Crystal Palace 1 Cardiff City 0
Championship, Selhurst Park, south London
(Photos ©urban75, Tuesday, 8th March 2011)
The quick match summary: we blew it.
Read on for more.
What ended up being the highlight of the night was a beer at the Ship, 55 High Street, South Norwood, SE25 6EF, a regular haunt for the 1927 Clubbers when we're playing Crystal Palace.
Run by an easily distracted, comb-over landlord with a penchant for arbitrarily deciding whether you're going to get a glass or plastic pint container for your pint, the ale is good but the service woefully inadequate.
And they're not exactly swift at collecting the empties either, as you can see from this pic.
Situated somewhere betwixt Clacton and Kismet, Palace's pre-match 'entertainment' involves some half-hearted US-style cheerleaders flapping pom-poms around to the crowd's general indifference.
Every club has a crap mascot these days, and here's Palace's plastic-headed creation getting a warm welcome from the Cardiff fans.
Never one to understate the obvious, Palace (nickname 'The Eagles') employ a trained eagle to pointlessly flap back and forth between two handlers on the pitch.
Feel the glamour!
The teams are pom-pommed onto the pitch. It's like we're in LA!
The eagle flaps about as the teams get ready for the kickoff.
A large assembled throng of unknown, unnannounced people crowd into the centre circle.
The game kicks off!
For the first half, Cardiff were as dull as ditchwater, busying themselves by showing off their clever passing skills before inevitably cocking it up and handing possession back to Palace.
It was a strange game: it's like Cardiff were playing a chin-stroking game of chess and Palace were playing checkers: we'd entertain ourselves with well executed build ups, lots of little triangles and smooth passing that barely saw us progressing up the pitch.
Palace, on the other hand, just waited for us to get too clever and lose the ball and then they'd hoof it up the park and go for it - a strategy that proved to be far more productive.
Crystal Palace: the only club I've been at that repeatedly announces forthcoming commercial events over the Tannoy while the game is still being played. Well, well tacky. The event looks shit too - who the fuck is Joe Longthorne?
Despite comical over-enthusiasm, the Eagle mascot failed spectacularly to garner any enthusiasm from the grumpy load of silent, permanently sat-down Palace fans in the corner.
It's half time and they're back! I would have gone for a beer if they hadn't banned drink sales.
The fairly grim area under the ground at half time. The toilets were horrific.
Cardiff finally woke up in the second half and played with some passion, looking far more likely to grab the points.
The woeful penalty miss. Not long after Palace would fumble a goal in swiftly followed by some dire music soundtrack resonating around the ground.
Playing music when a team scores should be made a criminal offence in my book. Let the fans make the noise, FFS. This is the UK, not the US.
Mind you, I do like Palace's near-antique wooden seats. *Proper* football, old-school style!
A last look at the old ground.
Discuss the match here
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