Today is one of those days where I feel daft for worrying. Prior to kick-off at Selhurst Park and knowing that a win would assure us of a play-off place I somehow felt that we typically wouldn’t make it that easy on ourselves. But what do I know? I’ve only followed this team for eighteen years now.
So unusally for us we just about secured our win within the first ten minutes, as Clarke Carlisle was sent off in the sixth minute for a professional foul on Scott Sinclair and Ben Watson dispatched the resulting penalty. Two minutes later Victor Moses made it 2-0 and the game was effectively up.
Tom Soares made it 3-0 before half-time before Sinclair and Clinton Morrison brought the final score to 5-0.
So we’re in the play-offs having finished fifth. How big an achievement is it for Warnock? Let’s let him analyse that himself. “I can’t think of a better achievement in my career. To go from second bottom in November into the play-offs, never mind winning them, is a great effort from all the lads.”
Winning the play-offs would be even better. For that our first obstacle is Bristol City, who come to Selhurst Park next Saturday.
Crystal Palace 5-0 Burnley [BBC Sport]
At a time in the season where consistency is key Palace (of all teams!) seem to have discovered it. Yesterday we beat Scunthorpe 2-0 at Selhurst Park, with first-half goals from Tom Soares and Clinton Morrison both securing another three points for us as well as relegating the visitors out of the Championship.
Neil Warnock was a happy man after the game, saying “We all know it’s going to go right down to the wire. We badly needed the three points and I would have settled for winning 1-0 and playing poorly. As it turned out, we played very well and could have scored more goals.”
Now come another two difficult games, as in the next two weeks we visit fellow play-off candidates Watford and Hull City.
Crystal Palace 2-0 Scunthorpe [BBC Sport]
Good evening everyone, got your breath back after that frightening second half?
Yikes, that took some sitting through. I was pretty pleased to be 2-0 up at half-time after goals from Tom Soares (ably setup by Scott Sinclair) and Jose Fonte (with a scorcher of a volley), although I might have changed that view after seeing us sit back and invite Stoke to attack us during the second half.
As it turned out all Stoke could muster in reply was their own thunderbolt from Glen Whelan, and while that provided us with an even more uncomfortable last few minutes it wasn’t enough to stop us from leaving the Britannia Stadium with three points.
Neil Warnock summarised the result by saying, “It’s not easy coming to Stoke, you know you are going to be very physically tested throughout. I thought we played some great football at times and we scored a couple of good goals too, which helped.”
Best of all, we’re back in the play-off places. With 4 games to go can we stay there?
Stoke City 1-2 Crystal Palace [BBC Sport]
After yesterday’s 2-0 win at home against Barnsley we’re now just a point off the play-offs again. It seems we’re coming into form at a good time, with Neil Warnock praising our, “great team spirit and a will to keep our own goal intact.” Both of our goals came in the second half, with the scorers being Tom Soares and James Scowcroft.
Can we continue on this run and manage to be in the top six at the season’s end? Let’s hope so.
Finally, in a footnote that might only interest me, Jon Macken again proved what a duff buy he was by returning and somehow not scoring against us. On top of that he was also booked and substituted. Magnifico!
Crystal Palace 2-0 Barnsley [BBC Sport]
Neil Warnock’s first game for Palace ended yesterday in a 1-1 draw with Blackpool at Bloomfield Road. Palace’s took the lead through Tom Soares, who later saw red for an alleged stamp.
After the game Warnock was quoted as saying, “”I want our players to enjoy coming to work. We’ll win some and lose some but I just want everyone to enjoy it.” If we start winning a few more then I suspect we will all start to enjoy it a lot more.
Blackpool 1-1 Crystal Palace [BBC Sport]
Yikes, I wouldn’t say that this win was a long time in coming, but I was beginning to think we were still in the Premiership. Speaking of being in the Premiership, at least this time we could rely on a Bryan Robson-managed team to do what they ought to, as his Sheffield United side were on the wrong end of our 3-2 win.
Our win was sealed in the closing minutes with a Ben Watson penalty, with our earlier goals coming from Tom Soares and Carl Fletcher. All the goals came after half-time. A welcome win, and a welcome jump up the table as well (we’re now 15th).
Crystal Palace 3-2 Sheffield United [BBC Sport]