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BBC Five Live's David Oates
"A second home win in six days"
 real 14k

WBA boss Gary Megson
"At times we were irresisistable"
 real 14k

Crystal Palace manager Alan Smith
"I do expect better over the 90 minutes"
 real 14k

Sunday, 3 September, 2000, 13:59 GMT 14:59 UK
Ton up Albion sink Palace

West Brom boss Gary Megson seeing improvement at last
West Brom 1-0 Crystal Palace

West Bromwich Albion celebrated a century of soccer at The Hawthorns with a hard-earned win over Crystal Palace.

Albion looked to be on the way to a comfortable victory when an early goal from Derek McInnes set up the platform for first half domination.

But Gary Megson's side failed to make the most of their superiority and were forced to endure a nail-biting second period, with Leon McKenzie and Neil Ruddock both hitting the woodwork with headers.

Alan Smith's Palace delivered a shambolic first half show, but clearly responded to a half time lecture with a spirited response.

Albion boss Megson launched a public attack on his team after a wretched start to the season, and they have responded with back to back wins at home to QPR and Crystal Palace.

They celebrated one hundred years at their famous home by releasing 1,000 balloons over The Hawthorns - and the team soon stoked up the party atmosphere.


Palace boss Alan Smith will have been furious at first half show
It was Albion's two most influential performers, striker Lee Hughes and McInnes, who gave them the early breakthrough.

Hughes beat Ruddock on the left hand side of the penalty area, and when he cut the ball back McInnes raced in to score with an emphatic right foot finish.

Albion attempted to build on the lead, and veteran striker Bob Taylor should have doubled their advantage after 16 minutes, when he headed over from eight yards after he was left unmarked from a McInnes cross.

Hughes was almost on the scoresheet himself when he was put clear, but he was denied by Palace keeper Taylor.


The first half was the best football we have played since I have been here - but it would not be West Brom if we didn't make life difficult for ourselves
  West Brom boss Gary Megson
Palace came out for the second half after clearly being on the receiving end of a roasting from manager Smith.

And they penned Albion back for long periods as the home side lost much of their early authority.

Julian Gray's cross gave McKenzie a golden opportunity to equalise after 61 minutes, but he rattled the top of the crossbar with Albion keeper Brian Jensen beaten.

And Ruddock also went close with eleven minutes, sending a header against the bar, but Albion held on for the victory the first half display deserved.


West Bromwich Albion: Jensen, Lyttle, Clement, McInnes, Butler, Fox, Taylor, Hughes, Van Blerk, Jordao, J. Chambers. Subs: Adamson, Carbon, Sneekes, Roberts, Oliver.

Crystal Palace: Taylor, Zhiyi, Ruddock, Mullins, Rodger, McKenzie, Morrison, Black, Gray, Pollock, Harrison. Subs: Smith, Fullarton, Austin, Thomson, Harris.

Referee: A Leake (Darwen)

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