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Saturday, 14 October, 2000, 17:36 GMT 18:36 UK
Birmingham 2-1 Crystal Palace
Clinton Morrison
Morrison scored for Palace but Birmingham hit back
Birmingham City 2-1 Crystal Palace

Birmingham got out of jail with two late goals from substitute strikers Mark Burchill and Dele Adebola after Crystal Palace had appeared to be heading for a shock away win.

It was not one of Birmingham's better performances as they struggled against lowly opposition.

They made hard work of their task and even missed a first-half penalty when Alex Kolinko saved Martin O'Connor's spot kick diving to his right.

Kolinko played a key role as Palace kept Birmingham at bay in the first half. Palace, meanwhile, also had their opportunities with Paul Kitson particularly dangerous.

But Birmingham survived and should have taken the lead but for O'Connor's hapless penalty.

In the second half, Clinton Morrison, who had previously missed a couple of good opportunities for Palace, redeemed himself when he gave Palace a shock 66th-minute lead.

Unmarked

On-loan Gary Charles failed to clear his lines with a weak header and the ball dropped for Jamie Pollock. He passed to the unmarked Morrison who slotted the ball past Ian Bennett.

Minutes earlier, Burchill and Adebola had replaced Geoff Horsfield and Andy Johnson - a move which paid dividends for City.

The equaliser came in the 77th minute when a right wing cross from Michael Johnson found Martin Grainger. The defender's low drive beat Kolinko, and Burchill was on the line to tap in his first goal for Birmingham.

Things then fell apart for luckless Palace. With skipper Jamie Pollock on the line receiving attention for a head wound, they found themselves in all sorts of trouble.

Pollock, in his eagerness to get back into the fray, was booked by referee Matt Messias for encroaching on to the field and seconds later Adebola scored the winner with a flashing header following a right wing cross from O'Connor.


Teams:

Birmingham: Bennett, Charles, Grainger, M. Johnson, Holdsworth, Eaden, O'Connor, Sonner, Horsfield, A. Johnson, Hughes.
Subs: Poole, Purse, Lazaridis, Burchill, Adebola.

Crystal Palace: Kolinko, Smith, Austin, Rodger, C. Morrison, Gray, Thomson, Pollock, Harrison, Kitson, A. Morrison.
Subs: Forssell, Carlisle, Evans, Frampton, Howell.

Referee: M Messias (York).

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See also:

12 Oct 00 |  Birmingham City
Adebola keen to stay at Birmingham
12 Oct 00 |  Crystal Palace
McKenzie set for Posh move
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