021.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Bookkeeper / Office Co-ordinator

£9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This role is based within a small family run ...

Recruitment Genius: Designer - Print & Digital

£28000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This Design and marketing agenc...

Recruitment Genius: Quantity Surveyor

£46000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This property investment firm are lookin...

Recruitment Genius: Telesales / Telemarketing Executive - OTE £30k / £35k plus

£18000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company specialises provid...

Day In a Page

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003