STEVE COPPELL is going great guns with current club Reading.
But 21 years ago this weekend, he suffered a setback at Leeds Road as Mick Buxton's Town left Coppell's Crystal Palace a little too close to the foot of Division II for comfort.
After successive League defeats by Grimsby, Manchester City and Birmingham, inconsistent Town were desperate for a victory to keep their hopes of promotion alive.
And they warmed up a sparse 5,678 crowd on a freezing cold afternoon with a 2-0 victory.
Phil Wilson, after 11 minutes, and Mark Lillis, with a penalty after 72, scored the goals, but there should have been more than two for the home supporters to cheer.
Other than a 59th-minute goalline clearance by Steve Doyle, who had dropped back into central defence from midfield to cover for the injured Paul Jones, there was little action in the Town area.
At the other end, however, Palace's former Scottish international goalkeeper George Wood was a busy man.
The key to Town's dominance was in adapting to a tricky surface far better than their visitors.
Doyle and Wilson took a grip in midfield early on, and there was plenty of supply from full-backs David Burke and Ian Measham.
Measham made an impressive debut, and had the satisfaction of having a hand in the spot-kick goal which cemented victory.
It was from the right-back's well-placed pass that Lillis bore into the box, only to be fouled by Jerry Murphy.
Lillis grabbed the ball himself and sent Wood the wrong way.
The goal was well deserved by Town, who had taken the lead when Wilson squeezed a shot past Wood after Lillis flicked on a Burke cross.
Buxton's side went ninth in a table led by Blackburn, and the boss said: "When you play on that kind of surface, players have to be prepared to go down and take a knock.
"If they aren't prepared to do that, they won't get far and that's what happened to Palace.
"They have a lot of experienced players who can cause problems, but they've got to put themselves about a bit more to be effective.
"We approached the game positively, but we have been too inconsistent this season.
"On our day we can mix it with anyone in the division, but we blow hot and cold."
One negative for Buxton was the injury setback for centre-back Jones, who aggravated the back injury which had kept him out for a month.
"Paul felt okay in training, but that's not the same as playing in a match," said Buxton.
"We took a risk and it backfired, so he'll return to the treatment room."