West Bromwich Albion 2 - 0 Crystal Palace

Last updated : 22 April 2002 By Palace Dan
West Brom secured their expected promotion to the Premiership with victory over Palace at the Hawthorns this afternoon. Palace started brightly and could have been a goal up when Danny Granville's 25 yard screamer took a slight deflection, and Russell Hoult in the Albion goal produced a magnificent save to tip the ball round his right hand post for a corner. Palace were on top until Albion scored against the run of play. On 17 minutes, Aki Riihilahti, not for the first time this season, gave away a free kick on the corner of the Palace area. The kick was floated to the far post where Darren Moore rose unchallenged, headed back across the six yard box, where Riihilahti could only knock the ball back to Moore, who gleefully slammed home. Palace continued to knock the ball around nicely, but were frustrated by the forwards inability to break free from the shackles of Moore and Sigurdsson, and the fact that Morrison was in one of his couldn't care less moods and Akinbiyi was injured early on, resulting in him being substituted shortly after half time. It was no great surprise when Bob Taylor added a second for Albion, but again it was a soft goal to concede. Neil Clement mis-hit a 25 yard free kick straight at keeper Aleks Kolinko, who inexplicably fumbled the ball to the evergreen Taylor, who simply could not miss and tapped home into an empty net from 5 yards. The final whistle was the signal for the Baggies fans to invade the pitch and embrace their heroes. For Palace fans it was the signal to trudge home, pointless again from an away game and contemplate the likely comings and goings which will take place at Selhurst Park over the summer months.