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Saturday, 14 September, 2002, 16:36 GMT 17:36 UK
C Palace 4-2 Wolves

Wonderkid Wayne Routledge inspired Crystal Palace to a win which condemned Wolves to their second defeat at Selhurst Park in a fornight.

The 17-year-old announced himself in style with a first-minute goal on his full League debut, and received a standing ovation when he was substituted in the second half.

Wolves had lost only once all season before this match, but made it two defeats in successive League games at Selhurst Park following Wimbledon's 3-2 win.

A Dougie Freedman brace and a Steven Thomson goal wrapped up Palace's first victory in Division One since the opening day of the season.

Ivar Ingimarsson and Nathan Blake did get the visitors on the scoresheet, but Routledge stole the show with an eye-catching display.

He crept in unmarked at the far post to control a deep Danny Butterfield cross from the left and rifle home emphatically from 12 yards for the opener.

Butterfield was guilty of a glaring miss after seven minutes, slicing over the crossbar from eight yards after Andrew Johnson's low cross found its way right across the penalty area.

And Wolves punished Palace's inability to make their pressure count on the half-hour mark.

Freedman forced a corner for the Eagles, but Wolves caught them cold with a quick break.

Dean Sturridge fired in a low right-wing cross which found Ingimarsson, and his effort looped over stranded goalkeeper Alex Kolinko following Thomson's tackle.

But Palace were back in front five minutes later when Butterfield's searching free-kick found Freedman, who headed past keeper Michael Oakes.

Oakes then gave away the 61st-minute penalty which allowed Freedman to net his third League goal of the season from the penalty spot.

Routledge fed Johnson down the right after scaring off the attentions of Lee Naylor with a mazy run, and Oakes pulled the Palace striker down.

Blake grabbed a lifeline for the visitors after 69 minutes, nipping in to finish after Kolinko could only parry a fierce Paul Ince drive.

A minute later Thomson fired home a Hayden Mullins cross with a spectacular right-foot volley on the turn.


Crystal Palace: Kolinko, Fleming, Powell, Popovic, Granville, Butterfield, Mullins, Thomson, Routledge, Johnson, Freedman.
Subs: Black, Rubins, Frampton, Cronin, Adebola.

Wolverhampton: Oakes, Irwin, Lescott, Butler, Naylor, Rae, Newton, Ingimarsson, Ince, Blake, Sturridge.
Subs: Proudlock, Murray, Pollet, Cooper, Miller.

Referee: L Cable (Surrey).


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