Cardiff City triumph at Crystal Palace: play-offs here we come!

Crystal Palace 1 Cardiff City 2, Championship, Selhurst Park, 28th April 2012

Despite the unfeasibly early start (kick off at 12.30? Why?) and the heftily hiked-up prices (£30 ticket and £3.80 for a bottle of Carling – you’re having a laugh), this was still a day to savour

Crystal Palace 1 Cardiff City 2, Championship, Selhurst Park, 28th April 2012

With the maths meaning that if Middlesbrough had won, we’d need at least a draw to guarantee a place in the play-offs for the third year running, this proved to be a tense afternoon.

The Cardiff crowd rose to the occasion, filling Palace’s rather run down stadium with Welsh noise.

Crystal Palace 1 Cardiff City 2, Championship, Selhurst Park, 28th April 2012

Despite early dominance,  Palace went ahead in the first half after the skillful Wilfried Zaha slotted home.

Crystal Palace 1 Cardiff City 2, Championship, Selhurst Park, 28th April 2012

Crystal Palace 1 Cardiff City 2, Championship, Selhurst Park, 28th April 2012

I love old football grounds, but the overcrowding in the bar area under the Cardiff end was more than a bit troubling: if someone had fallen over or there’d been a panic, serious injuries could have followed.  It wasn’t a pleasant experience trying to fight through this crowd.

Crystal Palace 1 Cardiff City 2, Championship, Selhurst Park, 28th April 2012

I missed the usual half time entertainment as I was stuck in the crowd in the bar area, but here’s some blokes standing around the pitch.

Crystal Palace 1 Cardiff City 2, Championship, Selhurst Park, 28th April 2012

Note the friendly greeting from the Cardiff fan in the bottom left.

Crystal Palace 1 Cardiff City 2, Championship, Selhurst Park, 28th April 2012

‘Police lies ruin lives’ says the Palace banner.

Crystal Palace 1 Cardiff City 2, Championship, Selhurst Park, 28th April 2012

Come the second half and it was all Cardiff.

Crystal Palace 1 Cardiff City 2, Championship, Selhurst Park, 28th April 2012

Miller is booked after a particularly spectacularly stumble from the Palace player.

Crystal Palace 1 Cardiff City 2, Championship, Selhurst Park, 28th April 2012

Whittingham takes the free kick and from an impossible angle slots home. YES!

Crystal Palace 1 Cardiff City 2, Championship, Selhurst Park, 28th April 2012

Crystal Palace 1 Cardiff City 2, Championship, Selhurst Park, 28th April 2012

Crystal Palace 1 Cardiff City 2, Championship, Selhurst Park, 28th April 2012

Nine minutes later, a superb volley from Cowie sees Cardiff taking a well deserved lead.

Crystal Palace 1 Cardiff City 2, Championship, Selhurst Park, 28th April 2012

The blow up AK-47 is held triumphantly aloft!

Crystal Palace 1 Cardiff City 2, Championship, Selhurst Park, 28th April 2012

Shoes off!

Crystal Palace 1 Cardiff City 2, Championship, Selhurst Park, 28th April 2012

Crystal Palace 1 Cardiff City 2, Championship, Selhurst Park, 28th April 2012

Guitar solo.

Crystal Palace 1 Cardiff City 2, Championship, Selhurst Park, 28th April 2012

Seconds to go…

Crystal Palace 1 Cardiff City 2, Championship, Selhurst Park, 28th April 2012

And it’s all over. We’re in the play offs again. Bring on the Hammers!

Crystal Palace 1 Cardiff City 2, Championship, Selhurst Park, 28th April 2012