Freezing But Full of Hope

Crystal Palace vs Cardiff City, 4th March 2008

On a rare trip down South I was lucky enough to take the opportunity to get to Selhurst last night. Well, lucky if you don’t mention that it was absolutely freezing cold in SE25 last night, and probably more so if (like me) you were in the upper tier of the Holmesdale. I came away with a desperate need to thaw out, but also optimistic about our future.

In the first half I felt that Cardiff were unquestionably the better side, coming forward and going close through Trevor Sinclair (who shot wide) and Paul Parry (who forced a terrific save out of Julian Speroni). However Cardiff dropped their pace in the second half (perhaps keeping a eye on their F.A. Cup tie at Middlesbrough this Sunday? Who knows?) and with the score still at 0-0 we had a chance to pick up some more points.

So if the game ended 0-0 why am I so hopeful for the future? Simply because of the nature of the substitutions. With points to be gained Neil Warnock threw on Sean Scannell and Dougie Freedman, two strikers. His intention was clear, the game was there to be won and he’d do everything possible to try and win it. After that we had the best of the game (for the most part), but we just couldn’t make the breakthrough.

Our best two chances of the game came from Sean Scannell, who shot wildly at the end of a terrific run, and Clinton Morrison, who will know himself he should have done better than to head Ben Watson’s free-kick over when left unmarked in the six-yard box fifteen minutes from time.

The result leaves us in 11th place in the Championship, five points off the play-offs with just ten matches remaining, so it looks like I’ll have to defer my hope until next year at least.

Crystal Palace 0-0 Cardiff City [BBC Sport]

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