Football: Palace settle for point

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CRYSTAL PALACE were held to a disappointing 1-1 Nationwide League First Division draw by Tranmere at Selhurst Park last night as two goals in three second-half minutes saw Matt Jansen equalise after the Rovers defender Andy Thompson had opened the scoring.

Tranmere, struggling near the foot of the table, had the better of the play in a poor first half but they did not take the lead until the 66th minute. Palace failed to clear a Rovers attack and Thompson rifled a superb right-foot shot past Fraser Digby from 25 yards that flew into the roof of the net. Within three minutes, though, Palace were level.

Jamie Smith sent over a perfect cross from the right flank for the unmarked Jansen, 10 yards out, to send a flying header past Danny Coyne for his eighth goal of the season.

Steve Anthrobus won a much-needed point for the First Division's bottom club, Crewe, after Lee Hughes' 23rd goal of the season had put West Bromwich ahead at Gresty Road.

After Mario Bortolazzi was brought down, Hughes placed his spot-kick to Jason Kearton's right to give the Baggies a 35th-minute lead. Crewe made it 1-1 after 64 minutes, when Anthrobus powerfully headed home a Marcus Bignot cross at the far post.

The lowest gate in Manchester City's history watched another humiliation at Maine Road last night.

Only 3,007 fans watched City lose 2-1 to Third Division Mansfield Town in the first round of the Auto Windscreens Shield.

The attendance was 1,022 fewer than the previous low, for the Full Members' Cup match against Leeds in October 1985.