Some good viewing on Sky Sports News last night for those of us who were watching scores coming in (I can’t listen to the radio feeds, the combination of lulls in action followed by heart-stopping terror isn’t a good mix in my experience). Thanks to Victor Moses’ 55th minute equaliser we managed to get a 1-1 draw at West Brom, meaning that in our two games with them this year they haven’t been able to beat us.
Arguably with three points available for a win we’d have been better off winning one and losing one to West Brom, but in this case a draw means that we’ve been a match for the team widely considered to be the best in division (they currently sit fourth, but if they win their two games in hand they’ll be top again – providing they don’t get too caught up in a cup run I think they’re the one certainty to go up this year).
Neil Warnock summarised the game by saying, “To come to a place like this, a super stadium, the crowd gets behind the team, and to cope with that and the pressures of the situation can only stand them [the squad] in good stead. I think it’s excellent for them. I think the West Brom fans knew they were in for a game, so it was good tonight.”
West Bromwich Albion 1-1 Crystal Palace [BBC Sport]
As nice as it was to actualy be at Selhurst Park on Tuesday night, I have to say I do prefer being able to report on a Palace. Thankfully another of these came yesterday, as beat Colchester United 2-1 at Selhurst Park.
Our goals on this occasion came from a Phil Ifil own goal, and a winner from Ben Watson about fifteen minutes from time. Kevin Lisbie had equalised for Colchester and had another potential equaliser ruled out for offside late on.
Neil Warnock stated how far the club had come over the course of the season following the game. “I’m going to crack open a bottle of champagne tonight because now we’re safe,” he said. While we’ve now reached 53 points we can hopefully look in a different direction again, as we’re just three points behind sixth-placed Hull City, although we are also behind sixth-placed Plymouth and seventh-placed Ipswich as well.
Crystal Palace 2-1 Colchester United [BBC Sport]
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.
Continue reading Freezing But Full of Hope
Combine a few injuries and suspensions, a player falling out of favour, a forced injection of youth and a trip to a usual bogey ground and what would you expect? Well in fairness you probably wouldn’t expect a 1-0 victory at Preston North End.
A side which featured Victor Moses in place of the suspended James Scowcroft and ahead of the disgraced Shefki Kuqi got a winner with a 76th minute header from Clinton Morrison. The performance led Neil Warnock to say, “It’s probably one of the best team performances of the season. Everyone was very good in their own right.”
Preston North End 0-1 Crystal Palace [BBC Sport]
Yet another defeat in what has been a miserable month for us, this one coming at home to Wolves. They struck twice in the last fifteen minutes to come away with a 2-0 win yesterday. Among their goalscorers was Kevin Kyle, who seemingly always scores against us.
On top of this Neil Warnock has put Shefki Kuqi on the transfer list after the striker responded to cheers upon his substitution with what was reported as “a crude gesture”. A bad end to a bad month – we only took two points from a possible 15 – roll on March.
Crystal Palace 0-2 Wolverhampton Wanderers [BBC Sport]
Kuqi transfer-listed over gesture [BBC Sport]
Did you ever play football at school, and continued to play past an end-of-break bell until someone scored? Well something similar happened to Palace tonight.
With a supposed four minutes of time added on played and Palace leading 1-0 referee Richard Beeby allowed play to continue, letting Bristol City take a corner which was headed in by Jamie McCombe.
After a poor first half we were good value for our lead. We played positively in the second half, taking the lead through Lee Hills’ superbly-taken volley (his first goal for the club). While Bristol City had a lot of possession they didn’t threaten very often, although Julian Speroni did have to make a fabulous double-save from Bradley Orr’s controversially-awarded penalty.
Ultimately it is a good result, but the ending left more than a bitter taste in the mouth. When the overdue final whistle went Neil Warnock went onto the pitch in an attempt to keep Palace players away from the referee, where he presumably also made a few points on their behalf.
Bristol City 1 – 1 Crystal Palace [BBC Sport]
Did I say last week that we’ve taken one point from our last three games? Let’s make that one point from our last four games, following Ipswich’s 1-0 win at Selhurst Park last night.
To make things worse, the winning goal has been described as “Danny Haynes’ fortuitous goal”. Wonderful. When was the last time we had a goal deflect in off one of our own player’s heads? (And no, Andy Johnson’s goal against Liverpool in 2005 was intended, therefore it doesn’t count.)
And as if losing 1-0 to Ipswich didn’t sound familiar enough then there was also the matter of Julian Speroni dodging another red card. This game is done and dusted, but thankfully there is no suspension to deal with as well.
It didn’t sound as if the gaffer was too pleased though. “I thought one or two experienced players let us down. I was disappointed with certain areas tonight and I’ve let the players know.” This season is starting to look like one where we’ll finish in mid-table.
Crystal Palace 0-1 Ipswich Town [BBC Sport]
And by this I mean losing 2-0 at Charlton, Luke Varney with both goals in the second half for the home team.
I’m not particularly keen on the strategy of being a goal down late on, bringing on Shefki Kuqi and taking off Clinton Morrison shortly afterwards. I know who I feel is more of a threat in front of goal. Anyway, I’ll give Warnock a mulligan on that given his recent run. However the current form guide shows us having gained one point from our last nine, something we need to improve if we want to make the play-offs.
Charlton Athletic 2-0 Crystal Palace [BBC Sport]
Not the way you’d like to follow-up your first defeat in a fair while. Having taken the lead in the final twenty minutes through James Scowcroft we then had Ben Watson hit the woodwork twice, only for Shaun Derry to lose possession and have Southampton work a move which ended with Stern John levelling the scores.
It was the concession of possession which appeared to annoy Neil Warnock the most. “We got punished with an elementary defensive error by Shaun Derry,” he said after the game, adding that Derry, “is one of our most experienced players.”
This is our last Saturday game for three weeks. Next Friday we head to The Valley for the return game with Charlton.
Crystal Palace 1-1 Southampton [BBC Sport]
I’m getting to like Sunday mornings lately. As our run up the table has continued so we’ve featured more and more on ITV’s Championship coverage, and that continued this morning with yesterday’s 2-0 win over Bristol City at Selhurst Park. Our goals came from Clinton Morrison (via a somewhat fortunate deflection) and Mark Hudson’s late header.
Neil Warnock said afterwards, “The dressing room here is super. The formula is hard work, it isn’t rocket science. But there is a lot of ability in the team as well.”
Our next appearance before the cameras is a feature length edition, with the Sky cameras following our trip to Leicester City next Monday.
Somewhat shockingly given where we were when Warnock took over we’re now up to fifth in the table on 44 points, a mere 4 points behind second-placed Watford.
Crystal Palace 2-0 Bristol City [BBC Sport]