Crystal Palace 0 - 0 Everton

I'm sure many remember the Pink Echo that we all eagerly raced to buy even though we'd just been to the match? Well, the Toffee Lady maybe wouldn't have had her rattle shaking, but the needle would have been indicating a point – a valuable point. 

It started and ended with a return trip to Victoria Station. Even for someone who is based in West London, Selhurst Park is a tricky place to get to. 

I navigated my way to Thornton Heath Station and made the relatively short walk to the Prince George to meet with Mark and his friends. You would have thought we were at home in and outside – the place was full of Evertonians… and I mean close to 100%. Some of the younger supporters were nervous, so I tried to reassure them it would be fine. 

I find Selhurst Park a strange place. Prior to kick-off, they put on some sort of early '90s rave type atmosphere with very loud dance music. I am not sure what the music has to do with Crystal Palace's background. And then American-style cheerleaders complete with pom-poms and cheesy dancing, drums and wannabe Italian Ultras… All very odd. I might be getting old and grumpy, but it was all a bit irritating. Can we just get on with the football? 

On the match itself, a solid but uninspiring performance. We could have nicked it but it was a point gained, in my opinion. We showed a lot of resilience that was definitely lacking against Fulham last week. 

Pickford saved, more than once; he was one of our best players. But I will give the mantle to James Tarkowski who pretty much ran the defence seemingly on his own. Gueye did his thing; if some of our younger players had the passion and commitment of our 34-year-old, they will go a long way.

Garner was steady but you can tell he lacks a bit of match fitness, which told towards the end. I thought the second yellow for Holgate was soft, but a supporter in front of me said it was a second yellow. Did he need to make the challenge when he was the wrong side of the player? Sometimes better to let someone cover and recover. I thought at the time another defender was coming over. He could have left that knowing he was already on a yellow? 

Dominic Calvert-Lewin surprised me on a few counts. For someone who hasn't played for some time, he lasted and looked fit. Maybe lacking a bit of sharpness and should have scored. But seeing him take a pop from longer range, which has never been his trademark, was encouraging. Mykolenko looks like he's having a wobble. Gray was his inconsistent self but you always think he can do something. 

I had forgotten it was FA Cup Semi-Final weekend and ended up travelling back on the train with a Sheffield United family and a few of their supporters who were staying in the area I live. Ironically, although they had all been to Wembley and were from Sheffield, the dad was a London native and Palace supporter, so we ended up talking about the Palace v Everton match! 

I guided a few Everton fans from Clapham to Victoria and then on to Euston. One was adamant they should head to Watford. Collectively, we convinced him to go with the Euston plan. I hope they got home safely. It took a bit of discussion, but we got there. 

I thought the match officials were very poor… even by Premier League standards. Not just against Everton, but in general. The standard is generally bad. Five minutes on the board at the end. Where did that come from? The last 3 matches, we've had 5, 6 and then 5 minutes. Let's hope on Thursday Iwobi replicates last season and bags the winner in the 99th minute. 

Finally, massive respect to those of the fantastic travelling Blue Army as ever, whom I was privileged to stand amongst. From where I stood, we drowned out the wannabe Ultras, particularly in the second half. Bitter, twisted, loud and proud. Spirit of the Blues didn't seem to stop in the second half. 

Newcastle under the lights next up. We can do that. Then Leicester. That's 34 points with Bournemouth at home and nick one against Man City. Stranger things happen. We can finish on 38 points – and that is without taking into account Wolves and Brighton. 

All to play for. As was ringing out at Selhurst Park, Spirit, Forever, Marching. 

Forget the Chairman. He's gone. This is our club.

Reader Comments (1)

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Dave Williams
1 Posted 24/04/2023 at 09:11:19
Great report, Danny. You capture how the fan base is feeling rather than pander to the row with the board which some seem to elevate to being more important.

We can deal with them later – as you say, two wins this week and we will be on the cusp of safety and, with our missing players back, we can do it.

Keep the good fight going, Danny, and I will buy you a beer at the Bournemouth finale!

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