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CRYSTAL CLEAR

Posted on 28 November 2005  - 12:00

Clive Allen praised his reserve side's application in toppling Crystal Palace 5-0 and therefore avoiding a repeat of the disappointment dished out by Leicester a fortnight ago.

Clive Allen praised his reserve side's application in toppling Crystal Palace 5-0 and therefore avoiding a repeat of the disappointment dished out by Leicester a fortnight ago.

It was pointed out to Clive that the first half against Palace bore some resemblance to that Leicester game a couple of weeks ago as his side dominated.

On that occasion, the lads failed to cash in on their dominance and were punished when Leicester struck the only goal of the game in the second half.

This time, top scorer Lee Barnard did the business again with goals after 10 and 28 minutes to put us in the driving seat.

Palace did create chances and Radek Cerny was forced to make a couple of one-on-one saves but once Andy Reid scored a somewhat fortuitous third goal - blocking keeper Julian Speroni's clearance and watching it spin into the empty net - it was all-but over.

Substitute and fit-again Andy Barcham netted twice in the final seven minutes to complete the scoring

The icing on the cake was the successful return to action of Wayne Routledge and Anthony Gardner, who played 45 and 60 minutes respectively.

"We got a couple of goals in that first half and that was important," reflected coach Clive. "I was pleased with how we started the game, we were bright and made that count.

"At half-time it was all about emphasising what happened against Leicester and that if Palace had a chance they could easily get back into the game.

"They had a couple of players with Premiership experience so it was vital we carried on in the same way in the second half.

"Palace did have a couple of opportunities and Radek made a couple of saves but overall it was a good result and I'm also pleased the senior players came through with no ill effects."